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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    how to make company work efficiently

    Hi all, Im looking at some software that will make the company more efficient from initial sales meeting through to project completion. Interested in hearing what you guys use and if youve had any experience of ACT. there must be an easier way to manage a team of deisgners/developers/sales. thanks.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru Ruben K.'s Avatar
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    basecamp.

  3. #3
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gBay View Post
    Hi all, Im looking at some software that will make the company more efficient from initial sales meeting through to project completion. Interested in hearing what you guys use and if youve had any experience of ACT. there must be an easier way to manage a team of deisgners/developers/sales. thanks.
    Can you be more specific?

    At what levels are you experiencing inefficiencies? How have you tried to fix them so far?

    What exactly are you trying to manage, the overall process or how each member of the team operates?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    hi,
    as we expand, we need to make everything work seemlessly. so we provide the salesman with a form of questions which they fill in (eg: whether the client wants an update section and if so which sections they want to be able to update. Whether they want animation. Whether it needs to be database driven etc...)
    Then we quote based on this. Then we win the contract (hopefully!) and a brief is prepared for teh deisgners. the designers design as per brief. When this has been confirmed by the client it is then passed to the developers. Then written confirmation fomr the client they are happy with everything. Then a completion report (checking for dead links etc...) Along this process we need to bill - eg: when the design process is completed, we will send a bill for the design work (rather than billing a whole lot at the end).
    So what Im looking for - and am completly open to suggestions - is to how to implement this proceedure. The normal thing is for a project to be 90% completed, and then just stays there while we wait for content and images. It would be best I think if we had a form form the start which puts down what we eexpect and when, and what the clients can expect and when. We are always missing deadlines for no other reason than client apathy.
    I know other companies (all web companies ive spoken to) have this probelm. There must be a way to solve it as it really effects us. We need to put a system in place so that when a new designers comes on board, they can start using it speedily and easily.
    Does that give you more info?
    cheers

  5. #5
    Twitter - @CarlBeckel busy's Avatar
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    I've been trying to solve the "waiting for content" deadtime a few diffeent ways.

    One way is to use your own writer for the content. This way you can charge for it and there's less (although still some) that a busy client has to put together. A good professional writer will deliver on time.

    Another way is by involving content at the beginning of the development process, even before design comes into play. Ideally I want a system where I can stay on the client to get the content from the very beginning, because as far as they knows that's what gets done first. Meanwhile I'm working on anything else I can so once the content is provided it looks like I'm really fast getting the rest of the stuff done.

    I agree that your contract should state exactly what you expect from your client, mine does! It also states that if the client doesn't provide things like content when they're supposed to then the following happens: I send the final bill, they pay it, and they can take all the time they want.

    As far as software goes I write my own for a lot of organizational stuff like this. It helps to have something tailored especially to the way you do things. Of course this doesn't always apply. For example, I wouldn't give up Quickbooks just so my software would handle my accounting (even if I do wish I could tweak some of the features.)

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
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    Checkout Basecamp and HighRise

    If you really want a windows application, look at Act!

    If you have a really big company, there are also enterprise level CRM tools out there.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Hi ,

    We are 300+ people company selling lot of different services to multiple countries. Here is our arsenal of tools:

    1. SugarCRM for managing sales, marketing and invoicing
    2. GoogleDocs for sharing information across teams and reporting
    3. dotProject for internal project management
    4. Mantis for defect tracking
    5. Email, Messengers and Telephones

    For projects that seem to remain at 90% due to client apathy, I recommend that before the project starts (i.e. after you get the advance deposit) , you create a high level schedule. Just divide the project in phases and set deadlines for each phase. Attach that excel sheet in an email and send it to the client with a list of items that the client is supposed to provide along with dates by when they must send it. Whoever is tracking the projects must foresee delays and start reminding clients about approaching deadlines at least 2 weeks ahead.
    Mukul Gupta
    Indus Net Technologies
    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    thanks guys. some very useful comments there. we're only a small company (5 employees) so it crucifies us if a project isnt handled smoothly or we get a difficult client.


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