Tribal: better decision-making powered by superior forecasting

Tribal Group Plc is a global supplier of software and services to support educational institutions.

The challenges facing Tribal

Ken  Houghton, the Head of Vocational Learning Implementation Services, Further Education UK and Europe, explains how his department began searching for a solution like Kimble after outgrowing its own system, which was built in-house.

Says Ken: “We had been using something that had been developed in-house and was built around Microsoft Dynamics and the finance system, but it had no remote capability. It also meant we had data stored in multiple locations, which made accessing and interpreting it a time-consuming process.

“We needed a single, professionally designed system that was created specifically for professional services automation, but was still flexible enough to be able to be used consistently across the business.”

Overcoming its business hurdles

After running a pilot in their Asia Pacific business, Ken implemented Kimble in his department in May 2015.

“It was a fairly smooth transition and the consultants have adjusted to it quickly. There used to be grumbles about the old system but these have faded away now that we have Kimble.”

Outcomes for Tribal

The biggest benefit Ken has enjoyed has been the improvement in forecasting.

“Kimble has hugely streamlined and simplified my forecasting work. Previously I had to manage multiple spreadsheets and transfer data from one place to another, but now it’s all in one place. I can control and move projects along much more easily and can see when we will need to get extra staff, or plan for when not enough revenue is coming through.

“Where once it took me days of work to achieve a half decent forecast, it’s now so easy to do that I forecast weekly. This means we meet more regularly to discuss our projections and, because the information is so up to date, we can make interventions earlier, which benefits the business. Seeing margins on projects is much easier now and where previously reports were ad hoc, now everything is consistent,” comments Ken.

Because Kimble can be accessed 24/7, consultants enter their expenses in a more timely manner, which means that the financial reports no longer see the peaks and troughs of expenses they once did.

And having everything such as timesheets, expenses and invoicing in one place means that a much more complete picture of the client is built. Also, because Kimble is native to Salesforce, additional information on the client can be accessed from the same place. This has helped different parts of the business to work together.

Ken explains: “The sales team were preparing a pitch for a client and I was able to provide them with useful information very easily; I didn’t have to hunt high and low across different places for it. I’m also able to ask relevant questions at the sales forecast meetings so it really helps us work together.

“I’m planning to use the project management aspect of Kimble more in the future. There is so much more for us to get from Kimble and I’m looking forward to continuing to use it to make improvements in the business,” finishes Ken.