For more than five years now, Vlijm Netwerkbeheer B.V. in Nunspeet offers IT solutions for small- and medium-businesses, such as trade companies, production facilities, business services and schools. “For us, personal service and quality come first”, says Gerwin Vlijm, founder and director of Vlijm netwerkbeheer. They are now helped in their objective by Invantive Vision. A new product, specially aimed at project support in the IT industry.
Vlijm Netwerkbeheer (now Vanessen ICT) had a team of IT specialists. The service package includes: website optimization, web design, e-commerce solutions, CMS’s, search engine optimization, web hosting, Exchange hosting, internet access (ASDL), network solutions, hardware, software and cash register systems. ‘We have a lot of experience, follow the developments in the industry carefully and keep our technical knowledge up to date.’ 'We continually strive for the highest quality. In our case this means that next to the development and implementation of fitting application there also needs to be excellent support. To offer a professional and personal contact point for customers. To quickly remedy disturbances. Solving matters for the customer instead of pushing them away. That demands good organization, structure and insight. Otherwise business and paperwork will quickly go out of control. Invantive Vision helps us with that and it works.’
Process control is everything
‘I founded Vlijm Netwerkbeheer about 5 years ago. I saw in my surroundings how organizations were becoming increasingly large throughout the years because of fusions. They became sluggish and clumsy. There is a decreasing amount of space for quick and solution-oriented action. Everything has to run on an increasing amount of disks. That inevitably has its consequences. Projects (including IT projects) take too long, cost too much money and in the end do not deliver the desired result. I have learned a lot because of that.’ 'Within Vlijm I keep the lines short, I stimulate personal input and ensure that we control the processes within the project. We do not solidify the project plan completely in advance. A project has to be able to develop, on the basis of good structure. We formulate the objectives of the project sharply, but not the road towards those objectives. We fill those in as we go together with the customer using our experience, resources and growing insight. This way you can prevent that you discover at the end of the project that you have made an estimation error in the beginning. But you do need systems that support this way of working and are flexible enough.’
A customized outfit for the IT industry
‘What makes Invantive Vision so attractive, is the enormous potential of functionality and flexibility. In comparison to other systems, like Microsoft Dynamics, Vision is extremely flexible. For example, we wanted to write and monitor based on work type. That is not possible within Dynamics. For Invantive this was a piece of cake to build this function into Vision.’ The extended functionality of Vision is coming from the earlier marketed Invantive Estate, which was successfully launched by the Dutch company Invantive. An application specially focused to control the large, complex and risky projects in the real estate industry. Projects where a relatively small group of people directs a very large number of employees, companies, activities and processes. Good planning, constant control of the development, insight into costs and results are essential thereby. Characteristics that strongly correspond with the demands in the IT industry. Therefore the basis of Invantive Estate turned out to be perfectly suitable for the support of IT project. Vlijm Netwerkbeheer confirms that whole-heartedly. ‘Our workflow was accurately mapped by Invantive. Subsequently only that functionality was used that was needed to support and optimize our way of working. All our wishes could easily be achieved. Nothing more and nothing less. The result felt like a customization of excellent quality.’
Invantive Vision increases efficiency in business operations
‘We used to work with several separate systems to support our complete business operations, including the tracking of malfunctions, time registration, planning, invoicing and communication. Data had to be entered, retrieved and processed again and again. This brought in a lot of extra work and increased the odds of errors. In addition the systems were less flexible than we wanted them to be. It felt like a straitjacket. We started searching for a system that did what we wanted for the full 100% instead of the other way around. Invantive Vision turned out to be the solution.’ Vision is an open system that can ‘communicate’ without problems with every other application within an organization. This can be done using SQL, web services or Microsoft.net. In addition, it includes all the functionality needed for a company for an optimal project supervision. The assumption of malfunctions and time tracking are done with no trouble at all. Project planning, control and reports are completely integrated. All correspondence in Microsoft Outlook is linked to the project and can be consulted at any moment. The administration and invoicing is done out of the existing financial system, with automatically generated concept invoices coming from Vision. No more double action here anymore, yet the trusted financial administration is maintained.
Know when ad hoc malfunctions turn into structural ones
‘Service and personal attention are important to us’, says Willem van Zalk. Among other things, he mans the help desk for Vlijm. ‘I have contact with users of our systems on a daily basis. IT in the business operations is integrated in nearly all companies and institutions nowadays. An increasing number of employees is confronted with IT in their work. A nurse has to report his or her findings from the bed to a central database. In the catering industry orders, kitchen and invoicing are linked within one system.’‘Users of our systems are usually not IT experts and easily make errors. They report malfunctions that are not malfunctions in practice, but rather operator errors. I can quickly ascertain that in a conversation and with insight in the historical data of the customer I can explain that and prevent recurrence. If this happens often, then it is recommended to advice the customer to give better instructions or provide for a training.’
‘We wanted a system that would help us ascertain these kinds of things, so that we can timely and properly advise our customer. With Invantive Vision we can continually monitor the malfunction history and accurately determine when employees would need a training or when malfunctions turns so structural that it would be cheaper to replace a pc than to keep repairing it. The historical data can easily be called up and processed in a report. Our customers value this proactive attitude immensely.’
Control on project, customers and employees
'As IT professional you are always working with the customer, the project, the solution and the technique. As entrepreneur you also wish to know how profitable your company is operating. Service is important, but up to what point is it still economically responsible as well? Thanks to Vision we have control on the effectiveness. Now I can see what a project truly yields us. Which customers are important to our yield and which customers or type of project only really cost us money and why? I now hold a tool in my hand which I can use to determine and analyze that. Which employees have spent which hours on a customer or a project? Was that really necessary? How can I improve that? With Vision I truly have control on the projects, the customers, my employees and their efficiency.’
I think this is recognizable for many IT companies
‘Good support of business operations in the IT industry is hard to find. Every project we carry out is different and needs to be set up, adapted and guided individually. A supporting program needs to guarantee this flexibility.’ 'Next to that IT is mostly hard work and service is a USP. That is why the actual person and his or her personal input needs to be central in the working method of your company, not the random functionality and logic of a supporting software package. Invantive Vision is the first package that responds to the specific characteristics of our industry. We are very pleased with it.’
Advantages Invantive Vision for Vlijm Netwerkbeheer in a nutshell:
100% adaptation to our organization and methods.
- Ensures a professional, personal and proactive service to our customers, our USPs.
- Helps to keep our project processes flexible and controllable at the same time.
- Gives control on effectivity of projects and employees.
- Offers us the possibility for quick and efficient service.
- Unlocks important management information for improved relation management.
- Prevents double work and decreases chance of errors in entering administrative and financial data.
- Communicates without any trouble with other applications in the company that we want to keep.
- The project history is complete and immediately available.
- Vision is een unieke basis voor projectondersteuning in de IT-branche.