Posted 20/05/2020 by Frances Kay
As you will know we LOVE software that makes life easier for businesses – and those that know me personally know I go into nerd mode when talking about the options available for all kinds of processes.
So, in these challenging times I have been thinking how amazing it has been that Farnell Clarke is business as usual – albeit with a massive workload increase with advising on loans, grants, payroll and business continuity plans. Plus, sadly, a lack of office sing a-longs! Our team has made all of this possible, but also key to this is the software that we use internally. It got me thinking about our clients and what is helping their world to carry on turning?!
One of the biggest struggles our clients have had is the decision to furlough their staff –all employers want to do the right thing by their team but with the unknown of what work is coming and how their own clients are faring means there were/are big concerns over whether they can afford to make payroll payments.
On the flip side….if you do furlough who will do the work that has been committed to be done and what are the client’s expectations now, who will ensure the pipeline of work is there for when we return to some sort of normality and of course, will the client be able to pay?
One software I have been using recently is Scoro, which is a project management tool that allows you to visualise a project or job broken down into the various tasks, timeframes and based on staff/skillsets available. It allows time sheets to be kept and costs assigned. There are so many cool features I am struggling to just pick a few to mention.
What I thought would be great, now clients are working remotely and furloughing, is the ability to see if a certain level of skill is needed for parts of jobs at certain times i.e. you can plan the furlough based on actual work rather than a gut feeling of when work is in or not. This is also a great feature for those new business ‘win’ moments because it means you can take on a client with confidence knowing you have that resource available – again rather than a guess or hope you have the resource, you will know. Equally how reassuring is it to actually see your pipeline, quotes outstanding and enquiries – and if it is not what you want to see then it gives you the chance to do something about it.
It also keeps it very transparent to the team how a project is going. Are they over or under budget, who needs to do what and when – this can be across teams, manager portfolios or even multiple companies. It gives the staff clear lists of the work they must do that day/week or month which in these strange times can bring stability to their working week.
Obviously, the finance side makes me happy - It makes invoicing seamless with Xero; if you need to invoice at various milestones then it will cope with translating the original quote to a part invoice. When paid it then updates Scoro so the client account is up to date. This means that you won’t continue to do work for someone who has not paid and sadly might be in a pickle – you can alert the account manager to reach out to maintain that relationship.
As an accountant – we love a dashboard or a report that gives meaning to the numbers and again Scoro can do this for you – it is highly customisable in terms of fields you want to report on. So, when you next talk to one of the FC team you can share a sales report but more importantly share with your team. Why not let them see the headline numbers?!
The final win for me – which may seem simple is the calendar integration and the ability to invite several people to a meeting and allows you to see dates and times everyone is available rather than wasting your time sending out slack messages or emails asking for dates and times! Or perhaps your team can put on the system what times of day they will be working because work needs to start after bath time or that exercise slot is mid-afternoon – these small things I feel make life just a bit easier!
Of course, these requirements were around before the pandemic, but whilst your team are working at home and communication is more challenging, I wanted to share my thoughts on what an excellent tool Scoro is proving to be!Back to Blog