Case Study

Director of Organization & IT Christopher Schwarz

Christopher Schwarz

Christopher Schwarz
Director of Organization & IT

PTS Group
150 employees
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Hey Christopher! Tell us a bit about what you do at PTS Group.

We’re an innovation consultancy from Germany – a diverse mix of about 150 people spread across different cities. A huge chunk of us are consultants, and spend a lot of our time at customer sites and travelling around a lot. The rest of us are based at our PTS Group headquarters in Bremen, managing IT tickets and developing programs. We’re big believers in the era of new work, and love being able to offer remote opportunities to benefit from different perspectives.

Why do you track your time?

As in any consulting business where hours are billed by the minute, it’s extremely important to have an accurate overview of our time – and not to miss any hours. Our profitability and client relationships depend on accurate, transparent tracking.

It’s also crucial for our developers and IT Services to know how much time they spend on different issues, in order to gain insights on tickets at the end of the month.

Due to the EU verdict earlier this year, it will also become mandatory for all EU companies to track employee hours, so doing that properly is something every company should be thinking about.

What were you looking for in a time tracking system?

Essentially, we were looking for a simple tool to standardize time tracking for every employee, and provide the complete picture of what our people were working on – down to the time they spent on each customer.

We’ve actually been tracking time for a while using a handful of different methods, but we never had one tool for the job. Some employees entered working hours directly in SAP, which is extremely complex for non-SAP users, while others tracked their hours in Excel or in Jira.

The variety of methods used created a huge workload every month just to invoice our customers. A lot of our tools also took a lot of time to use. Before Timely, it took me two hours a week to track my time across all tasks, clients and projects. I had to create another time entry for tracking the time, which was totally inefficient.

Why did you choose Timely for the job?

As a “cloud-only” company, it soon became clear that our new time tracking tool must be cloud-based and retrievable around the world at any time. But automating as much of our processes as possible is also central to our philosophy. So, we then asked ourselves: why do WE have to tell the tool what we worked on?! The tool should tell us how we spend our time.

Timely fit our way of thinking perfectly. We hire people for their skills; not to track time – and humans are not good at remembering things in any case. Timely’s automated approach has taken the time tracking workload from our employees and freed their time for more important tasks.

What Timely features do you recommend to other consultancies?

The Memory App really sold us – it tracks everything we work on in the background. No detail gets forgotten; it’s effectively the digital memory for every person working at PTS group.

Private-timeline-timely

Our teams really love the AI drafts too. It looks at your digital memory and creates draft time entries for you, and once trained they are very precise. At the end of the day, all your time entries are ready on the correct project and client – it all happens like magic.

AI-timesheet-timely

A lot of employees have activated GPS tracking, which is essential for consultants who travel a lot. It shows them exactly how long they worked at a customer site, meaning they can bill time more accurately – which is a great benefit for us all.

location logging

Likewise, the mobile app is definitely one of the most convenient features. Many of us at PTS Group only use the mobile app and log hours via mobile devices as soon as an appointment or task is over.

mobile

Was it easy to integrate Timely?

Very much so; it integrated seamlessly with our existing infrastructure. We used Timely’s open API to connect Jira and Omnitracker with our SAP system. It meant that processes we have perfected over 25 years didn’t have to change. Our employees could benefit from a modern and flexible time tracking system without changing their workflows.

What do PTS Group employees make of it?

User-friendliness was a huge factor when we were searching for a new time tracking system. Timely was adopted really quickly by our employees, because it’s so easy to use. They tried out the mobile app and it worked fantastically; they used the web app and it worked just as well. So now they have a lot of opportunities to track their time on-the-go or at the office.

What are the biggest benefits of Timely?

The biggest for us are accuracy, convenience, ease-of-use and flexibility.

We currently have around 7,000 active projects that we book time on, and with Timely work on these is tracked down to the minute. With GPS tracking we get fully accurate time records for work on customer sites, and a complete picture of how we spend time across our customers. So, hours are logged consistently with fewer errors and we are tracking our time more accurately than ever before.

Since we have a lot of decentralized teams working and collaborating via modern tools, it’s great that Timely works wherever we are. I can track my time on my way from work using the mobile app, or do it whenever I want on my Notebook. Making the change was also so easy – all our employees were onboarded quickly.

Plus, automation just makes sense! Now with Timely, we have the perfect interface to automate our invoicing process and centralize time data in SAP. We spend less time on the essential tasks that make our business run.

Would you recommend Timely?

I would really recommend Timely to any company looking for a modern time tracking solution – it’s a comfortable way of tracking time that is as easy as possible for employees. As all of us know, employees are not good at tracking their hours, and heaps of money can be lost. With Timely, you completely remove that burden and inaccuracy.

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