In a blog by Dave Kremer, Atlas Cloud solutions he tells of why and how his company selected Kimble to become its new PSA solution. Founded in November 2015 it provides Salesforce consulting services across industries including financial services, healthcare, retail and high tech. Customers include TMC Financing, a company that provides access to over $7.5 billion in SBA financing to more than 4,500 business in California and Nevada.
The company has grown since its founding to more than 10 employees and is still growing. The company’s business processes created when it was first set up were no longer adequate.
The common dilemma facing PSOs
As they grow, Professional Service Organisations often face a dilemma about what their next software solution should be to help them. As projects increase in complexity they often consider that a project management tool is going to deliver the most benefit. However, this provides barely half the story for most organisations. It creates a disconnect between back office operations and the delivery teams.
Expansion brings challenges as well as opportunities and we wanted to control the business as it scales. – Dave Kremer, Atlas Cloud Solutions
Atlas realised that not only did they want their new software to manage projects they also wanted it integrated to the business aspects of the company. This meant integrating sales, finance and project management into a single platform. The decision was to look at a professional service automation tool that would support the business in eight key aspects:
- Full transparency and traceability for improved sales and delivery execution
- Requirements coping and estimating
- Resource scheduling
- Time and expense tracking
- Delivery reporting and forecasting
- Revenue recognition
A project team was created to investigate and select the best solutions. The inference is that Atlas looked at all the PSA solutions that sit on or are integrated with the Salesforce platform. As a Salesforce consultancy it seems unlikely that they would look elsewhere. There are at least eight different solutions claiming to be PSA’s working with Salesforce on the app exchange and Atlas probably reviewed them all. Only those that met Atlas’ high level requirements were then considered.
Atlas put in some considerable effort in this next stage. Rather than ask for demonstrations by vendor that would merely highlight their strengths they requested specific scenario based demonstrations. This helps organisations select a solution that demonstrably meets their requirements. Kimble was selected as it met most, though not all, of their detailed criteria and was the best fit for the organisation. It also sat on the Salesforce platform ensuring that data could be unified between the CRM solution already in use and the PSA solution.
During the implementation process Atlas also found that they needed to adjust their working practices. This is one of the advantages that business software provides to its purchasers. It is one that bespoke solutions often do not as companies often match development to bad processes. In selecting Kimble they chose a solution that already has many best practices configured within the solution. Judging whether historic company based processes or best practice processes should be used can be a tough one. Atlas, it seems, decided to move towards a best practice route. This has delivered improvement not just from the solution itself but also through implementing those new practises.
While the software is now installed, implemented and in use throughout the company, the work isn’t complete. Atlas is constantly looking to improve forecasting accuracy and business performance. It is tweaking the solution and its practices to ensure that as they grow, the software grows with them. This is a sensible approach. It means that as Kimble and Salesforce develop new capabilities they can take advantage of them.
Kimble is aiming to expand aggressively in the United States this year. In 2016 they experienced 70% growth year on year and no doubt hope to continue that. With offices in Boston, MA and Park City, UT, Kimble may open an office on the West coast. Sean Hoban, CEO Kimble Applications spoke about scaling in the US in a recent interview. Atlas face the same scaling challenge. However, by implementing Kimble it seems to have found a way to make that growth easier and more sustainable.