Using Productive, Globaldatanet Gets Data That They Never Had Before

“With Productive, we see a lot of numbers that we didn’t see before. Now we know too much!”

— Marc Schröter,
CEO at Globaldatanet

Cloud-native development and optimization agency

22 employees

Hamburg, Germany

Globaldatanet is a cloud-native development and optimization agency with headquarters in Hamburg and offices in Berlin and Belgrade. Recently we had a chat with their CEO, Marc Schröter, to hear how Globaldatanet now successfully manages their three branches in Productive—from sales to invoicing.

Tell us a bit about your clients, the type of work you do, and how big you are as an agency.

I’m the CEO and founder of Globaldatanet. We started out with one person (me) four years ago, and today we’re 22 people across three branches. We focus on helping our partners build innovative solutions on Amazon Web Services.

When did you start using Productive?

In December 2020 we signed up for a trial, and we committed already then.

What did your operations look like before? Were you using other tools?

We tried a lot of tools, but we couldn’t find the perfect one for our needs. In the end, the tool we were using before Productive was just for invoicing and creating projects, but since we have a lot of multi-base invoicing—it was very challenging.

We used to have a lot of discussions with accounting to figure out what we needed to invoice. Our team was growing at the time, so we had a lot of different work going on. We struggled a lot to stay on top of everything.

We used to have a lot of discussions with accounting to figure out what we needed to invoice. We struggled a lot to stay on top of everything.”

So you couldn’t get real data on where your team’s time was going? 

No, especially while working on bigger projects where we had multiple roles and budgets within a project.

What were other pain points you wanted to solve with Productive?

We didn’t have resource management before. We couldn’t schedule our teammates on different projects. As our team got bigger, we needed the possibility to see the resource scheduling and utilization rates of our team members. We couldn’t manage multiple branches or have an overview of time off management. 

Can you say that managing your entire agency in Productive has streamlined your processes and made them faster?

Yes, now processes are definitely faster since we manage everything in one place. We use Productive to create proposals, manage projects, and then create invoices once they’re delivered. You also helped us create our custom invoice template, which was really cool. 

With Productive, we see a lot of numbers that we didn’t see before. Now we’re tracking time on internal projects, which we never used to do. Now we know too much! 

Since we’re developing our own product internally, we can see how much money we’re spending on it, along with internal meetings. We also hired a project manager and she’s really happy with the project forecasting. She can track available budgets, even on a task level. The teammates are able to see the number of hours that are left on certain tasks.

It’s great to be able to see until what point some projects will be profitable and when they won’t be anymore.

Does it give your teammates more responsibility or make them feel more accountable for their work?

Before, they were completely blind as to whether we were on track. They always needed to ask how many hours were left per project, but now they can see that in the tool. So yes, Productive gives them more accountability and responsibility. It’s great to be able to see until what point some projects will be profitable and when they won’t be anymore. 

Is there anything that you gained from Productive that wasn’t immediately visible? Were you surprised by something unexpected that you got?

Yes, there were a lot of pleasant surprises. Initially, we switched tools because we wanted to invoice in an easier way. There’s a lot of different ways to invoice, like fixed-price, hourly, payments in advance, multiple services, multiple roles, etc. This was the biggest problem we were experiencing before.

We never really had the need for more transparency because we didn’t have it, so we thought everything was fine. That was a really surprising moment, to get accurate numbers. Now we have clear data, data that we could never see before. 

Another thing we didn’t expect was that you’re really interested in your customers’ suggestions. Sometimes you push out new releases in a few days and that really shows us that you listen to our needs.

Any growth results you can share?

I think the greatest result we can actually measure is the fact that our teammates are really happy to use the tool. We work with young, really innovative people, and they need to have the best tools. 

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