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When Growth is a Good Problem to Have

It was “phenomenal” sales growth two straight years in a row that led a small toy design and manufacturing company in New Jersey to need a new tool to support their growing production processes.

Kathlene Pettycrew is leading that effort. A former systems process manager at Lockheed Martin, Pettycrew took up the challenge of implementing project management processes for the rapidly-growing Tucker Toys.

Pettycrew is no stranger to complex project management tools. She was well versed in Microsoft Project at Lockheed but, she says, with its “long learning curve” and complexity, she needed something easier to implement to her team. “People don’t have time to learn Microsoft Project,” which she notes could take a year and a half training time.

Pettycrew didn’t have a year and a half. The company’s signature toys, The Phlat Ball® and Zoingo Boingo®, “a 21st century pogo stick” according to Pettycrew, were flying off global assembly lines while demand for new, innovative toys for the 2016-2017 market wasn’t slowing down, either. Pettycrew needed a tool she could immediately implement and roll out to the team, while also being able to “tinker on her own time” at home via the cloud.

“With so many projects in the pipeline,” Pettycrew adds, “our goal was to be able to easily track projects from concept to ship.” In addition, manufacturing toys requires multi-phase production and testing efforts for safety compliance, and internal marketing and sales operations, all of which needed to be tracked efficiently, as well.

ProjectManager.com was “so easy to get up and running,” Pettycrew says. She quickly had her first project live using the existing templates which she found really “easy to tweak.” Once she started linking tasks, she found it “so much easier” to adjust schedules collaboratively with the team to give them the essential slack needed in the complex manufacturing phases.

When Pettycrew tested ProjectManager.com to her sales and marketing lead, showing her linked tasks and attachments, Pettycrew was impressed that her team member “picked it up in 5 minutes. She immediately saw how she could attach invoices, purchase orders and add shipment notes” to support sales.

With demand for award-winning Tucker Toys growing in 47 countries, and with global design and manufacturing operations, this small company needed a cloud tool that was complex enough to implement new processes and yet flexible enough to roll out across expanding organization. Pettycrew is happy with her choice of ProjectManager.com. “I love it to death,” she says.

But we all know who the truly happy customers are.