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Case Studies » Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects Implementation and Training Thailand and Asia Pacific Region

A leading software development company, Inetasia, based throughout the SE Asia region in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore, needed a system to manage various types of projects across the SE Asia region which provided a collaboration platform for teams, management and clients.

The Problem

As the business grew and as projects got larger and more complex, manual project management and tracking systems became less able to manage the projects on a real time basis and also made it difficult if not impossible for people to collaborate in real time, schedule tasks, track work time, communicate and discuss project matters, upload documents and so on.

Also, Project Managers needed a way to accurately track how long the projects were really taking, so that this could be cross referenced for sales strategies and changes to scope; something which was also very difficult to do when using manual project tracking methods.

Finally, scope creep or scope 'loss' was also an issue, as communications were typically done via email and phone, which meant that scope detail was lost in communications between the client, the PM and the team.

The Solution

CRM Asia Solutions, Zoho consultants in Thailand and SE Asia, implemented Zoho Projects, the online project management tool from Zoho.

This allowed the team managers to create project templates, no longer having to create detailed schedules from scratch; Zoho Projects templates allow you not only create the milestones and tasks and thus schedules for various types of projects, but also the forum categories for discussing project topics online, documents categories and even preloaded documents for the projects, eg. user guides, kick off materials and so on. And also customisation of the Bug Tracker module to match that specific project type, including field names and workflow. This saved the Project Manager a lot of time and now, with a few clicks, they are able to create a project for a new client.

Also, as the team are already heavy users of Zoho CRM, they made use of the Zoho CRM - Zoho Projects integration functions, which allowed them to either link up an existing project to an opportunity in their CRM, or to create a new project from a closed won sale within the CRM. All of which gives sales and PMs alike, a 360 degree view of the sales lifecycle and resulting project.

The teams are now able to communicate across territories in real time via the real time commenting functions on the Tasks within the project. This boosts communications within the team and between team members and the Project Manager. And, by using the free mobile edition of Zoho Projects, they can do this from their mobile devices.

In addition, as the Project Manager needed to be able to track work times, the teams made use of the timer tool, which allows task owners to time the tasks they work on, either in real time, or at the end of the day or end of the week.

Finally, but importantly, as our Zoho consultants are from process and project management backgrounds themselves, CRM Asia Solutions delievered a detailed and structured Zoho Projects training syllabus to the Project Managers and to the Team Members that not only covered the functions of the online project management tool, but also the 'why?', concepts of project management and basic project management methodologies. This enabled the attendees to understand the 'big picture' and to see the benefits of using a web based project management solution such as Zoho Projects.

The Results

Project Managers are now able to create project milestones, tasks and schedules very quickly and task owners can track the exact times spent on the project tasks. Project Managers can get timesheet reports via neat reporting to excel functionality. This has provided the means for them to learn exactly how long tasks take, and thus gain more knowledge of how much effort is required for the various types of projects they carry out.

In addition, the teams now discuss tasks online in one portal, one location, meaning conversation threads are centralised and easy to refer to and as a result scope loss has been reduced. Change requests are logged and discussed in the project forums, again reducing the issues related to loss of information.  Project deliverables such as prototype designs and so on is now uploaded to the project documents module and discussed online in the forums.   

In summary, whist it is important to understand that a project management solution is only as good as the people who are using it, Zoho Projects has enabled the Inetasia team to communicate and collaborate, to track and gain knowledge on their project management and project delivery strategies and to become more efficient in their delivery of the project to their customers.

For more information please contact CRM Asia Solutions here for details of Zoho Projects implementation services for your business

The Solution

Integrated Tools from the Zoho Suite of Small Business Software!

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Improved Sales Management with Zoho CRM

The initial step was to implement Zoho CRM so that ATAL UK had a platform to manage their leads, accounts, contacts and sales.  

Various fields were customised to match the ATAL UK business model, for example the lead source field, which allows the team to show the various sources they use and training was given to show how to import data that had been selected from their Barbour construction lead account into Zoho CRM. And job titles, which tend to be fairly consistent in the construction industry, were put into a drop down field and the free text field was replaced. The sales stages too, were very specific to the construction industry to all of these were changed and the % certainty mapped to how ATAL UK requested.

Web to Lead code is now used to capture leads to the CRM directly from the ATAL UK website and there are future plans to integrate their Zopim live chat module to the CRM too, so that any website chats that come in can be dropped into the CRM as leads; or recommend the new Zoho Sales IQ. 

The name of a future sale in ATAL’s language is ‘Project’, so we changed the module name for them and staff are now logging all potential projects in the CRM along with the correct stage and various other data fields that are needed for the business.  In addition they are now logging all of the related contacts in the project along with custom contact roles that they play in the project life cycle. Finally, Dave Rees, the Director of ATAL UK and his sales team, are now using this on their mobile devices and are able to log project notes / call notes and check status of potential projects via their mobile phones using the mobile Zoho CRM app.

Back at HQ Ian and Dom use the Attachment feature to upload files such as technical drawings and other design documents plus contracts and so on, to the relevant project, so that everything is at hand as and when it is needed. There are plans to develop the Documents module or implement Zoho Docs to centralise all of the company documentation to one web location.

Migration from MailChimp to Zoho Campaigns

Zoho CRM has also been integrated to Zoho Campaigns so now all of the Leads and Contacts synchronise on a daily basis to Zoho Campaigns and can be targeted accordingly.  Their old MailChimp newsletter list has also been migrated and newsletters are now sent via Zoho Campaigns and stats such as reads, clicks, bounces, location etc can be gathered from there and is synchronised back to the CRM automatically as campaigns each time an email is sent out.

By migrating to Zoho Campaigns to provide them with a single platform for all of their CRM and email marketing needs, Atal UK are now able to create targeted views (lists) in Zoho CRM, synch them automatically to Zoho Campaigns, carry out email blasts to these lists and then view the stats in Zoho Campaigns or even in Zoho CRM itself via the 'Campaign', which gets created automatically in the CRM every time you run an email campaign!

The long term benefits of this of course are that if you get any new leads as a result of your email campaigns, they can be pushed to the CRM automatically via a web to lead form then converted to sales, then you have the return on investment (ROI) information of the resulting sale, logged against that specific campaign, right at your fingertips.  This is simply not possible if you use a separate CRM and email marketing solution.

Online Project Management with Zoho Projects

Last but by no means least, a ‘Project Portal’ has been created for ATAL UK using Zoho Projects and this is being used for internal projects during the initial learning phase, allowing the team to create milestones and tasks to track business development related work amongst the team.  This will be expanded once the guys get used to the app, to include client construction projects as well and then will include the foreman, client users, Account Managers, and so on, giving an effective project management tool for the company.

More plans are afoot to develop the Zoho platforms in line with the growth of the company. 

With our flexible Zoho support packages we are able to offer ATAL UK the support they need, when they need it, at a budget that is appropriate. 

We wish ATAL UK all the best in the future.

Click here to see an infographic about 'integrated office solutions for the construction industry'.

Contact Us

We have extensive experience implementing CRM solutions in the construction industry. If you would like a free consultation on how a CRM and other cloud business software can be of benefit to your business, please get in touch with us on info at mangoho dot com or via our web form, here