LUNAR: "Teamleader Orbit almost lets me predict the future."

Who? Glenn Fellows, managing partner What? Conceiving, designing and developing SaaS applications and more complex web platforms Teamleader since? 2018 Biggest challenges? Tackling proliferation of flows and processes, extracting insights from data to think a few steps ahead each time

Lunar is part of the Cronos&Koo group. The company conceives, designs and develops SaaS applications and more complex web platforms. "But we are by no means a classic IT or software company," stresses managing partner Glenn Fellows. "We're a creative company that brings applications to life. Not dry software. Users should find it fun to work with our applications."

Hitting the ceiling at 15 people

Lunar has been around for about six years. When the company had 15 employees, Glenn noticed that they had hit a ceiling. "Customers got bigger, projects got bigger, but with our existing tools, we were really at our limit. A lot of data we couldn’t measure. We weren't aware of a lot of things. The tool we were using was built to work with freelancers and was limited to logging time. We needed more insights."

"We felt: if we don't structure and professionalize now, we’ll be a 15-employee company for the rest of our lives. That's not what my partner and I wanted. We were ambitious and we wanted to grow faster. But then we had to work faster."

The wrong kind of busy

Through a friend, Glenn came across Teamleader Orbit. "We were talking about work and we were both extremely busy. But her busy was a different kind of busy than mine. She was working her ass off on projects, on content. Meanwhile, I had the impression that fussy administrative duties took up all my attention. When she told me that she hardly spent any time at all on admin, thanks to Teamleader Orbit, it got the ball rolling."

"We had tried dozens of tools at Lunar. However, most enterprise software is not made for the creative industry. We don't sell products; we mostly sell our time. Software builders need to understand that. Teamleader Orbit works to fit our industry. I can spend more time on sales and new business. What I used to need 100 Excel sheets for, I can now do with just one tool. From the first quote to the last invoice: everything is in one place, end-to-end."

Eradicate the proliferation of processes and workflows

According to Glenn, Teamleader Orbit first and foremost brought order to chaos. "Workflows and processes are a big challenge for a lot of creative businesses. In the beginning, you work for each client differently. We found ourselves with a boatload of exceptions for a whole list of customers. One of our teething problems the first few years was that we worked hard and long, but made very little money on some projects and some clients. Thanks to Teamleader Orbit, we found out that we had not adjusted prices for years, while the profiles that had been working on those clients had evolved. A bunch of exceptions and different ways of working will eventually cost you, quite literally.”

"Teamleader Orbit has injected strong processes and flows into our way of working: the system allows A, B and C, but you can’t get away with X, Y and Z. The error margins are much smaller. We retain the freedom that a creative company needs, but with clear boundaries. We draw lines in the sand."

Reporting as a guiding light

"To be able to scale, we need to know in great detail what we are doing. Financially, but also operationally. What exactly are we doing for which customer? How much time are we spending on each project? Historically, we took on a project, went full throttle, and on the penultimate day had to go to the customer with our tail between our legs: could the deadline please be moved up a little? Today we have bigger clients, bigger budgets and longer projects. Now I can see at a glance what everyone is working on, who has time left and who is fully booked."

"With Teamleader Orbit, I can predict the future. I can estimate our assets perfectly. From day one, I get an accurate understanding of whether we will get there or not with our time and budget. We're not sailing blindly anymore."

"Today, we use the reporting within Teamleader Orbit as our guiding light. Are we still on track? Are we ahead of schedule? Have we drifted off course and are we behind? The data gives us insight at the company level, very high level, but also at the level of projects and even individual tasks."

The people behind the numbers

Lunar's employees also reap the benefits of Teamleader Orbit, Glenn explains. "Of course, it's a numbers-driven tool, with a lot of data, zeros and ones. But Teamleader Orbit digs deeper and also tells the human story behind all those numbers. That was a bit of a blind spot. If someone is sick often, or if someone is working very long hours, we can immediately tell from the data and reports that Teamleader Orbit provides. We can sound the alarm much sooner than before and avoid burning out talented employees."

Customer relations are also improving. "Many companies claim to be true partners for their customers. But they don't always live up to that claim. Teamleader Orbit provides the insights and tools to engage with your customer, and transparently too: ‘This is where we stand. This is where you stand. This is where the project stands.’ At any point in the process, we are an open book."

Written by Robin Van Cleemput

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