Client Success Story

Customizable Process Automation Facilitates a Smooth Company Expansion

Accelo saves web development firm 250 hours per year and equips its team with the visibility and automation to easily acquire the web management division of another successful company.

Background

Comit Developers, one of Louisiana’s leading web firms, provides website design, development, maintenance and support to businesses of all sizes, including many in the oil and gas and healthcare industries. Its clients include Atlas, an infrastructure and environmental solutions company, and several local government offices.

Spearheaded by Co-Founders Spencer Hoyt and Gerald Miguez and Partner Jared Allardyce, the firm boasts over 30 years of web design and digital marketing expertise.

Challenges

In late 2013, Comit’s team found itself bogged down with time-consuming tasks, despite trying out five or six different project management platforms.

VP of Operations and HR Michelle O’Neal says the issues with these technologies were fourfold:

  • They offered limited automation options, which irked the tech-savvy web dev team
  • None connected the sales process to projects, forcing the staff to engage in double entry 
  • Time logs weren’t associated with billing rates, making it difficult to project revenue
  • There wasn’t a solution for tracking retainers, which complicated recurring engagements

In conversations with clients, Helena Northcutt, Web Design and Development Manager, couldn’t quickly review budgets against project timelines. Thus, it was tricky to commit to additional services or decide to execute a change order.

Solution

A light appeared at the end of the frustrating tunnel in early 2014 when Comit’s leaders came across Accelo. The most appealing functions were its abundance of templates and recurring tasks, the intuitive ticketing system and automated time tracking with billable rates.

Michelle was excited by the expansion potential the platform afforded the growing firm. She knew her team could use more of its core functions over time and wouldn’t have to seek new tech as challenges arose.

Expert guidance from Accelo’s Professional Services team and the availability of extensive documentation and webinars made implementation straightforward for Comit’s tech-savvy staff. Even those in less technical roles found it easy to pick up because of the repeatable processes in each product area.

“The UI becomes more and more intuitive as you expand to each new product,” Michelle says.

This predictable nature didn’t take away from the vast opportunities to customize Accelo for the firm’s unique needs. Comit Developers took full advantage of:

  • Triggers to automate notifications
  • Custom progressions for each type of ticket and project
  • The robust API to push new companies and contacts into Accelo from a proposal creation software and pull ticket details from Accelo to send monthly reports to clients 
  • A Zapier-powered Slack integration to simplify internal communication

“The platform matches our processes, rather than us having to change our processes to work in a predefined set of tools,” Michelle explains. “Every time our business grows or changes, we have the ability to modify them again.”

Since websites need consistent updates, she says Comit’s team heavily relies on Accelo’s Tickets product.

“We can’t live without the ticketing system. It keeps everything organized and gives us a great view of how long things have been sitting, what needs attention and what we’re waiting on — all super important in our business.”

They also love how Accelo makes it easy to track sales opportunities, generate accurate invoices and onboard new employees. 

Michelle’s favorite feature? Custom lists. With granular filtering, everybody on the team can see what’s relevant to their function. 

Her colleague Helena can now pull up the detailed history she needs when interacting with clients. With the convenient Activity Stream displaying communications and notes, both Project Management and Support can get a full picture of what’s going on with a given account without having to talk to the other department.

Results

With Accelo as an efficiency-boosting partner, Comit Developers acquired the website management division of Bizzuka in 2022. New team members were impressed with the platform.

They were able to seamlessly fall right into our processes and dive right into supporting websites as if they've never changed companies, thanks to Accelo,” says Michelle.

Luckily, the firm didn’t have to worry about the impact of the change on clients, either. Post-acquisition, Comit’s leadership team decided to add licenses for the Retainers product to manage existing contracts for clients who were guaranteed a certain amount of support every month. 

Michelle looks forward to being able to filter those new clients and measure the ROI of this acquisition in the future.

Acquisition aside, it’s clear that Accelo has already brought tangible benefits to the business.

Not only is the entire staff more conscious about time management, but they’ve saved 250 hours per year on administrative tasks and internal and external communication. And Michelle has recovered approximately 8 additional hours per month that she used to spend on time approvals. 

She and others in leadership can now lead with data, too. They regularly review the firm’s highest-performing clients and fairly distribute the workload for backend website maintenance tasks.

We can now track billable vs. non-billable hours and see where we need to add team members or if we have the bandwidth to take on new projects, which we couldn’t do in the past. We used to make decisions based on feelings, and now we can make decisions based on data.
Michelle O’Neal, VP of Operations and HR

Comit Developers has big plans for its usage of Accelo: The team will continue leveraging the power of the API and hopes to create custom dashboards next.

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