Case Studies

Marketing Communications Agency Streamlines Operational Efficiencies

BACKGROUND

Metis Communications was named after a Greek Titan – goddess of wisdom and good council. It’s apropos for an award-winning marketing communications firm known for creating revenue-generating strategic communications for its clients.

 

CHALLENGE

According to Cathy Atkins, founder of Metis Communications: “As a long-standing business, we rely on our revenue growth and ROI data to guide us daily. However, our internal processes couldn’t keep up and didn’t reflect the work we were doing. We had introduced far too much complexity into our growth analysis and started experiencing tool and data sprawl.”

 

WHY VOGSY

Metis enlisted the VOGSY professional service automation (PSA) platform to help streamline its crucial operational workflows and provide greater transparency to its team.

Learn how they reduced reporting time by 75%.

 

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White papers

Simplicity Matters: New SPI Research Whitepaper

Information is the new currency in professional services. Today professional services organizations need solutions that are easy to use and engaging to achieve higher levels of productivity and profit, as well as greater client and employee satisfaction.

Read the new white paper from Service Performance Insight (SPI), the industry’s top research firm, to learn about:

  • Why simplicity and engagement matters
  • How PSO’s can take a people-centric approach to reduce information complexities
  • Ways to increase project profitability using a unified information approach for the entire quote-to-cash lifecycle
  • Key questions that can help leadership teams asses vulnerabilities and needs and how PSA can help
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Blogs

Avoid the bandwidth blues this holiday with a PSA

With the holidays here, employees are most likely taking off and cashing in their vacation time – all at once. Here’s how a professional services automation (PSA) platform can help business owners beat the bandwidth blues and keep the spirits high.

Brace yourself.

‘Tis the season of craziness, and while business at your professional services organization (PSO) may be booming, employees are often exhausted, stressed and trying to get everything done before taking time off. With personnel spread too thin, it probably won’t be long before you realize the most wonderful time of the year can be just the opposite – for all involved.

In fact, according to Cornerstone, work overload decreases productivity 68 percent in employees who feel they lack time to complete tasks. Mental Health America estimates companies lose $500 billion in productivity each year to workplace stress.

Could PSA be the solution you need to keep spirits high? Here are three ways this technology can help your PSO beat the holiday bandwidth blues:

    1. Make lists, but don’t check them twice
      With a constrained talent pool, you need to work smarter, not harder. With PSA, you can easily automate activities in areas from finance to operations, sales to project management, even control contractors supplementing your staff. It enables your team to get more done, and focus efforts, so all can enjoy their time off.
    2. Yule adore the transparency
      You don’t know today what decisions you face tomorrow. Having real-time insights on opportunities, activities and approvals anytime allows you to never miss a beat on things that haven’t even happened yet and drive positive outcomes for your business.
    3. Wrap it up
      PSA tools bridge the gap between sales and delivery, quote to cash, and ensure service levels are ideal. That means better margins and stronger forecasting of the work pipeline to avoid the bandwidth blues for the holidays and the rest of the year.

Remember: As people are the most critical asset in any PSO, it’s important to take care of your employees. Gallup recently reported that engaged employees – those enthused about work – enable their companies to perform up to 202 percent better than others.

Sounds like the gift that keeps on giving to us.

Need more ideas on how you can beat the bandwidth blues? Check out our infographic here and contact us for more information.

Blogs

Spreadsheet Salvation: Is Your PSO Trapped in the Cells of Hell?

You’ve acquired an arsenal of tools for managing your professional services organization (PSO). There’s the CRM solution for quotes and tracking opportunities. Separate ones for project and resource management. There’s the finance system, something for internal communications and collaboration; the list goes on and on.

It’s no sin. You’ve just been trying to be as efficient and competitive as possible. Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred, and now critical information is extremely difficult and time-consuming to find, never mind analyze and report on.

Worse, you rely on spreadsheets to compile data across all of these systems, and a whole lot of them have been created. You and your team are trapped in “cell hell.”

