Build vs. Buy Time Management Software

CASE STUDY: Liquidus Media, Managing Expectations

Company Profile

Liquidus entered the world as a boutique interactive agency. As media and technology expanded their respective reach, the founders quickly recognized the need to improve Liquidus' ability to aggregate advertising assets across these new opportunities. Their revolutionary SpotSense video advertising platform allows advertisers to create and distribute high volumes of video classified ads quickly, easily and cost-effectively on digital cables 'Video on Demand', broadcast TV and the Internet.

Challenge

Having more than tripled their staff complement in the last two years, staff at Liquidus is both its biggest expense and its biggest resource. Liquidus realized very quickly that they needed a time management software solution that would allow them to manage not just time, but expectations: A solution that was intuitive and easy for staff to adopt.

"WE NEEDED A SOFTWARE SOLUTION THAT COULD TRACK PROJECTS, TASKS, ACTIVITIES AND TEAMS, AS WELL AS MANAGE PROJECT EXPECTATIONS. THAT'S WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT Dovico TIMESHEET."

The solution Liquidus chose would have to:

  1. Track time and costing for tasks, activities and projects;
  2. Analyse actual time and cost metrics;
  3. Reduce time to develop project estimates and proposals;
  4. Monitor actual costs versus the original estimates;
  5. Increase management transparency;
  6. Track projects for both salaried and hourly employees and consultants;
  7. Manage development costs and align project expectations;
  8. Interface with existing software; and
  9. Include ready to run reporting and over budget notifications.

In the end, buying an off-the-shelf program was a more cost effective solution for Liquidus, and would allow them to concentrate on what they do best.

Solution

Organizations have proven the decision to BUY provides much greater value and success than the decision to BUILD. In a cost-benefit analysis, the decision to purchase a product off-the-shelf can offer a company more flexibility of services in the long run. The decision to BUY offers the following advantages, including:

Predictable Development Cost

  1. The opportunity to evaluate in advance the features, functions and capabilities in an existing enterprise environment.

Rapid Deployment

  1. A packaged time management software application is a production ready application that can be customized for a unique environment within a relatively short timeframe.

Known Maintenance/Support Costs

  1. A commercial application vendor specializes in the development and maintenance of the product. They invest in the resources required to support and upgrade the product, and maintain it year after year using the latest technology, so you don't have to.

Strong Knowledge Base

  1. Unlike an in-house system, a packaged solution has already intuited your future needs, and has applied best practices from the industry and has established expertise.

Core Business Focus

  1. Buying an off-the-shelf application keeps you focused on your core business while gaining the benefit of an experienced partner in the software development industry.

Results

Where once an organization may have chosen to build their own software solution, many, like Liquidus, have discovered the benefit of choosing a packaged solution. After investigating a number of available off the shelf solutions, and their ability to track tasks, activities and projects in a variety of combination and situations, Liquidus discovered the solution that worked for them.

Dovico Timesheet allows employees of Liquidus to record their time allocated to a particular task across multiple projects and activities, and had the features that Liquidus identified as important to managers and staff including:

Ease of Use
The software is inherently intuitive; therefore their staff adapted to the process seamlessly.

Deployment
As a web-based timesheet solution, Dovico Timesheet was installed on the company's web server in just a few minutes. Though the option of a more seamless deployment by choosing Dovico's hosted online software solution (SAAS) was evaluated, Liquidus decided to install on their own web server.

"WE MADE A COST BENEFIT DECISION THAT PROVED TO US THAT AN OFF-THE-SHELF SOLUTION, Dovico TIMESHEET, WAS RIGHT FOR US."

Reports
There are over 136 different customizable cost and time management reports. This allows Liquidus to view project data in a wide variety of ways, which is important for both them and their clients.

Project Alerts
Management is able to monitor actual project costs and receive email updates when time or cost targets are reached.

Business Management Management is able to use the analysis of actual time and costs to create project estimates and proposals based on historic data.

Impact

Successful companies, like Liquidus, don't get that way by accident. They understand the relationships between employee time, actual costs, direct activities, project management and productivity.

So too, does Dovico understand; in fact they've built their business on it.

Dovico has created a unique management decision tool which maintains the simplicity of a time sheet and expense entry software, while providing strong project management components.

Dovico Timesheet makes it easy for clients to accurately manage their ongoing business and project expectations.

Furthermore, Dovico customers are realizing increased profits through the evolution of ground breaking new features such as Project Alert Notifications. This makes Dovico Timesheet a smart solution for any business looking to maximize their performance management and minimize their ongoing costs and expenses.

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About Dovico

As the leading developer of time management software, Dovico Software provides proven time and cost saving solutions that have been embraced by thousands of the world's best-known companies.

Dovico Timesheet is an award-winning time management software solution that monitors project costs, and employee time and expense sheets.

This installed or hosted online (SAAS) software simplifies time tracking for billing, payroll or project management. Keeping your other systems updated with crucial business data. Integration to Intuit QuickBooks, Microsoft Project is included.

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