Air Liquide is an international group specialized in industrial and medical gases and related services. It supplies oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and many other products and services to a wide variety of industries.
As a subsidy of the Air Liquide Group, Air Liquide Healthcare brings together back office resources (finance, logistics, procurement, security and IT) "Homecare" business unit in France and at the international level. About 30 people work in the Direction of IT, which manages around 2500 users on more than 100 worksites in France.
The company's application portfolio is made up of about 20 applications (ERP, CRM, call center management, on-board data systems, business intelligence, human resources management, electronic document management, etc...).
Air Liquide faces a very competitive environment and fast changing regulations, in an industry that is growing fast to keep up with the ageing population, IT is a very important lever to improve our services and implement our efficiency plans. Therefore, we need to be able to manage a high volume of projects. As the Director of IT, I was looking for a tool that would allow me to track time spent on tasks, hence, a tool able to evaluate those projects in terms of workloads and costs.
Having tested various products using trial versions, I finally decided on Visual Planning for its configuration capabilities, attractive price, and its extreme user-friendliness. Of those criteria, the latter was fundamental to insure the adoption of the product and of the overall approach by all our team members. We track time spent on project by half-day, and the input for a day only takes a few seconds, using drag and drop to add data.
The sales department was very efficient, it took only one phone call, and two emails tho have Visual Planning installed in our network without any issue. A few minutes later, the software was deployed on all our users' workstations. After a little bit more than a month of pilot utilization, that allowed us to refine the configuration, we were able to validate the reliability of our estimations and have a precise tracking of time spent on each project, by the second semester of 2009. This was done to improve risk management as well as operate a tracking by type of activity (development, tests, training, maintenance, documentation, meetings, etc...).
Marc Lerich – Director of IT, AIR LIQUIDE