Custom Software and IT Services

Apps with love tracks 10,000 more hours in the first 6 months of using Float

Apps with love
Team contributors
Head of Operations and Quality Management
Content Marketer

Apps with love is a full-service software agency based in Switzerland. They handle everything from initial user research to UX design and software development.

In 2010, Stephan Klaus, Till Könneker, Olivier Oswald, and Beni Hirt started the agency to develop beautiful, user-friendly apps that simplify everyday life.

After almost 14 years, Apps with love has implemented over 300 projects and has 50 people working in their offices in Bern and Basel. They have won over 30 awards and were recognized by the Best of Swiss App Association as Switzerland's most successful app agency.

With an average of 80 projects ongoing monthly, they rely on Float to help them track time accurately, manage budgets, and allocate team members to projects.

Apps with love team members
Some of the Apps with love team members

The team struggled to manage projects in a monster spreadsheet

Martin Mattli, the Head of Operations and Quality Management, is responsible for managing the 50 people who work on digital products for the agency, plus their partner network of about 35 people.

For about eight years, he relied on a mega spreadsheet to manage projects and schedule his team. Even though the spreadsheet had a lot of functionalities and macros, it was hard to use because it involved hours of manual input to maintain.

It was a lot of work as we needed to manually add in absences, vacations, and public holidays for each employee, and it was just so exhausting.

Each team member tracked time in separate timesheets, further complicating things.

And on top of that, Martin also struggled to balance long-term planning with short-term planning as he lacked the ability to track team capacity, plan tentatively, or easily allocate team members to projects.

They decided to switch to dedicated resource management software

At the end of 2021, Martin and his team had had enough, and they decided to find a new tool to manage their people and improve operational efficiency.

They tried out several resource management tools, including Float (that’s us 👋🏾). Our product stood out because of its simple user experience and focus on resource management.

There are tools that try to bring everything together, from allocation to issue tracking to time tracking, to budget control, with hundreds of integrations. And it was too complex for us to move from a spreadsheet with no functionalities to a tool that provides everything. Float focuses on the features we were looking for, like time tracking, budget control, and resource allocation.

Click the purple circle in this interactive demo to allocate an engineer to a project in Float. Switch to full screen by clicking the two arrows ↙️↗️ on the top right of the demo.

Martin also noticed that “the design in Float was exactly the same within the tool page as on the landing page.” Unlike other tools, his expectations were met and surpassed.

Other tools have such a nice corporate landing page, with all features promising that you can improve your life, but then you log in, and it just looks like a better Excel spreadsheet. This didn’t happen with Float.

After deciding to adopt Float, Martin and his team spent time moving data from the titan spreadsheet to the tool. His not-so-secret hope? Not just to switch from the old spreadsheet but also to improve processes in the company in general.

Martin Mattli looking at team's schedule in Float
Martin Mattli, the Head of Operations and Quality Management, uses Float to manage over 85 team members.

Apps with love improved time tracking, enhanced resource allocation, and has a firmer grip on budget control

Two years later, the results are in! After switching to Float, Apps with love has been able to accurately track time spent on projects, understand team capacity, and monitor project and SLA budgets.

The team tracked 10,000 more hours in the first 6 months of using Float

6 months after migrating to Float, Martin compared the number of hours logged before the migration from the spreadsheet and those logged in Float and noticed a whopping 33% increase!

The extra hours weren’t due to an increase in workload, though. This was roughly 10,000 hours that the team hadn’t previously been able to track because of manual entry and human error that usually come with dozens of people using separate Excel sheets for time tracking.

Accurate timesheets enabled the agency to bill clients more accurately for their work. With improved time tracking, Martin could see what the employees were spending time on and understand the company’s true capacity.

Pre-filled spreadsheets and in-app timer in Float
Float’s in-app timer and pre-filled timesheets let your team easily log time as they work.

They can see the company’s capacity and create accurate project plans

With accurate time logs and a central schedule, Martin and his team better understand the company’s availability and capacity.

They now book people’s time on projects in Float while assigning tasks in different issue tracker tools like Jira. For example, using Float, they can easily allocate three months to a UX designer with the capacity to work on a client project while they do the detailed planning of tasks and estimation in Jira.

It’s much easier to spot a bottleneck and take measures to stop it. When the sales team informs them of a potential client in the pipeline, they can estimate if they have the capacity to take on the project or negotiate a different timeline.  

I’m able to make better statements about the availability of the whole company. I have a better traceability and a better overview of all projects. Being able to bring together information in one tool means the whole company and I are more efficient.

They can easily find people with the right skills using tags in Float

The Apps with love team is made up of software engineers, software testers, user researchers, project managers, UX writers, and designers.

Prior to switching to Float, they couldn’t track team-specific skills because the spreadsheet had limited search functionality and no option to add people tags.

Before, it was like everyone from the web development team was just a web developer. We couldn’t differentiate between the role of a back-end and a front-end developer.

This meant they couldn’t easily find someone with specialized skills to work on projects without wasting time searching, and they wouldn’t be able to detect when there was a shortage in a certain role.

Using tags and roles in Float, they can now split between different roles like full stack developer, front-end developer, and back-end developer, making it easier to find the right person with the right skills for the job.

People tags in Float
You can set tags based on skills, location, or job title to find team members quickly.

They have firmer control of their projects and SLA budgets

Projects at Apps with love often have a fixed budget and scope. The project managers set the costs and hourly rates for different project phases in Float.

A firmer grip on project costs also improved their relationship with customers. Many contracts require Apps with love to inform clients when they reach 80% of the agreed budget. With the full visibility of the budget, they can reach out to customers beforehand to inform them, avoiding unpleasant surprises.

We now have phases, so we can set the project and SLA budget from the contract on a phase. We are able to inform the clients earlier if we reach e.g. 80% of the budget. Before, it was difficult to inform them at the right time because we didn't know exactly how many hours we spent on projects.
View of project budgets in the Report dashboard in Float.
You can track your project budgets in the Report dashboard in Float.

An unexpected benefit: Building a data warehouse with information from Float

Apps with love recently started collecting data from all the tools they use at the agency to help improve their efficiency and plan future projects better.

By connecting Float’s API to the Apps with love data warehouse, they have collected a treasure chest of data that helps them make better forecasts, track KPIs, and do a lot of vertical calculations on revenue, productivity, and FTE management.

Everyone is more motivated to work with Float than when we worked with the spreadsheet.

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