Proteus was designed with the future in mind; a future that allows companies to reduce costs considerably, a future with a flexible workforce, a future where data is saved and used at the click of a button, a future where skills can be transferred easily between industries and a future where a company is digitally transformed internally before selling externally. This may sound lofty but the fact is, this future is already here.
Promising cost reduction and digital transformation is easy enough, but the value proposition for Proteus needs to be tangible. Too many systems promise the world and deliver nothing other than an expensive overhead. The numbers here are real however based on a number of assumptions. We see clear value in the following areas
- Business Efficiency: Proposal Development Benefits, Project Management Benefits, Invoice Benefits
- Personnel Utilisation
- Engineering Software Gateway
What measurable value can be generated by Proteus?
Every software platform is going to make it very clear what benefits their tool offers. They will promise you the world but potentially never deliver it. Understanding the value of what you will get from a piece of software is a fundamental part of the buying process. It’s also one that is so hard to calculate. But whether you are at the coal face as the person expected to use it, or you are the manager expected to sign it off, or the IT team expected to oversee it, you will need to justify your choice.
For Proteus with some reasonable assumptions in place, we have made calculations resulting in benefits that have tangible value.
Business Efficiency: Proposal Development Benefits
How long does it take to produce a fully approved proposal document that can be issued to a client? Clearly this is dependent on the size and complexity of the project, however there is another factor that plays a part in the timing – how organized is the data that is required for the bid?
The following numbers need to be scaled up, or down depending on a company’s own circumstances. The assumption here is that a company is developing a proposal for a fairly complex project, with a value of around $1M. The proposal requires an accurate fixed price, a methodology statement, details of the team who will execute the project, a project execution plan. The company normally does the proposal in Microsoft Word, pulling in data from Microsoft Excel.
Typically this kind of proposal takes about 60 hours of development time costing a company around $6,000 per proposal.
In Proteus this time can be reduced to 10-15 hours, costing $1,000 to $1,500.
|Without Proteus||With Proteus||Saving|
|Time to develop proposal||60||15||45|
|Average hourly cost||$100.00||$100.00|
|Cost to develop a proposal||$6,000||$1,500||$4,500|
|Proposals per week||3||3||$13,500|
|Proposals per annum||156||156||$702,000|
|Potential Annual Saving||$702,000|
Of course the value is even greater than this as this allows the person developing the proposal to add value to another project, or one salary can replace four salaries.
Business Efficiency: Project Management Benefits
The majority of the project management tools are aimed at ensuring all components; time, equipment, software, training courses, etc are tracked accurately and the correct margins are achieved. Producing reports (timesheet, utilisation, project) is simplified reducing project management time that is required.
Typically around 12 hours a week are spent in project management administration across project managers, cost controllers and project controllers.
In Proteus this time can be reduced in half making significant annual savings for a company.
|Without Proteus||With Proteus||Saving|
|PM time per week per project||12||6|
|Average hourly cost||$60.00||$60.00|
|Weekly cost of project management||$720||$360||$360|
|Annual cost of project management||$33,840||$16,920||$16,920|
|Projects per annum||100||100|
|Project management cost per annum||$3,384,000||$1,692,000||$1,692,000|
|Potential Annual Saving||$1,692,000|
Business Efficiency: Invoice Management Benefits
The key to effective invoice systems is the interface between the project manager and the finance team. This often breaks down, resulting in errors in the invoice, which, in turn results in the invoice being returned for re-submission. This ultimately results in a company’s debtor days increasing.
Therefore the value Proteus offers is it helps improve a company’s debtors days, improving the cash position and therefore reducing the cost of borrowing.
Personnel Utilisation Benefits
Poor utilisation in a company erodes value faster than any other component. Utilisation is a measure of usage of a component against availability. For example, if a company sells man hours and a single person books 1,000 hours against projects annually compared to an annually available 1784 hours the utilisation is 56%.
The same applies to whatever components a company sells. Proteus tackles this problem in two ways; firstly by ensuring that all metrics are tracked accurately, giving project managers real time visibility and therefore the information to make accurate decisions. Secondly, through The Marketplace and The Gateway moves certain components of a company’s fixed costs into variable costs and therefore maximises utilisation. The Marketplace focuses on the utilisation of people and The Gateway focuses on the utilisation of software.
The following example assumes a utilisation improvement of 10% in a company of 100 people. Using the marketplace this kind of saving is easily achievable.
|Without Proteus||With Proteus||Saving|
|Average hourly cost||$80.00||$80.00|
|Typical annual utilisation||80%||90%|
|Average utilisation loss per staff member||$28,528||$14,264||$14,264|
|Annual cost of utilisation||$2,852,800||$1,426,400||$1,426,400|
|Potential Annual Saving||$1,426,400|
Proteus offers a number of overhead benefit savings. Primarily this value is linked to reducing office space and the associated cost that comes with this. The following table does not go as far as looking at the reduction in office repairs, car parking and in particular the lower level of staffing required to run a smaller office.
|Without Proteus||With Proteus|
|Office space per person (sq ft)||100||100|
|Office size (sq ft)||10,000||6,000|
|Rent (per sq ft)||$30.00||$30.00|
|Overhead (per sq ft)||$10.00||$10.00|
|Potential Annual Saving||$160,000|
There are three clear areas of inefficiency with engineering software;
- Software Utilization
- Access difficulties
- Project billing
Software utilisation is typically less than 30% as it is driven by working hours. Some companies overcome this by using a global licence covering multiple time zones. This is out of reach of lots of smaller companies and introduces a number of complexities surrounding VPN’s and gaining access to the software. Every company has a different setup therefore the following numbers need to be adapted to a specific environment. Also, every engineering software company has a different pay as you go pricing model therefore we have used averages.
