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Farner-Bocken Company

Industry: Distribution
Team Function: IT
Number of EP Users: 10

Established since 1939, the Farner-Bocken Company is a family owned and operated distributor of convenience and broadline food service products, serving Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

With over 14,000 items in their product line, Farner-Bocken supplies goods in the categories of cigarettes, candy, snacks, tobacco, groceries, automotive, beverages, health and beauty, paper, ice cream, chemicals, supplies, and convenience foods.

The software development team in the Information Services department wanted to transition to web-based project management with support for customizations.

Organization Profile

Established since 1939, the Farner-Bocken Company is a family owned and operated distributor of convenience and broadline food service products, serving Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

With over 14,000 items in their product line, Farner-Bocken supplies goods in the categories of cigarettes, candy, snacks, tobacco, groceries, automotive, beverages, health and beauty, paper, ice cream, chemicals, supplies, and convenience foods.

Challenge

The software development team in the Information Services department wanted to transition to web-based project management with support for customizations.

“Up until now, we were using a Lotus Notes based application for our project management.” says Jay Westercamp, PMP. “Our project data was stored in different databases, which made searching through project tasks very painful and time consuming.”

“We also lacked features such as custom roles and a good security model. Not to mention, the software required administrative maintenance consuming additional time.”

Solution

Ease of access, relational database support and the ability to customize the application were some of the important factors when Jay set out on his search.

“We immediately liked Easy Projects for a number of reasons.” says Jay. “First, the ease of access through the web-based interface for both internal and remote users. Second, the relational database behind the scenes to house all of our project activity data.”

Easy Projects also allowed Jay and his team to create custom user roles and fields, as well as establish role-based access permissions.

Implementation

With deployment, it became immediately clear that Easy Projects was not only easy to use, but also easy to learn and easy to administer.

“Our first impressions were great!” says Jay. “The friendly user interface allows you to easily search all of your project data and by using shortcuts, activities can be entered and assigned with virtually no effort.”

With affordable licensing options, Jay and his team were able to install Easy Projects in-house, adding an extra layer of security to their project management activities.

Outcome

Easy Projects was deployed between 10 users and is now being used to manage nearly 100 active projects. It has allowed Jay and his team to track everything from simple tasks to complex projects with multiple dependencies.

The web-based interface and custom user roles, allowed the system to easily adapt and integrate into the corporate environment.

With support for time logs and status reporting, project activities and costs can now be visually tracked by anyone from software developers, to business analysts, to the IT Director. “The whole system allows for fluid data entry.” adds Jay. “The data can be filtered so you can find exactly what we are looking for, and details on tasks and projects are communicated electronically thus eliminating paperwork.”

Easy Projects saves money by reducing the amount of time spent of physical meetings required to share project information. All relevant data is now stored and shared through Easy Projects.

“Our old project management software was rated a 2. Today, I would give Easy Projects an 8.5 out of 10.” says Jay.

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Industry: Distribution
Team Function: IT
Number of EP Users: 10