It has been a year since SVT Engineering Consultants, a provider of acoustics, vibration and corrosion engineering services, deployed a practice management solution called eTrack, and as project manager Stewart Gicquel explains it has been highly beneficial.
eTrack provides clear and timely advice for clients, instant granular visibility of projects to staff all day long, improved quality assurance and improved resource utilisation, resulting in more projects, more staff ownership, improved margins and reduced risk, according to Gicquel.
He says eTrack is highly valued and has contributed to the rapid growth of SVT winning it major contracts, and helping to deliver on SVT's brand promise to give clear and timely advice to clients.
"With eTrack SVT can now: instantly see the status of each and every project from a single screen; track costs, hours, progress and estimated completion dates; and prepare 'one-click' reports for internal use and client updates," he said.
"With eTrack, SVT can successfully manage more complex projects, more clients and more consultants. The more SVT staff use eTrack, the more valuable it becomes.
"eTrack contains so much information a tipping point has occurred where staff use eTrack continually to instantly see what is happening on every project at the granular level.
"Almost all of the 100 managers, line staff and consultants keep eTrack open on their desktops all day long. Each person has access to the same project information, all of it current.
"For each project, everyone can see what has been done, what to do next and what has to be done to complete the project, and senior managers can see 'red flags' early.
"All the project information is centralised and accessible across the enterprise. eTrack is the 'screen of choice' if we need answers fast."
Gicquel also says eTrack allows the SVT framework and methodology to be visible, ensuring enhanced quality assurance and quality control processes, and its online checklists provide a fast and effective tool for project managers.
Project managers can customise their own on-line quality check-list to ensure that each task is completed, inspected and signed-off, and project audits can be completed with a 'one-click' report.
"The digital 'chain of ownership' provides instant updates to document project approvals," Gicquel said.
"With eTrack, project managers can take full responsibility for their actions and ensure that each job is done right.
"SVT's 'daily huddles' have moved from a white board to eTrack. Every day, each project team meets to discuss the project, progress and any challenges that might impact service delivery.
"A 'One-click' report generation displays all of the project metrics for instant analysis.
"Progress notes provide an update on the most recent activity on the project.
"'Traffic lights' and 'red flags' highlight any key issues that might require additional resource.
"We have all the information we need at our fingertips. Paper-shuffling and note-taking are a thing of the past. Preparation time, follow-up tasks and the meetings themselves take much less time out of our day.
"SVT can quickly allocate staff resources where they are needed. Staff can be shifted to the most pressing project without additional paperwork.
"'Instant allocation' means that the accounting tasks involved with shifting staff resources are as simple as a few clicks.
"Time sheets, charge-backs and overheads can be reassigned to different projects quickly and easily.
"Tighter control has resulted in a more efficient use of staff resources.
Gicquel continued: "With eTrack, we can monitor the individual tasks for each consultant and balance workloads to complete each project in a timely manner.
"SVT's eTrack has gelled into an indispensable tool giving us all a sense of task ownership, providing up-to-date information for day-to-day operations.
"We can see, at a glance, how well we are doing and what the project goals are. Resources, tasks and due dates for all project deliverables are set and tracked.
"eTrack empowers all staff to be part of the team with shared goals. Every day, staff create more uses for eTrack to improve workflows and processes.
"Before we had eTrack we had to spend too much time looking for and processing information.
Gicquel concludes: "eTrack is on every desk and the information is always current. Everything we need to deliver on the SVT brand promise — clear and timely advice to the client — is right there, just a click away."