August 26, 2016
Web3Box started out with just one client for whom we were carrying out web development services. From that one client we made a reputation for ourselves and soon enough clients were coming in based on others’ recommendation.
As the client database grew, so did the number of employees we had and, in time, our business had offices in the USA as well as Europe.
At this point we were using the internet to share documents between the members of our team and keep track of our work. We did have the Web3Box Framework in place, but it was at an incipient phase, thus not ready for production.
Due to the fact that our team was spread through two continents and in order to maintain some form of organization among our projects and task we decided upon using a project management program. The one we ended up using was Feng Office. It made keeping track of our business a lot less work and it really helped with knowing the state our current projects were in.
We were using three different programs in order to manage our business. We had Excel spreadsheets to manage our customers, the project management program and the Accounting application.
While Feng Office seemed like the best option for us at the time, and we did not encounter any problems with it, we quickly arrived at the conclusion that it simply was not what we needed nor what we wanted out of a project management program. In of itself, Feng Office was great. It helped us keep track of our projects and tasks, but it would only do that. With Feng Office we could only track the projects that we had, it could not assist us in the invoicing department or bringing in and managing new clients. So we tried to synchronize it with the other programs that we were using and it would just not add up.
We had reached a point where we could no longer aggregate data and make proper business decisions based on the system we were using.
After realising that we would not get the outcome we wanted from the system we were using, we set out to create W3B CRM, our own solution.
Having developed the Web3Box Framework into a rock-solid structure for building cloud based applications, we felt confident that we could build the software we needed, and very fast. Since we knew what was missing from the other systems we had used, we knew exactly what we wanted to build. Suffice to say that a lot of work went into making W3B CRM a working solution, but we did end up with a system that’s easy to use, scalable and customizable.
We started off by creating the CRM/Sales module, be it at an incipient stage. The next step was to build the Project Management and we ended up merging these two products. Shortly after, we developed the Online Invoicing tool, that was linked to both the CRM/Sales and PM systems, because we needed to generate invoices for both the customers as well as the subcontractors.
Implementing our system was pretty straightforward. We initially trained one person within our company as an admin, and gave him full administrative capabilities. After that we trained everyone else, following the company’s hierarchical structure. We were our own support team, thus implementing the system did not take long. In general, after a training session, we got the hang of how things work and everything was a breeze.
After three years of work, more than 20,000 commits, 80k lines of code and a total of 30 contributors, we finally made W3B a real product.
As a result of implementing our own system into our company we’ve managed to double the number of leads that turn into actual customers, from 10% to 20%. We’ve expanded our team and, because we are able to provide better services and reduce the time estimate error rate from 12% to 5%, we’ve also increased our hourly rates, from an average of $75 to $120. This, in turn has increased our financial turnaround fivefold.
The best part of our system consists of the fact that we get absolutely everything we need in order to effectively run our company, in one single program, without the need for third party apps. We always know exactly what business opportunities we have, what is the current status of our leads, and how our current projects are developing.
All it takes is one glance at our dashboard and everything we need is right there. We estimate that roughly 80% of our project managing, including data analysis via reports and graphs, is done straight from the dashboard.
One other thing to bear in mind is the fact that, by having what is basically a 3-in-1 solution, we did not need to spend three times as much time or money in order to acquire and maintain 3 separate softwares. More so, we take pride in maintaining the system for our customers ourselves, with regular updates, that don’t require the customer to do anything but take note of what we added or updated.
All in all, our solution is one that really goes full circle and that allows us a better interpretation of this ever-changing market and, as a consequence, we are able to better make business decisions and figure out strategies to expand.