August 21, 2017 – Boston, MA – When Alan Crawley, managing partner of business management consultants at Optima Partners, brought Kimble’s award-winning professional services automation solution on board four years ago, he felt he was “investing ahead of the curve”.
Crawley wanted to boost the firm’s performance and administrative capabilities, primarily to enable it to meet and exceed the exacting standards required by big brand-name retail, finance and utilities clients.
“We were expected to be able to operate with the same administrative rigor as a much larger firm but without the overhead,” said Crawley. “I thought Kimble would give us a leg up and elevate our administrative efficiency, putting it above that of other firms of the same size.”
The strategy has proved successful. Since implementing Kimble, the company has more than doubled in size. Optima Partners specializes in marketing transformation and prides itself on providing a great customer experience for its own clients, achieving outstanding levels of customer satisfaction.
“We’re proud of our track record delivering projects to budget,” said Crawley. “On the rare occasions that we need to discuss extensions with our clients, we are armed with detailed, accurate information. We run to time – if we say something is going to take 60 days, we are confident that it will because we have usually done a similar program many times before. In Kimble, we are able to look back at those previous projects.”
Using Kimble means Optima Partners is also able to share very precise financial information about each project, including margin, to their client on request. “We operate in a prudent and financially responsible way, making a set margin on each project,” noted Crawley. “We bill and submit expenses claims accurately.”
Having an accurate source of live, real time information on tap, means that when Optima Partners is contacted with requests for more information it is generally able to reply with accurate data within the hour. “We can get what we need out of the system when we need it, so we can respond immediately,” Crawley said.
Without Kimble, Crawley feels the task of pulling information out of spreadsheets would fall to the owners of the firm causing stress and changing their focus. “You would have to draw all the information out of spreadsheets, it would be different for every project, it would be stressful and difficult and the information might well be wrong.”
Instead, Crawley is able to delegate this task to others and knows that the information which is drawn from the Kimble system is consistent and accurate.
Increasing in size has been possible with the support of Kimble PSA. “It has reduced the growing pains. We could grow to at least four or five times the size and Kimble would cope just as well,” said Crawley. Reducing the administrative load by using professional services automation has also meant Optima Partners has avoided the necessity of hiring a financial administrative assistant on a full-time salary. New hires get up to speed quickly with the Kimble system.
“Our customers can see that we run a tight ship. They know that we are on top of this. And it gives us a management capability that is relatively complex in terms of projects,” Crawley said.
But most importantly these standards, with Kimble’s help, enable Optima Partners to concentrate on what really matters. “Number one for us is delivering for our clients and providing a great customer experience. Kimble helps us to do that.”