There is a solution. But first, understand how spreadsheet sprawl is hurting your organization. Below are just a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What are we doing? Spreadsheets were intended to mirror an old-time accounting practice. Ever put a name into an Excel cell only to find it changed to numbers? There’s your proof on why they’re limited. Yet, companies use spreadsheets for a range of business functions and data of all types – and those tiny cells weren’t designed for a lot of detail. That makes spreadsheets cumbersome and awkward to manipulate.
  • Are we spread too thin? For an individual, never mind an entire company, spreadsheets mean too many hours are spent on the wrong task. Entering data, scrolling through hundreds of rows, deleting and archiving, training new hires – you and your team could be spending more time on administrative functions than your actual jobs. And time is money.
  • Have we got this right? Manually entering data, or importing through files, can introduce errors. One mistake can snowball and impact a lot. Add in multiple users doing entry and the odds that everything is correct aren’t good. From billing issues that irritate customers to inaccurate revenue forecasting that jeopardizes plans, spreadsheet mistakes can quickly spread the pain across your business.
  • Are we missing anything? Leaders need accurate and timely information to quickly make the right decisions and seize new opportunities. As data sits, it becomes less reliable. In today’s fast-paced business environment, change happens quickly. Real-time visibility and analysis is the only way to ensure you don’t miss out.

If these questions have you wondering, then it’s time to check into a professional service automation (PSA) platform, an integrated solution that can do it all, designed exactly for companies like yours.

With a single solution, you’ll gain real-time data insights that support fast, strong decision-making. You’ll be able to share business and project data across your company. You can reduce data errors, free up yourself and staff members, curtail data entry and administrative time. And, because a PSA solution can automate everything from project management to contact management to timekeeping, you’ll save even more.

PSA is not just for large organizations. SPI Research feels they have become so easy to use, firms with 20+ consultants should implement one rather than use spreadsheets. They also noted that PSOs integrating CRM, PSA and finance systems experienced gains such as:

  • 9% Improvement in projects delivered on time
  • 8.4% Improvement in projects on budget
  • 6% Increase in billable utilization
  • 11.7% Increase in project margin

It’s simple. A PSA platform makes your business run better – that means it makes you more money.

Suffering the torments of cell hell? Need salvation from spreadsheets?

Talk to us. I think you’ll find the results heavenly.

Blogs

Real-time insights: How one tool for management consulting firms drastically increases profitability

Who owns X project? What’s the status of X? How’s X project going?

You and other management consulting leaders are all too familiar with these often-asked questions. As consulting firms face increased competition, a constrained talent pool and greater global regulatory accountability, real-time insights into the business and current projects are a necessity. Your teams should not — and cannot — afford to spend hours bogged down tracking projects and managing deliverables.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all those statuses were automatically updated and delivered straight to you?

Thankfully, a professional services automation (PSA) solution provides those real-time insights, sharing business and project data from across the organization in one location, as well as automates everything – from project management to contact management to timekeeping. A PSA solution is the best tool you can adopt for your management consulting firm. You’ll easily gain better visibility into current and future work, which in turn helps you increase your firm’s productivity, grow faster and improve profitability.

Here’s how your management consultant firm can get the job done right with PSA:

    1. Keep all project fundamentals under one roof
      Whether your firm focuses on digital transformation projects or research on environmental impact, all consulting firms have one thing in common: project-based work, which often means many moving parts. It’s inefficient for executives and other team members to constantly check in with one another on project statuses when they should instead focus on growing the business and better servicing their clients. PSA platforms allow you to see all project data and updates in real time and in one place, which lessens the strain on employees for admin activity and data analysis

    2. Get real-time insights and run your business better
      Working in the consulting industry, you already understand that transparency and insights are key to a successful business. Executives and owners need to see which projects are coming in, which are over-budget or behind schedule, and which consultants are over-committed. All of this data helps inform good decisions quickly and keeps your firm running profitably. In fact, companies have improved on-time project delivery by 9 percent with a PSA solution. It’s impossible to make educated decisions about the future without looking at current and past data. Having real-time insights into your business’s financials and projects available anytime from anywhere means you can take action on things that haven’t even happened yet and drive positive outcomes for your business.

    3. Allow employees to make smarter decisions for clients whenever, wherever
      The consulting industry has shifted in recent years, requiring firms to be more agile and react to constant change faster. This trickles down to teams and changes how consultants work and collaborate with one another. As younger generations enter the workforce and technology evolves, how teams use technology also changes: Forrester revealed 45 percent of information workers rely on mobile with clients and partners.

      Consulting firm Kirkman Company, for example, whose 75+ consultants are predominantly mobile and remote, needed to enable real-time information and collaboration so their teams could make decisions for their clients. A PSA solution built for mobile meant their team could update information, remain engaged and make decisions from anywhere. Those real-time insights led to ownership and accountability to make better-informed decisions faster, which leads to the next point…

    4. Promote ownership of project outcomes
      Ivar Davids, co-founder and managing partner at Kirkman Company, had challenges developing guidelines and some basic controls to ensure business integrity and continuity. “We need to give our team freedom to maneuver, to be on the track to desired outcomes in a changing environment,” said Davids. “At the same time, we need to be sure that our clients’ goals are safeguarded and our own governance standards are met.”

