PPS Project Plan Services is a prominent UK consulting firm, specializing in implementing and supporting enterprise planning and project solutions based on Microsoft Project, Office 365 SharePoint, and most recently Smartsheet.
Since our last post about PPS, they’ve been working with a vast range of clients from different industries, helping them to get the full benefit of Smartsheet by providing best practice examples and templates for regular projects and custom reports. Below, Richard Rymill, Solutions Manager at PPS gives us an update on how it’s going.
How has 2013 started for UK businesses in light of gloomy forecasts?
If we look at the clients we are engaged with, there doesn’t seem to be any recession at all. PPS clients tend to be fast growth companies looking for ways to further improve or companies that recognize the benefits of good planning and collaboration for dramatic improvements to efficiency and cost … but without the big costs normally associated with project systems.
The early New Year has seen a healthy demand for Smartsheet from businesses eagerly seeking an intuitive and affordable, collaborative planning solution to manage their increasing order books.
What do PPS clients think of Smartsheet?
We are delighted with the level of client enthusiasm for using Smartsheet. They report on its ease of use, which allows them to focus on improving their methodology and leveraging all the benefits rather than the need for actual product training. With time and resources saved, training can be focused on professional and team development.
So how is PPS helping Smartsheet users?
By popular demand last November, we started a Smartsheet remote support facility which is prepaid in a block of hours then called off as needed. That has helped us to support, for example, a client in Switzerland who is exploring best practice across approximately 40 client projects that they manage. We helped them to develop a master project template and a range of essential reports so they have their finger on the pulse all the time.
I recently spent the afternoon with Becky Black and Tara Stevens of the Yorkshire Mafia, one of the most successful LinkedIn groups in the UK. They’re currently organising the “Buy Yorkshire” event which takes place at the Royal Armouries Leeds this coming April. We reviewed their existing use of Smartsheet, to help them plan their events more easily and interact with their increasing audience in the most effective way.
Here's what Becky had to say about it:
"As incredibly busy event organisers, we need clear visibility on tasks, who’s doing what and when – and Smartsheet is perfect for that. Richard came to our offices with a great plan for showing us some of the basics of Smartsheet, some great short cuts to make our lives easier and talk us through specific issues that we needed help with. Thanks to that we can now use Smartsheet in a much more efficient way which is benefitting our organisation immensely."
What is the main attraction to Smartsheet?
The fact that it has a familiar spreadsheet interface makes users feel comfortable. Then they start collaborating and Smartsheet takes them as far as their imagination allows. Plus, the pricing structure is no barrier to total scalability.
What other services do you offer your clients?
PPS consultants help bring extra value to a Smartsheet deployment by helping organizations get the most out of their planning – configuring templates and reports against existing business processes and providing either face-to-face or online familiarisation. We help clients explore the benefits of having everyone on the same page.
Our experienced team also provides API integration with existing solutions, to import or export data to save time and effort by keeping information synchronised with one version of the truth and avoiding duplication.
With some major enterprise clients already on the books and some sizeable opportunities in the pipeline, we’re delighted to be able to help Smartsheet users in the UK and Europe to spread the good word.