How Inflow gained crucial insights about their performance thanks to TimeCamp.
As Peter Drucker once said: ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’. TimeCamp really helped to simplify my reporting and make good business decisions. It’s important to measure everything in real-time because it's helping us to solve problems once they emerge.Christina Griggs, Chief Financial Officer at Inflow
An introduction to Inflow
Inflow is an eCommerce marketing agency based in Denver that provides SEO, PPC, and Conversion Optimization services to global retail brands. Founded in 2007, Inflow is an established and reputable agency that has been placed on the Inc, 5000 list three times in a row (2015-2017).
Christina's role as CFO is mostly around providing data. What kind of data? Not just fiscal data, but also data regarding hourly performance, client profitability, attrition and accretion. Overall, since 2010 she is responsible for providing Inflow’s leadership with the right data that enables them to make the right decisions.
Inflow’s first encounter with time tracking
The company’s leadership knew that it needed to measure how teams spend their time across different projects in order to effectively solve problems. According to Christina, seven years ago they would receive feedback from their staff like “I don’t have any hours left, I can’t get this work done and I’m overworked”, but they couldn’t see these issues while looking into project data. In simple terms, they weren’t on the same page and it was a really big challenge in terms of estimating work for clients and assessing team resources.
Early attempts at solving the issue
Inflow’s initial approach was to find the right project management tool. They tried a robust tool that allows building Gantt charts, recurrences, dependencies, and waterfall structures.
All in all as Christina mentioned herself:
And it was completely ineffective… it wasn’t useful at all.
Exploring time tracking software
The next step was to re-evaluate the cost of the robust software, the quality of data it provides and assessing whether it is the right way to proceed. Christina and her team spent quite a lot of time researching both sides of the spectrum of project management and time tracking software. They looked at more expensive and more complex project management software, but also looked at tools like TimeCamp as a more streamlined data source. While TimeCamp’s appealing pricing was initially a significant factor, the most important upside was its simplicity and seamless implementation. This was a game changer since they didn’t want to implement something complex that requires a lot of additional management and might cause additional problems during the implementation. Basically, they wanted something far more user-friendly.
Furthermore, this robust software tool also required implementing a lot of additional functions to build on them, which made it into a really ineffective and time-consuming process. There was already an established client profitability reporting, but it was stored and calculated in excel spreadsheets which wasn’t really efficient.
We just wanted a piece of software that was easy to use and captured time data as easy as possible and easy to export data and use them in the reports that I needed. That’s why we selected TimeCamp.
Inflow’s team conducted beta tests with 6 to 7 team members that worked with TimeCamp as well as similar solutions and they really liked integrating TimeCamp with their calendars. It really helped to simplify Christina’s reporting and helped management make good business decisions. It’s important to measure everything in real-time because it helps Inflow solve problems once they emerge.
What has changed since you’ve started using TimeCamp?
To Christina’s account, TimeCamp has been substantially impactful because it improved the way that performance and billable time data is recorded. That is very important since no one has to prod the employees to manually fill out their timesheets. Additionally, it made her job much easier and faster in terms of building advanced reports fed by accurate and automated data.
Finally, it’s helping Inflow’s leadership make better business decisions, faster.