Company Name: NextLink Group
Industry: IT-Services und IT-Consulting
Company size: 201-500 employees
VentorTech solutions: Odoo implementation
Goal: Streamline contract and resource management, automate invoicing, and consolidate all processes for optimal efficiency.
About the company
Nextlink Solutions is a technology company that provides innovative and reliable solutions for businesses of all sizes, specializing in custom software development, IT consulting, and cloud solutions. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and has offices in Spain, UK, Czech Republic, India, Germany, and France.
Nextlink Solutions is a major player offering IT services globally. With a large and growing customer base, they needed to efficiently manage their contracts and create timely invoices. They also had to scale resources and hire staff to service their end customers, ensuring proper employee contract management.
Despite their size, Nextlink still used Excel and local accounting software in each country’s headquarters. This approach became increasingly challenging and time-consuming as the company grew.
The three main operational bottlenecks had been:
Lack of ERP for CRM and HR processes
Nextlink had all their business information stored in Excel tables, which made decision-making processes more complicated. Each responsible employee had to manually enter data into Excel tables so that managers could analyze current deals. This led to the creation of more and more Excel tables to answer necessary questions, resulting in many resources being involved in manual data management.
Manual contract management
Nextlink had to manage about 350 contracts per year manually, which required creating contracts for involved employees, tracking expiration dates, calculating rates, and reporting time. This led to a data mess and resulted in much time wasted on double-checking.
The client has subsidiaries in different countries, and every month their accountants had to create invoices based on tracked time for agreed work. This was a challenging task because of the need to enter and check all data, making it difficult to provide customers with invoices on time. Nextlink had to create 1500–2500 invoices per year, which added to the complexity of their manual processes.
They identified three primary goals:
- Automate contracts and resources management.
- Create timely and accurate invoices based on time tracking.
- Centralize all these processes in one place for better management and efficiency.
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We completed several days of offline workshops to understand clients’ business workflows and identified the most important processes for automation: time tracking, contract management, and invoicing. We outlined each process, provided a demo, figured out gaps in Odoo, and created mockups for future customizations. We then divided the implementation process into several phases, including General Settings, CRM, Sales, Timesheets and Approval, Invoicing, and Supplier Payments. With the roadmap in place, we began the first phase of implementation.
Custom wizard for contracts management in Odoo
One of the most time-consuming operations was contract management.
Odoo standard workflow could not optimize this operation efficiently. The process involved several steps: first, creating a product, then, creating a user for the related employee (which had to be created in two separate places in Odoo – res.user and hr.employee), followed by the creation of a contract for the employee and setting rates.
Only then was it possible to create a sales order (contract with the end customer), which included the product, consultant (employee), and rate.
Finally, a project and tasks could be created. Overall, the process for one contract took 15 minutes or more.
We implemented a contract wizard in Odoo that dramatically reduced the time spent on contract management. The new system allows the client to enter all the necessary data in a single window and automatically generate a product, sales order, employee user, employee object, and contract with rates, as well as a project with pre-created tasks, all at once. The entire process now takes less than a minute.
We integrated the Sales, Project, and Timesheets apps in Odoo and made specific adjustments to the invoicing process. Thanks to Odoo’s customization flexibility, such adjustments are easy to implement and support.
When the project was launched on Odoo 10, there were gaps in multi-company management. In order to have consolidated reporting, we created a custom solution to group data from multiple companies under one main company. However, when we later migrated to Odoo 14 Enterprise, the multi-company management was covered by Odoo’s standard functionality.
We knew that we could not cover all cases using Odoo’s standard access rights management, as all access rules in Odoo work for permission, not prohibition.
Therefore, due to the client’s specific access rules requirements for employees, we developed specific groups and settings for access rights.
For example, we added settings to allow users to edit and cancel invoices, since the customer had faced issues when staff accidentally edited the wrong invoice.
We also added a setting to allow using the contract creation wizard to prevent non-responsible persons from creating new contracts.
Special prefixes in Odoo’s chart of accounts
To ensure that accountants have a clear overview and understanding of all financial flows in a multi-company structure, we implemented a feature based on the chart of accounts structure. The feature adds repeated prefixes for each internal company’s account in Odoo depending on the country, company, city, etc.
To keep the system easy to migrate and support, we also maintained the possibility to use standard Odoo’s sequences settings for newly generated invoices.
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The Odoo project’s staff, lead time, and cost
- 1 BA/PM
- 1 Odoo developer
- 0.5 QA
3 months + ongoing support
~€25K + support
Based on the implementation of the Odoo ERP system and the specific improvements made, the client was able to achieve significant improvements in their business processes.
- The time required for contract management was reduced by 93.3%.
- Accurate and timely invoices for end customers were generated without any delay, despite the multi-company and multi-country business structure.
- The implementation of consolidated reporting provided a clear overview of financial flows and eliminated the need for creating Excel tables.
While specific data is under NDA, we can share scaled data:
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- Business Automation
- Odoo ERP 8-16
Education: Bachelor's degree.