This success story is based on a recent interview we had with CTSI-Global and also draws on footage from Atlassian Summit 2019.
CTSI-Global is the largest privately owned freight audit technology provider in the world, with headquarters in Memphis in the United States. The company has 300 employees, with about 270 currently logging their time in Tempo Timesheets.
Interview with CTSI-Global from Atlassian Summit 2019
CHALLENGES: Inaccuracy of time tracking spreadsheets
Before finding Tempo Timesheets, employees at CTSI-Global relied on spreadsheets to track their time. One person had to compile all the spreadsheets to get everybody’s time in one place, and there was no central location for storage. Using the spreadsheets, it was difficult to associate the time worked with specific tasks, which made it a challenge to bill customers.
The billable time for custom development was not being tracked accurately, and customers were not billed for overages, which resulted in loss of revenue. Given that 15 to 20% of CTSI-Global’s onboarding projects go over the allotted hours, the amount lost was considerable.
SOLUTION: Using Tempo Timesheets to calculate billable hours
“Tempo was really the reason we adopted Jira and Confluence company-wide,” said Todd Winton, the Development Manager at CTSI-Global, who manages the company’s collaboration platforms, which include Jira and Confluence.
In fact, Tempo Timesheets was perfect for their needs, which center on billing. Typically, CTSI-Global offers each customer a certain number of hours as a part of an onboarding contract. The customer is billed for every hour over that amount.
CTSI-Global uses Tempo Accounts to gather their customers’ worklog data for billing. Each has a customer name and customer number, and what appears in Tempo matches what’s in their customer registry in a direct one-to-one relationship.
“The Account management in Tempo is a key feature, as well as the ability to export via API,” Winton said.
Leveraging Structure to forecast the time it takes to onboard customers
CTSI-Global also uses another Jira add-on called Structure, which was purchased a few months after Tempo Timesheets with the plan to use the apps together. Structure helps its customers visualize, track and manage progress across Jira projects and teams. It does this with adaptable, user-defined, issue hierarchies presented in a familiar spreadsheet-like view of Jira issues.
For CTSI-Global, Structure provides a set of repeatable tasks that the company performs for all customers for onboarding. They look at previous customers to see how long it will take for each task, and then they can record that within the template structure. With this method, and with data from Tempo Timesheets, the company has an idea of how long it's going to take to onboard a customer.
Leveraging PocketQuery to determine when customers go over budget
CTSI-Global also uses a plugin called PocketQuery, which makes it possible to query a database and display the results within Confluence. Using the API, they export all of the time data from Tempo into a database.
Each customer has a tree of pages and on their front page, it’s possible to see how many hours they've been allotted. PocketQuery pulls in the total number of hours that have been worked, and it gives a difference on that page. Customers are given access to the page, so they can see the data as well.
Benefits of using Tempo Timesheets
New revenue streams
Thanks to Tempo, CTSI-Global opened completely new revenue streams for overages and implementation time. They saw a 900% increase in custom development hours in the first 6 months of implementing Tempo.
“Initially, there was an increase in revenue based on custom development and any overages and hours provided for implementation, and that's remained pretty consistent since we've implemented Tempo,” Winton said. “It’s a whole lot of revenue that we didn’t realize before.”
“We actually bill for custom development now, whereas previously, people weren’t sure if we did or not,” he continued. “We have the ability to investigate that at a very granular level to see if we are applying the correct amount of time and getting paid for that time.”
Improved customer onboarding
Being able to see the time worked using Structure and Tempo has certainly helped CTSI-Global with forecasting. They’ve been able to reduce onboarding time over the past four years by 30%.
"The biggest benefit of using Tempo Timesheets with Structure is being able to plan resource availability and the number of onboarding projects we can handle at once," Winton said.
"It is as powerful as the amount of information you put into it," he advised.
Now, since the company has adopted Tempo Timesheets, there are no more decentralized spreadsheets that are disassociated from tasks.
“Tempo has made everyone in the company more aware of what we’re billing time for,” Winton said. “So everyone has a stake in making sure our customers are billed appropriately.”