Managing information when you are a project services company

Last week, we completed the third phase of our IT systems migration. With each phase, we’re gaining insights into how information can be best managed inside a company selling and delivering project-based services.

There are a number of basic IT systems needed to run a project-based business, such as ourselves:

  • Prospect database. This is essentially for sending out mailshots and any freebies offered on a website.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is for following up new enquiries, past customers and carrying out other sales-related activities. This involves keeping a record of past conversations and next steps.
  • Project management. This involves keeping a record of conversations, repositories for files and contracts, time spent on a project, and other project-related activities.
  • Accounting. This involves invoicing and payments.

In numerous companies where I’ve worked there’s been a problem in finding the ideal solution. A single system that does everything may force you to work in a particular way of working, and these systems can be expensive for smaller organisations. Having separate systems can lead to information not being shared across the systems. For example, many of the project teams I’ve worked with have found CRM systems, such as Salesforce.com, too complex. They simply don’t use them often enough.

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Cherryleaf “green screen” videos

We’ve been putting together some short length videos that we can use on the Cherryleaf website. These are “quick and dirty”, three to four minute videos, shot behind in front of a green screen.

One explains why technical communication is changing:

Another looks at recruiting a Technical Author:

Each video takes a couple of hours to create, and we hope to add more over time.

We’re changing IT systems this week, and emails might be delayed in getting to us

We’re changing some of our IT systems this week, including our email system. This involves some changes to DNS and TXT records that may take a while to propagate around the Internet.

If you send us an email and it seems like we’re taking an unusually long time to reply, please feel free to call us on 0207 100 4513. If we detect any serious problems that might take days to fix, we have a backup alternative gmail account we can ask you to use temporarily instead.

The Cherryleaf world tour of England – fancy meeting up?

This Autumn, we’ll be in a number of cities around England, meeting up with people involved with content strategy and technical communication.

This is a great opportunity to tell us what you’re involved with at the moment, pick our brains, or discover more about our services.

You never know – if you have a content-related issue, we may be able to help.

Here is the current itinerary:

  • Week commencing 16th September – London
  • Week commencing 23rd September – Bristol
  • Week commencing 30th October – Brighton
  • Week commencing 7th October – London
  • Week commencing 14th October – Oxford
  • Week commencing 21st October – Cambridge
  • Week commencing 28th October – London
  • Week commencing 11th November – Reading
  • Week commencing 18th November – Birmingham
  • Week commencing 2nd December – Manchester

We’ll also be in Wiesbaden, Germany on 7th and 8th November.

If you’d like to meet up with us, simply contact us and we’ll get back to you.

If those dates don’t suit, but you’d still like to meet us, drop us a line. Together, we should be able to find a suitable date.

Cherryleaf joins Wired Sussex

Wired Sussex logoCherryleaf has joined Wired Sussex, a Brighton-based membership organisation for companies operating in the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex, UK.

Wired Sussex works to help members to create, innovate and grow.

Campus LondonCherryleaf is also a member (but not a resident) of Campus London, a co-working space in the heart of East London’s Tech City that’s supported and powered by Google.

We’re happy to talk to start-ups about supporting users on a shoestring, as well as new and emerging ways to support users. Contact us if you’d like to talk.

Our March newsletter contains news and stories for you on creating clear and simple information your users will love

Today, we’ll be sending out the Cherryleaf newsletter for March 2013, containing news and stories on creating clear and simple information your users will love.

You can join the thousands who receive our free newsletter – subscribe here. You’ll be sent a copy of the latest edition straightaway.

Your details won’t be shared with anyone, and you can un-subscribe at any time.

Our interview in AccountingWeb – “Don’t be a boring accountant: Lessons from a technical author”

AccountingWeb logoCherryleaf’s Ellis Pratt was interviewed recently for an article for AccountingWeb called Don’t be a boring accountant: Lessons from a technical author. The article has been published today.

It explores what accountants can learn from Technical Authors in how to avoid being seen as boring, whilst still maintaining their credibility.

The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB members only. It’s free to register.