QuaHill - project management application - Pros & Cons
Thread poster: Omer Shani

Omer Shani
Israel
Local time: 02:05
Member (2012)
Jul 31, 2017

Hi dear colleagues

We are testing QuaHill (Project management application), and I'd like to hear your pros & cons experience with this program.

As from speed and level of ease of use
Implementation and customization time
Integration level
ROI
And any other feedback and info you can provide, whether you recommend or not

Kind regards

Omer Shani


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
against these programs Jul 31, 2017

From a translator's point of view, these programs are a lot of unnecessary hassle. They are difficult to get into, they reject correct passwords, they tell you to click on buttons which don't exist... I have never been able to see what advantage they are to agencies either, as against the traditional system of doing everything through the project manager, except possibly submitting invoices to an accounts department. After having this sort of trouble with an agency recently I told the project manager how I felt and she replied "You're not the only one!" in a way which implied that she herself didn't like them either. I complained to the contact person about the program at the agency and asked what advantage it was to them. She said "It wasn't our decision, the management put it into effect. This agency has now agreed that for any more work I do for them, I can go through the project manager, not the system. If they had not said this, I would have refused to work for them again.
From all of which I gather that no-one who actually has to use these programs, either translators or agency staff, likes them. They are just something "fashionable that is imposed by managements who have no idea how they work (or more often, don't work).


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Edit? Jul 31, 2017

Tried to edit the above, but there is no "edit" button.

 

Omer Shani
Israel
Local time: 02:05
Member (2012)
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but... Jul 31, 2017

Hi Jack,

I know that software implantation can be risky and sometimes cause more trouble, but I was looking to get more info from someone with hands-on on this system, and can testify first hand, how do they succeed (or not) with Qua Hill.
I can tell that from LSP point of view, a software like that can support many activities and spare a lot of precious time, if treated correctly and trained correctly, along with the PMs'

BR

Omer


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:05
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Excellent from freelancer perspective, easy upgrade path to LSP Aug 1, 2017

Omer Shani wrote:
And any other feedback and info you can provide, whether you recommend or not

I have been using the software for about a year as a freelancer rather than an LSP, so my input will probably be of limited use to you, but I am putting it here because I believe that this excellent package deserves more exposure. I use Quahill mostly to organise and track invoices in multiple languages and currencies. I find it very capable and flexible. It is powerful and therefore there is an initial learning curve to deal with, although I did not find it that steep, and once the basics are understood it is easy to use. There is far more to the software than I can cover here, so I will just highlight a couple of points.

There is significant potential for customisation, including a very complete report designer that allows you to put together any kind of invoice or quote (with your own logos or other artwork) you have the time to make. There is no problem creating professional-looking PDFs or various other output files.

Another useful aspect is the widespread use of "operational code lists" of items so that you can expand the application with custom values. For example, if you wish to add a new item to units for quoting and charging services to clients, in addition to "hours", "characters", "words" and so on, this can be done very easily. Simply go to the appropriate setting screen and add "per 1000 characters" or "Normzeile" whatever you wish to the list and that new unit will appear in the dropdown menu for units.

I have also added a new tax item to represent consumption tax in Japan in addition to the existing item for VAT in the UK. There are similar code lists for client types, bank accounts, services, specializations and so on. The potential for expansion is not limitless, but it is pretty impressive.

All this probably makes it overkill for a freelancer who is working primarily with clients in a single country or a single currency. However, I wanted the multiple currencies and tax rates and for me it has worked very well and I do not regret my purchase in the slightest. I believe the basic version is free, so it is easy to get a trial.

The bonus is that if I ever wish to branch out into boutique agency business, I can pay a reasonable fee to have the LSP functionality unlocked, and I will immediately have a very capable piece of software for running an agency and managing freelancers, files and projects, and one that I already know how to use. This includes support for automatic creation of folders in which to store materials and so on.

Do I have any criticisms? Nothing intrinsic to the software itself, but - and this is a problem that many software companies are grappling with in the era of 4k displays - I find the fonts quite small in many of the screens. If you're not working at very high resolutions, this will not be a problem. Obviously, I can change the Windows settings to improve this to an extent, but it is not particularly good solution. I have the same issue with SDL Studio and various other applications so this is not at all unique to Quahill (it is a problem with its competitors also), but the application does pack a lot of information in each screen, so it is particularly noticeable. Perhaps making better use of the existing tabbed interface to jam less information on each screen would work.

The developer points out, reasonably enough, that allowing the user to make the font larger would create a mess of the layout on certain screens, and I certainly see their point and acknowledge that there is no easy answer. Nevertheless, the software industry, collectively, needs to improve the presentation of information on high-resolution screens. The first generation of "heavy users" of modern computing software is now in its middle age or beyond, and the eyesight of the members of this cohort is not getting any better.

Incidentally, support from sales and from the developer is excellent and timely. They stand by their product. They are conscientious people.

Regards,
Dan

[Edited at 2017-08-01 07:20 GMT]


 


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