Project Management & Planning Articles

Interview With Vanessa Carpenter, Interaction Designer and Product Manager at Marstrand Innovation

by Christophe Primault
Published on 31 August 2010

31 August 2010 - We asked Vanessa Carpenter, Interaction Designer and Product Manager at Marstrand Innovation, a few questions about the company and her view of the markets they serve. Vanessa Carpenter

Vanessa Carpenter Interaction Designer and Product Manager

GETAPP.COM: Who are you are and what is your role in the company?

CARPENTER: I am the Interaction Designer and Product Manager for Marstrand Planning Intelligence, I design how people interact with the software through user testing to determine the best way for people to use the software.

GETAPP.COM: Can you briefly present your management team?

CARPENTER: Nils Marstrand is the Managing Director of Marstrand Innovation (MI). Prior to founding MI, he has had line experience as production manager and other positions in A. P. Møller Maersk, been a partner in the (former, now IBM) consulting company Peter Matthiesen A/S for 16 years, and been the founder and managing director of PMSIM Systems A/S. Jan Bonde, Director of development and partner, has worked as software developer and development manager at PMSIM Systems (product: PMSIM), in 1998 acquired by Intentia (products: Movex Advanced Production Planner & Movex Multi-Site Planner) and now Lawson. PMSIM/Movex APP is one of the world's most used and best simulation tools for complex production planning. In 2006 Maconomy A/S and MI entered an international OEM Distributor Agreement where Maconomy was entitled to sell Marstrand People Manager under the name Maconomy People Planner, first launched October 2007 (see www.maconomy.com - People Planner). The planning system is sold as an add-on to Maconomy ERP with a powerful web service interface. Maconomy has presently sold to more than 12.000 users in 60 companies in 10 countries. The biggest installation has between 1200 and 1600 users. Maconomy A/S, is one of Europe's leading ERP company for Professional Services (consulting, agencies, engineering, architects, accountants, etc.).

GETAPP.COM: Are you a cloud or a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company?

CARPENTER: Software-as-a-Service. Planning Intelligence is offered as: Client server solution with many users and one common database; Single user with memory database; OEM option for software vendors with own solutions, e.g. ERP and CRM, and focused on special niche areas like engineering or consulting.

GETAPP.COM: What are the points of difference of your solutions?

CARPENTER: Our competitive edge lies in the usability and the 4 dimensions' concept, focusing on who (people), what (projects), when (time horizon) and how (finances). Multiple projects/activities - multiple resources fully integrated. Comprehensive resource management. Capacity/absence, skills/competencies, cost/revenues. Ease of use. Combines spread sheet functionality with interactive planning boards (Gantt). Time line flexibility: From years to hours in one system, resolution and zoom. Automatic free periodization. Time based financial consequences, cost and revenue. Flexible Business/Planning Intelligence. Accounts e.g. for KPI planning and follow up. Configurable by the user. Columns, perspectives, commands, etc. Safe technology and communication: Relational database technology. Well structured datamodel. Easy implementation: MPI can interface with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel) and MSP. Also has web access.

GETAPP.COM: How would you like to be evaluated by a prospect?

CARPENTER: Ideally, we would like to give them a trial copy of the software where we guide them through a two hour training session. In this way, we could show them the benefit for them, and explain how the complete customizability of the system can work for them.

GETAPP.COM: Why do your customers buy from you?

CARPENTER: Because of our experience. We have years of experience with planning and resource management and we are able to completely understand their needs and show them how Marstrand Planning Intelligence can meet those needs. The system is generic, it can adapt to any company or any individual. Being this flexible, customers realize the benefit it can have for them, they don't have to adapt to the software, rather, the software adapts to them.

GETAPP.COM: Can you mention some of your key clients?

CARPENTER: Our biggest client is Maconomy. The planning system is sold as an add-on to Maconomy ERP with a powerful web service interface. Maconomy has presently sold to more than 12.000 users in 60 companies in 10 countries. The biggest installation has between 1200 and 1600 users. Other major clients include SOS Children's villages which use the system to manage their many villages throughout the world, marketing campaigns, finances, and budgeting for the year. Also Siemens uses Marstrand Planning Intelligence to manage their service bookings; they are a repetitive service company, sending out technicians and needing to schedule services, times, tasks, and combine all this with the overall planning of Siemens.

GETAPP.COM: What do you see as the key trend emerging in the industry?

CARPENTER: The key trend that we are focused on is resource management. Marstrand Planning Intelligence is a methodology, focusing on people first. People do the work. If people are overbooked, stressed, on holidays, sick, or being booked by multiple managers who are not aware of each other's assignments, they cannot perform well, or at all and cause bottlenecks. We focus on people first and see that as the upcoming trend, projects, tasks, finances, reports, all of this comes second. The world is becoming more "user-friendly" and we believe that project and resource planning must also follow suite, without people, things simply don't get done.

GETAPP.COM: What is THE most important message you feel you should get across to someone considering buying your solutions?

CARPENTER: Planning Intelligence synchronizes projects and production with resources in the short and long term using interactive Gantt charts, to help you make the best decisions about time, money and resources - we have a customizable platform that adapts to your business needs, and we're eager to show people how their business can succeed if they don't have to compromise their regular practices to adapt to their software.

GETAPP.COM: Thanks for your time, Vanessa.


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