Want to know what it’s like to be one of our Quick Base builders? We’ve got the inside story!
Seven years ago, Kelly Hayes joined CCI Systems, a national communications network solutions company, as an administrative assistant.
Back then she never would have guessed that developing problem-solving business applications for colleagues would be a big part of her job—and one of her favorite parts of it. But that’s exactly what happened a little over three years later when she became the company’s first no-code app builder for its Partner Services division.
Today, Kelly holds a pivotal role helping ensure the smooth operations of this business-critical division, which covers a wide range of services from engineering, to call center, to tech support. As Senior Business Analyst, she knows exactly the kind of challenges busy project managers and invoicing staff face every day, and wanted to do something about them.
“We had various spreadsheets and access databases for our different projects and everyone had their own way of tracking things,” says Kelly. “We needed a way to standardize that and provide greater visibility into project and invoicing status to make sure everything was on schedule and nothing fell through the cracks.”
The other challenge was to overhaul a time-intensive reporting process that typically took hours to complete. “It was common for people to ask for custom reports,” explains Kelly. “We’d have to pull data from different sources, put it into spreadsheets, and then make charts and graphs.”
It was late in 2014 when decision makers at CCI Systems learned about the advantages of no-code app building. With a mission to drive greater operational efficiency, service delivery and business agility they signed on with Quick Base.
Kelly was the first to use the online database platform to build what is now known as the “Business as Usual” (BAU) app which encompasses all facets of project management, invoicing, and reporting. “I have always loved working on new things, and it was exciting to be chosen for our first Quick Base initiative,” she says.
Kelly feels that her experience writing Excel formulas and creating reports (along with an understanding of the processes and workflows tied to the division’s different projects) helped her successfully build this vital no-code Quick Base app—without any formal coding background.
As is often the case when learning something new, there was uncertainty at first, but confidence soon followed. “In the beginning, I was unsure how to navigate to accomplish what I wanted to do,” she explains. “I remember calling Quick Base in a panic when I ran into an issue with my form. My support person quickly solved my problem by sharing screens and walking me through what I needed to do to move on from there.”
In addition to Quick Base support, Kelly often finds her solutions within the Quick Base community.
“It’s my experience that if I’m having an issue with something, someone else has probably already addressed it, and I can gain from their knowledge.”
And although Kelly likes to build from scratch, she says that the Quick Base App Exchange is a great way to see how others have set up their apps up to get ideas for her own.
Within a month and a half, Kelly’s ideas for creating an app to standardize and streamline project management, invoicing, and reporting became a reality. And the app continues to evolve in scope, scale, and reach (through integration with other systems) under her guidance and collaboration with IT and other builders.
Today, the BAU app is used by approximately 180 employees, contractors and customers. Upon deployment, it immediately began demonstrating its value by dramatically improving the company’s ability to invoice more work, more frequently—which contributes to a healthier bottom line.
“Instead of 180 invoices a week we’re now sending out 320, while still maintaining high project quality and customer satisfaction,” she says. “And with Quick Base, it takes minutes to generate real-time reports that tell us exactly where the work is at.”
In addition to the BAU app, Kelly has created ten other Quick Base apps in a little over two years. One such app is used by her administrative assistants to quickly book travel, track things like past trips and reward numbers, and accurately allocate costs to specific jobs.
The success of the BAU app has paved the way for the expansion of Quick Base apps throughout the organization. In just a few short years, the company has built and deployed 25 Quick Base apps and a number of new ones are on their way.
“I did several presentations for management to show them how the BAU app works and the many benefits it was delivering to the company,” explains Kelly. “I think that was a major catalyst in getting Quick Base integrated into the rest of our business.”
The company has also instituted a new developer program that is helping nurture a growing community of no-code builders who are:
“One of the neat things I brought back with me from the Quick Base EMPOWER conference this year was how to set up notifications to send text messages from an app,” says Kelly. “I had my phone with me at one of our recent meetings and was able to demonstrate the feature to everyone and show them how to use it.”
What most surprised Kelly about no-code app building was how much fun it would be, and how the Quick Base platform has opened her eyes to new ways of innovating to improve just about any process.
“Quick Base encourages me to think outside the box,” she says. “Being able to solve problems for people is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of my job. And with Quick Base I have the skills to talk about those problems and come up with versatile solutions that will work for their needs.”
Kelly’s advice to business professionals thinking about no-code app building is to take the plunge and dream big.
“What I have learned is that you don’t need to think small and simple just because you’re new to this. With Quick Base’s versatility and their phenomenal support, you CAN dream big and begin building that perfect solution right from the start.”
Want to make a bigger impact with Quick Base? Download our “Start the Movement” step-by-step guide!