      Kirkman Company chose to use VOGSY, and was then able to see everything they needed in one place. No one needs to wait for a monthly report, there’s much less strain on their admin activity and their employees are keeping their data accurate.

The real-time insights afforded by PSA solutions give you both the knowledge and time you need to boost your consulting firm’s competitive edge.

Does your consulting firm need help keeping track of all your project deliverables and business performance? Learn how management consulting firm Kirkman Company used VOGSY to tackle this challenge.

Case Studies

Google Cloud Solution Provider Transforms Its Business With PSA

BACKGROUND

White Stratus was founded in 2010 with the vision of becoming a leading global partner for enterprises moving to the Google Cloud. They now operate around the globe and work with an array of multinational organizations. Over the years their business has grown by helping companies take advantage of the Google Cloud infrastructure and they have significant expertise and investment in the Google Cloud and Google Platform. White Stratus has operated in a diverse range of sectors but they are now looking to become more competitive, differentiate themselves from their competitors and continue to grow their business.

 

CHALLENGE

From a business standpoint, cloud services for basic G Suite is becoming a commodity, with limited added value that can be achieved for clients. White Stratus believes that after companies move their basic functions to the cloud they will quickly begin to move business applications to the cloud, as well. White Stratus differentiates itself compared to the technology-driven (offshore/nearshore) partners with a ‘business first’ solution offering. These low cost outsourcing companies are focused on just the technology and not integrating it with a business solution approach. White Stratus’ goal is to expand their ability to help agencies and consulting firms move complex business and workflow processes into the cloud.

 

WHY VOGSY

White Stratus has been a Google partner since 2010, so they were thrilled with the fact that VOGSY is built on top of the Google Cloud platform, especially since they have significant expertise and investment in Google technology. It was a natural extension for White Stratus since they already had deep expertise in the Google technology and it required minimal time for their teams to learn the VOGSY solution.

 

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Blogs

Why the professional services ‘flywheel’ fuels growth

I recently attended Inbound, the HubSpot annual conference for customers and partners. The focus was on the retirement of the “funnel”, which we all have grown to love, and the emergence of what they are calling the “flywheel”. It’s always hard to leave something that you have known and used for many years to try something new. But as I was listening to the new approach, I realized it made perfect sense and at the same time, felt very familiar.

The HubSpot “flywheel” is a continuous circle with marketing, sales and service all playing an important role in attracting, engaging and retaining customers, which translates into growing your business. What is also significant is that they put the customer in the center of the wheel with the goal being to leverage happy customers as references and referrals for future new business.

 HubSpot “flywheel”

It makes sense.

What was familiar was the fact that VOGSY has built its professional services automation platform with a very similar concept. Professional services is a people business. So, naturally, we put the professional at the center of the technology and provide them tools, insights and transparency to have more accountability and make better decisions.

Important information and functionality, which people in all departments within a professional services organization need, are available and integrated so no matter what your role you have the insights and data to make better decisions, faster. This translates into happy customers, productive employees and a growing business.

VOGSY “flywheel”

Two important aspects of the flywheel:

  1. Flywheels represent a circular process where customers feed growth.
    HubSpot’s change to the flywheel included investing more in customer marketing, customer advocacy, and in creating delightful onboarding experiences for new customers. They also invested in an integrations ecosystem that helps their customers do more with HubSpot and creates real value for people who adopt their suite of software.

    With VOGSY, our flywheel is the entire quote-to-cash lifecycle and acts as the single source of engagement, with the professional at the center of technology. It’s the real-time insights and access to data that results in more engaged employees, with better outcomes.

  2. Friction kills flywheels.
    HubSpot made investments that systematically target their biggest points of friction. They reduced the friction with great free software as an entry point, channels that help people connect now instead of later, a sales process that solves for prospects, and a broad range of customer education.

    With VOGSY we also have eliminated areas of friction for our professional services customers, such as removing the admin burden, eliminating over-delivery and “tooling and data spaghetti” that comes from many different point products which don’t integrate with each other, and the lack of real-time data. The result is better business outcomes, 360-degree business control, increased return business, shorter DSO, and more customer focus.

    This is a new way of thinking, by putting the customer in the center of technology that facilitates engagement, provides real-time information to make better decisions faster, and clears the way for accelerated growth.