We spoke with Grete Janson, Chief Operating Officer of 1Office Group, whose initiative and leadership has now led to the introduction of Uku to the company.
1Office Group is a company based on Estonian capital and has been operating in the market for over 10 years. The company offers a variety of business services to locals as well as foreigners - business start-up, consulting, accounting, legal and virtual office services.
In addition to England, the company operates in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. 1Office has six offices with more than 50 specialists; the company’s customers operate in many different fields and come from more than 60 countries.
Grete, where did you first hear about Uku and what was your first impression?
I first heard about Uku at the CRM 2016 EST: Who is your customer? conference. The joy of recognition was immediate - finally, something that we have been waiting for for a long time has come to the market. 1Office is constantly looking for ways to automate work and increase efficiency in order to use that time to share accumulated knowledge rather than for routine activities.
How did you introduce the new solution to your employees, and what were your biggest concerns when implementing it?
As 1Office strives to have as many systems as possible in all of its countries of operation, it was important for us for Uku to be suitable for every country. The introduction took place in stages - we decided to start testing with the Swedish team because at that point we had several new people on the team, and we found it easiest to start in this way.
The structure of Uku is simple enough, which allowed us to help the entire Swedish team to start using the program surprisingly quickly. The UK and Finnish teams quickly followed, and through their experience, we were able to painlessly deploy the program in our largest team in Estonia. The most difficult part was mapping the whole process and putting the logic of the structure in place.
For which aspects has Uku been most influential in your company?
The biggest time gain has been in invoicing customers. Because our customer base is very large, it used to take an unreasonable amount of time to prepare invoices. Uku can easily generate invoices because the data we otherwise used to manually generate invoices is now all in one place, and Uku does it for us.
In addition to invoicing, we can also import them into the necessary programs (in our case, CRM software). Customer-based differences and agreements can be added immediately to the customer, eliminating the need for multiple systems, and the correct invoices will be sent out.
“Thanks to a good overview, we can better plan both our time and our replacements.”
Another important change is a clearer overview of the work. While in the past we used Excel as a to-do list and each employee's Excel had become very unique over time, it is now very clear what work needs to be done with which customer. Thanks to this clear overview, we can better plan both our time and our replacements.
However, the new monitoring report is an excellent tool for our managers in particular. With a large customer base, it is extremely important that problematic issues are automatically detected, which the monitoring also allows. Thanks to the monitoring capability, we can also better plan the division of work and add a new customer to the accountant.
What do you recommend to those who are just getting started with Uku?
I recommend appointing a project manager to implement the solution. For a large team, it is very important to have someone to contact when questions arise. These questions and concerns are often very similar, so it is not logical that everyone starts reinventing the wheel. Our project manager has acted as an intermediary between Uku and our team, so all the updates, agreements, and so on reach all the parties involved.
Why do you think one should consider adopting Uku?
I believe that Uku is beneficial to both managers and accountants. The accounting industry is currently developing at an extremely rapid pace, and Uku makes it easier to keep up with it. There are so many service providers in the market, but with Uku you can be sure that the service of the company is of high quality and the promises made to the customer are kept - this is definitely one of the key issues in the current market situation.
“With Uku you can be sure that the service of the company is of high quality.”
Our big thanks to Grete for sharing her personal experiences with Uku and those of her team. We wish the 1Office Group many great customers and good luck in the future!