On average, engineering software is 30% more expensive on a PAYG model. This seems expensive, however when compared to the utilisation and hardware savings, the benefits dwarf this premium.
Software Access Difficulties Savings
The key value offered by the software gateway model is the potential savings it offers. It is difficult to measure the savings made from having access to any software as and when required. The savings occur form the following;
- No capex required
- Improved cashflow
- No hardware expenditure as sometimes a specialist computer is required.
- Instant access.
- Access to software that normally would not be used, therefore ability to win more work.
Project Billing of Software
It is common for software to not be billed on a project. Therefore if a software is charged at $5,000/ month and the project manager does not include it in the invoice this is a $5,000k loss.
With Proteus this cannot happen as the engineering software is integrated with the project management system. A user cannot run the software without entering the correct project code and the runtime is then tracked.
|Without Proteus||With Proteus|
|Annual software cost||$1,000,000.00||$390,000.00|
|Software hours paid for||1,783||535|
|Software hours required||535||535|
|Software hourly cost||$561||$729|
|No of projects not billed||10||0.00|
|Cost of unbilled software||$50,000.00||$0.00|
|Potential Annual Saving||$770,000|
Proteus comes with a number of intangible benefits that offer huge value to any business but are difficult to attribute to bottom line savings. In summary these are;
- Consistency. Services are bought by clients looking for a predictable, high quality of content or output. A move to a fluid, contracted workforce makes this consistency in quality harder to control and therefore is time-intensive. Proteus is hard-wired to generate deliverables that are always consistent, whether documents are created by temporary outsourced freelancers or by senior managers.
- Single-entry data allows control over how the platform is used by the workforce.
- Form-led processes and templated document creation ensure content meets desired standards.
- 100% accuracy is achieved through inbuilt cost controls and approvals.
- Zero errors allow companies to manage risk efficiently.
- Transparency. Operating in low-margin environments, it has become more important than ever for managers to maintain a real-time view on team workflows. However, disparate legacy tools and siloed teams working across multiple offices has made it difficult to get immediate and accurate oversight. Proteus changes this paradigm by bringing everything into one place.
- Visibility across offices and departments.
- Instant, real-time data via in-built dashboards.
- Automated reporting.
- Flexibility. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle. Recent lockdowns have precipitated a successful move to remote-working, demonstrating that the traditional 100% in-office model is no longer legitimate. There is now an expectation from both the workforce and management for at least a measure of remote working to remain for the foreseeable future. Proteus offers the perfect online environment for companies working with remote teams, removing all physical barriers.
- Users can share files and knowledge within the same platform.
- Users can work fluidly across multiple projects.
- Teams can expand and contract quickly and easily with experts being either onboarded or outsourced to other external projects within minutes.
- Users can enjoy less time commuting and more time doing the things they love.
- Productivity. By tracking all workflows through easy timesheeting and resource management, Proteus allows teams to increase productivity.
- Easily accessible databases for contacts, contracts and end-to-end projects greatly simplify the tasks of storing, retrieving and working with varied data while also enormously expanding the capabilities of information sharing and reporting.
- Templated deliverables make the tasks of creating, editing, storing and sharing documents much more efficient.
- Business continuity is enabled through zero product downtime.
- Security. Data security is prerequisite for all businesses operating in an online environment. We take security and privacy seriously to protect the data our customers entrust to us.
- AWS. We store and protect data using world-class hosting infrastructure using services provided by AWS.
- Hosting. For performance and compliance, the Proteus databases are hosted in Ireland.
- Encryption. Traffic within Proteus OS is encrypted at all times.
- Data segregation. Every company using Proteus OS is provisioned with a dedicated database, this ensures a customers data is completely segregated and protected, databases are backed up daily.
How to get Proteus
Proteus is a cloud-based system designed for businesses of all sizes to handle projects of unlimited complexity. The Proteus eco-system is a collection of unique modules that work independently, or as part of a single integrated system. Each Proteus module is aimed at making bottom line improvements by improving utilisation, streamlining workflows, providing quick and efficient access to resources and reducing overheads. To access Proteus, or specific Proteus modules, a company creates a company account by going to www.proteus-work.com/companies
Proteus operates under a software as a service (SaaS) model with charges ranging from $10 / user / month to $35 / user / month. Billing is monthly or annually with two months free if paid annually. For more information on our pricing visit our pricing page or get in touch with one of the team on firstname.lastname@example.org
We designed Proteus to be simple, and that means you can get up and running on Proteus without an IT team or support from a programmer. You will want to spend a bit of time configuring the admin console so that you have everything set up to suit your company structure, but it’s very intuitive and you don’t need a PhD in IT. However, we want you to get the best out of what is a brilliantly powerful tool, so don’t hesitate to ask for our support. We have a team of product experts who are ready to help you with the configuration process, so get in touch on email@example.com.
As we hope you have understood from this article, we are passionate about driving real value through Proteus. If you would like us to estimate the business value we could bring to your company, again please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
If you love what we do and want to share this value amongst your industry peers, you may be interested in our Partner Program