Innovation • 9 Mar 2021

A web-based Planning Tool

Solution brief

Amista, founded in 2014 as a start-up with a few employees, started growing significantly during the last few years. As a small company, with only a few consultants in the beginning it was very easy to keep track of the consultants' timesheets in excel. Soon, this manual process became too time-consuming to be efficient and accurate. Punctual timesheet registration is very crucial for correct and timely invoicing and financial forecasting. Before the planning tool had been developed, the registration of the timesheets was the responsibility of one single person. A solution was needed so the responsibility and work would be shared by each individual employee.
 

Challenge & Scope

Challenge:

  • Create one centralized platform that functions as ‘one-source-of-truth’
  • Replace the usage of excel sheets: simplify current process
  • Different authorization roles (consultants, admin, managers,…) had to be foreseen to manage allowed user visibility and actions per role
  • User-friendly design and modern look & feel
  • Fully responsive on desktop, mobile and tablet
  • Integrate filter options
  • Support the creation of reports and exports

Scope:

Creation of an online tool to:

  • centralize timesheets and planning of consultants
  • enable forecasting of resources
  • create a database of customer and non-customer related projects
  • enable financial forecasting
  • serve as a reliable database for invoicing customers
  • serve as a reliable database for financial analysis and reporting
     

Solution

The planning tool consists of several applications that were developed with SAPUI5 and in line with the Fiori design guidelines. These guidelines set the standard, ensure a consistent user experience, and remove unnecessary complexity. A Fiori launchpad, to which the apps were added, was created to provide a centralized entry point for end-users. The data that is used in the planning tool, is stored in an SAP HANA Database Schema. Communication between the UI and this schema is handled by a Java application. This app also authenticates the users and authorizes them to access resources depending on their role.

We opted to create a planning tool that is both used by and accessible for consultants, team leads, admin and finance managers. Consultants have a limited view of their own calendar/timesheet, so other sensitive financial data are protected. Consultants can enter their timesheets by choosing from a personalized projects list, which makes the process easy and straightforward. These timesheets form a reliable basis for monthly billability reports. These reports/data can be used to invoice customers in a timely and correct manner. It also gives an estimate of the future revenue generated by customer projects.

Technologies used: SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Fiori, SAPUI5, SAP HANA, Java
 

Benefits

  • Combination of data registration, analysis and reporting in one single tool
  • Timesheet registration is a shared responsibility, each employee can contribute
  • Clear reporting and financial forecasting: provides insight in current and future income
  • Gaps or irregularities are noticed much more quickly
  • Overview of timesheets per month/ per project/ per consultant/ per customer

Planning Tool Amista

Thanks to the planning tool we can work proactively and schedule team members months upfront. This helps us to plan our resources as optimally as possible across different customer projects.

After scheduling, the performances must also be confirmed, so that we can see whether our planning corresponds internally (e.g. registration of sick days/holidays) but also externally with the customer (by checking supplied timesheets with our internal planning tool), an overrun in a fixed price project is therefore taken care of in time.

After a performance has been confirmed, an additional check can be carried out when the invoice is created. The original purchase order will be compared to the performances stated in the planning tool, both at the level of the resource, as well as the rate, PO number, … Based on the forecasting module, the budget for the direct costs, as well as the indirect costs, can be managed.

The planning tool gives us a current view of revenues as well as future revenues, helping us set the direction for the business in the short and longer-term. It also becomes clear whether we need additional resources at a specific moment and under what wage conditions, so that projects remain profitable.
 

Result

  • Internal operations process improved drastically: faster approvals, faster invoice checks,…
  • Speed and efficiency of timesheet registration and checks by team leads increased
  • High-user adoption of tool by all employees
  • Increased transparent communication
  • More accurate view on financial reporting and KPIs
  • Better budget decisions can be made based on reports and data

Looking for a user-friendly solution on top of your standard SAP systems? Reduce the complexity of your landscape and introduce a Fiori Launchpad into your workplace!

Contact us for more info and a live demo. 

 

Planning tool 2 Amista
Planning tool export