Case Studies

Controlling complex projects


Photonics Graphics is a marketing design firm, co-owned by Alan Brown and his wife, Christie. Their staff of eleven helps businesses with marketing communications and strategic thinking, graphic design and website development.

"We needed to control 'scope creep' and costs, but we didn't have the right tools," says Brown, "We needed better, more timely and more accurate information about each of the projects we were working on so our management team could track them better."

Photonics Graphics logo

Photonics was using another well-known installed-software based time/project management program, but found it unable to cope with the lengthy, complex projects the company was working on.

"We couldn't get a good snapshot of a project without a great deal of effort. Because we had to import each timesheet manually, we did them only once a week. That meant our information was often a week or more out of date. And we couldn't track specific tasks against our estimates," says Brown.

Brown had been dissatisfied with his information gathering system for some time. He had investigated many different approaches, in his search for an appropriate system for Photonics. He looked at a wide range of prices and solutions and couldn't find anything with the features he needed for a price he could afford. He felt he couldn't justify large-company-structured licensing fees charged by some of the companies he looked at.

"Several times I had even started to try to write my own program. It turned out to be a long process that wasn't getting anywhere," says Brown. "Then I saw an ad for FunctionFox in an industry publication and went to the FunctionFox website."

Brown talked with FunctionFox's sales people and found that they were friendly, courteous, knowledgeable, and actually returned his calls.

"FunctionFox's pricing structure made purchasing an easy decision. FunctionFox had the features we were looking for with a minimal investment of dollars and resources up front. As a small business owner, that was very, very attractive," says Brown.

"I played with the program for two weeks before introducing it to our management team and staff. They had virtually no problems and were up and using it the day of introduction," says Brown, "And I was already generating good, valuable information on our projects. I knew I had a very powerful tool without having to go through a lot of pain to get there."

"Whenever I stumbled, FunctionFox's tech support team was there for me. They have been extremely helpful and extremely conscientious about getting back to me in a very timely manner. They are very patient and pleasant," adds Brown.

Using FunctionFox, Brown was able not only to see immediately where the company was overspending, but was able to get up-to-date information about specific projects.This let him be more proactive in addressing issues. Complex projects became easier to track, and now the Photonics Management team have better and easier ways to measure their success.


Alan Brown can be reached for further comment at 513-281-5000 ext 101 or visit the Photonics website at

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