Event management web app
IMPROVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT, BUDGETING AND REPORTING CAPABILITIES
The Client Challange
The client is a highly creative and successful business events specialist. They deliver innovative business conferences and exhibitions to awards ceremonies and launches both within the UK and internationally. Consequently, every project is bespoke with a wide range of variables across multiple locations. Keeping track of each individual projects was a real challenge.
They did have event management software but it couldn’t do everything they wanted and they were having to operate it in tandem with spreadsheets.
The client wanted to be able to segment projects down fully so they could accurately establish the profitability of each individual event. They wanted a system that would allow them to bring all their activities and reporting onto a single platform to avoid inputting data multiple times.
Accruals are a major factor in the sector as most events are paid for in advance and the client wanted to ensure these were fully managed as part of their new system.
And, finally, they wanted a system that would allow them to have real-time visibility of planned revenue, actual revenues and profit. The industry’s professional body has set standards for margins which differ for in-house time and third party costs so the new system had to take account of this.
To establish exactly where they felt their reporting needed improvement, we engaged with key stakeholders. Over the course of three weeks we worked closely with them, unpicking the existing systems to identify precisely where the problems lay. A key part of this preparation process was recognising the many strengths of the old system.
We were then able to build a web app that delivered all that they liked about the old system but added new reporting functionality and created a single platform that worked seamlessly with their Xero accounting system.
It allowed them to track revenues against specific events and we developed functions that allowed their workforce to record timesheets when they were working in the field (quite literally, at some outdoor events).
Because the app connected directly to their accounting system, time and expenses could be logged as they were incurred and linked to specific events.
To streamline reporting still further, we created a dashboard that could report in real time on planned and actual revenues and gave a clearer picture of profits, taking full account of accruals.
The web app significantly improved reporting, enabling clearer management oversight of KPIs, finances and time at a much more granular level than before. This allowed the leadership team to identify those events where profitability was being compromised and make adjustments to address weaknesses and improve future efficiencies.
Reducing the need to transfer data across systems and spreadsheets greatly reduced admin times and increased the accuracy and speed of reporting, keeping the management team on top of events as they were happening.
By moving from Excel, the system allowed greater control of user permissions so information was only seen by those authorised to do so.
The client was delighted that we succeeded in ironing out their reporting issues and, by working in close partnership with their accountant, we had fully retained the strengths of the system we replaced.