Understanding the Total Economic Impact™ of Kimble
How does Kimble deliver the headline benefits identified by the commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting? What are the challenges it solves? What are the financial impacts and quantifiable benefits of adopting Kimble PSA? We answered these questions and more in a recent webinar with guest speaker Diane Deng, Forrester Consultant. In this blog we cover some of the most insightful bits from the chat, but we also have the entire webinar available to watch below!
What is The Total Economic Impact™ of Kimble?
Kimble and Salesforce commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying Kimble PSA. To calculate the benefits, costs, risks and greater financial impact of Kimble PSA, Forrester created a composite organization — a software, IT and management consulting organization with 5,000 employees over three years — based on aggregate findings from interviews with actual Kimble customers.
Key findings include:
- 489% return on investment (ROI)
- $20.5 million net present value (NPV)
- $24.7 million benefit in present value (PV), including:
- Increased overall project margin by 8% ($4.1 million)
- Improved utilization of billable resources by 10% ($12.3 million)
- $6.4 million in operational efficiency gains
- $1.9 million in saved costs from decommissioned systems and admin resources
- Payback in less than six months
The Top Three Challenges Faced by Customers Before Kimble
Based on the detailed research Forrester undertook with Kimble customers, they identified some key drivers which compelled businesses to seek out a solution to their problems. There were three common themes identified across customer interviews when asked what challenges they were facing before adopting Kimble. Organizations agree that these challenges were inhibiting their ability to scale, maximize profits, and deliver consistent value to customers — hence the ultimate search for a PSA solution. Diane reported the three most common challenges faced by Kimble customers before adopting PSA include:
1. Limited visibility in resourcing and revenue forecast
Resourcing managers were unable to clearly see the availability of consultants or other services professionals. That is a big challenge for PS businesses — their main source of value is selling the time of highly skilled people, often putting together teams from different locations.
Business leaders also struggled to create accurate forecasts. This relies on accessing reliable data from across the organization, which is constantly adjusted in line with the most current information.
2. Inconsistent and time-consuming time entry for billable consultants
Prior to adopting Kimble, businesses were finding it difficult to keep an accurate record of the hours people were working. This is a vital metric for running a PS organization, as it also feeds into future estimates.
“When verifying the timesheets, the billing team always found a lot of manual errors and discrepancies”
— Commercial system manager, IT training and recruiting
3. Disintegrated operational systems that were not easy to scale
Legacy systems often require a great deal of effort to maintain. Integration with other apps may not be possible, which means it will take additional effort to move data across.
“The previous system we had was cumbersome to use. In addition, it required multiple people to manage and maintain the system.”
— Director of business operations, education technology
Five Features That Set Kimble Apart
Diane reported that the customers who took part in the survey listed several features which made Kimble stand out when they were selecting a PSA solution. These five features stand out as the most impactful when it comes to customers’ decision to purchase Kimble:
1. The ability to integrate with Salesforce
Many of these businesses were undergoing digital transformation and wanted to move onto Salesforce, the leading global CRM platform. In others, the sales team were already on Salesforce and they wanted a PSA that would integrate smoothly with their sales pipeline.
2. Rigorous system that prevents inaccurate data entry
It is generally more effective to stop mistakes in data from being entered into the system instead of removing them later. So for example, in Kimble service professionals can’t enter time against projects to which they are not assigned.
3. Easy configuration process and scalability
Kimble’s out of the box functionality means that most businesses can use it with very little customization. Low code means the solution is easier to maintain.
4. User-friendly interface on both desktop and mobile devices
Being able to enter time on the go on their mobile phone onto a simplified form makes it easier for services professionals to make sure their timesheets are always up to date.
5. Post-sales product enhancement and customer services
Kimble works closely with its customer community and brings out twice yearly enhancements and upgrades in line with their requirements.
The Quantifiable Business Benefits of Kimble
Behind the headline number of 489% return on investment over three years are four key areas of improvement experienced by Kimble customers. The ROI of Kimble was calculated by taking the sum of the following benefits:
- $12.3 million in billable utilization improvements
- $6.4 million in operational efficiency gains
- $4.1 million in project margin improvements
- $1.9 million in savings from decommissioned systems
Billable Utilization Improvement
Three-year PV: $12.3 million
Diane explained that the greater ability of resource managers to know when service professionals were going to be available in order to book them against suitable projects was the single biggest driver of improved company performance.
This delivered a 10% percentage points improvement to billable utilization rate (68% to 78%). 10% of this improvement was attributed to Kimble’s ability to identify underutilized resources. Diane also reported that the rigor of the Kimble system meant that the record of billable utilization itself was more accurate and that has led to reduced revenue leakage. One participant in the survey, Head of Service Delivery for an IT consulting organization, reports: “We have a higher grade of predictable revenue. Being able to see the peaks and drops in a year helps us from a resourcing perspective.”
Operational Efficiency Gains
Three-year PV: $6.4 million
Thanks to Kimble, the composite organization now takes two days to close its monthly financial period — down from the four it would otherwise need. That disciplined period closure gives the business a more forward looking perspective as less time is spent dealing with the past period. There was a 75% improvement in consultant productivity across (previously manual) administrative work, and 80% of that saved time was able to be converted into new productivity. One survey respondent, Senior Director of services operations, notes: “The ability to enter time and get it approved through a mobile device was a big win for us.”
Project Margin Improvement
$4.1M Project margin improvement
Across the 1,100 projects the composite organization delivers in a year, the project margin has improved 5%. Part of that is due to the overall effects of the digital transformation and of the other improvements Kimble has helped to drive. But according to the research, 5% of that margin improvement is directly attributable to Kimble’s ability to provide better margin visibility in real time. Seeing fluctuations in margin helps project managers and others to avoid changes which reduce it. According to Director of client success at a business and IT consulting organization “We are able to view project margin and compare the actual versus projected at any time in Kimble.”
Savings from Decommissioned Systems
Three-year PV: $1.9 million
In the customer organizations which the research is based on, Kimble replaced several disintegrated systems, including on-premise PSAs solutions. By replacing multiple other systems and streamlining processes, Kimble reduces the demand for IT support and overall maintenance costs for their customers. The cost of the decommissioned systems was more than $600,000.
Diane also lists several benefits from Kimble that customers identified as important for the future health of their businesses, but which they did not put a quantified value on. These are:
- Improved consistency of operational data
- Improved forecast accuracy
- Matched best-fit resources to projects more efficiently
- Maintained business continuity during the pandemic
This blog was just an introduction and high-level overview into the results from the commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of Kimble by Forrester Consulting. To learn more about the cost savings and business benefits of adopting Kimble PSA, you can download the entire study — for free — here. Keep an eye out for more blogs based on the TEI study findings to come this Fall!