KIMBLE CUSTOMER STORIES

Contino Uses Kimble to Grow Its Global Business

Contino is a leading transformation consultancy that helps large, heavily-regulated enterprises to become fast, agile and competitive. When Contino was a rapidly growing start-up, the team realized they needed a PSA tool to support the processes required to deliver projects swiftly, predictably and at scale. After trying to implement an alternative PSA solution that needed huge amounts of customization, they selected Kimble because of its robust out of the box functionality and its shared commitment to customer value and agile delivery. Since adopting Kimble in 2017, Contino has been acquired by Cognizant and has grown from a $15 million global revenue company to an expected $120 million for 2021. Contino trusted Kimble to not only keep up with – but propel – its growth trajectory over those four years.

The Challenge: Disconnected Sales, Delivery, & Finance

In 2017, Contino was using Excel and Google Sheets to manage resourcing, project delivery, invoicing, and forecasting for a business that had aggressive growth plans.

Contino’s primary driver for evaluating PSA solutions was the business’s resource management challenges – it was becoming increasingly clear that managing resources with spreadsheets was not a long-term, scalable solution. The team was also looking for a tool that would provide robust reporting functionality, forward looking visibility, accurate margin calculations, and a streamlined time & expense process. They were looking for a tool that could close the gap between the Sales, Delivery, and Finance teams, as manually updating and sharing spreadsheets led to disconnected and time-consuming processes.

In hopes of tackling these challenges, the team at Contino selected a PSA. Unfortunately, the first solution they brought in was not a great match for their needs. It turned out to require enormous amounts of customization and configuration to get it to perform the functions that Contino expected. After a six-month implementation, Contino pulled the plug just before going live, recognizing that the solution would be too difficult to maintain and change as Contino grew.

When they began looking for a PSA that could support Contino for the long term, it became clear that Kimble aligned with Contino’s commitment to agile methods and its commitment to customer success. A demonstration convinced the team that the out of the box functionality built into Kimble could deliver the reporting, forecasting, and resource management that Contino required.

Anil Sharma headshot
“Kimble aligns well with Contino’s business proposition to its client base. We are an agile and nimble cloud transformation organization. Kimble is wedded to our agile nature which has seen our global business grow from $15 million to over $120 million in four years.”
- Anil Sharma. SVP of Finance, Contino

The Solution: Kimble for End-to-End Delivery Management

Contino wanted an end-to-end solution that could easily connect three key parts of the organization: the sales team, (opportunities, won deals), delivery/project teams (resourcing, skills), and finance (project performance, billing). Head of Analytics for Contino, Ben Simonds said, “The great thing about Kimble is that it is an end-to-end journey. There is a chain with very few hand-offs, from the sales process to invoicing and revenue recognition. It covers all the bases.”

The fact that Kimble is native to Salesforce – which Contino already used as a CRM – meant integration was simple. The sales and opportunity data was already on the Salesforce platform and employees were already familiar with the user interface.

Improving Gross Project Margin

Prior to implementing Kimble, Contino was only able to monitor profitability at a client level because calculating gross margin on a project level would have taken tons of resources and an incredible amount of manual effort and time to achieve – it just wasn’t realistic without a PSA tool.

Anil Sharma, SVP of Finance at Contino, is now able to hone in early on projects where the margin is slipping, find out what is causing the issue, and deal with it before it eats into profits. Additionally, the team can start to see any trends emerging from one project to the next and adjust teams or processes if it seems to be common for a certain type of project to go over budget, over time, or require additional resources.

Contino can now see all of the levers that can be pulled to optimize margins and where they have the opportunity to improve. Drilling down and improving margins at a project level is foundational when trying to scale at a rate like Contino – as the margin of each project slightly improves, so does the probability of success at an organizational level.

“Kimble has massively helped us monitor and improve gross margin performance. We started out using Excel and Google Sheets – and at that time, we were only able to capture gross margin at a client level. We could have rolled it up but it would have been incredibly time-consuming. What Kimble has enabled us to do is capture – seamlessly, just by running reports – the gross margin at both a client and project level. That’s allowed us to scale the business.”
Anil Sharma. SVP of Finance, Contino

Accurate Forecasts

Kimble enables Contino’s finance team to build and share accurate, timely, and forward-looking forecasts consistently and with ease. When initially looking for a PSA, the team wanted a tool that would decrease the time spent building the forecast while increasing its accuracy. With Kimble, finance can be sure that the forecasts they are sharing with the organization can be trusted and the data can be used to inform key business decisions.

“From a forecasting perspective, Kimble has been a massive improvement for us as a business. We have reliable and robust forecasts all the way from revenue, gross margin to EBITDA level.”
Anil Sharma. SVP of Finance, Contino

Make Hiring Decisions Sooner

Contino uses Kimble to identify resource gaps and hiring needs through the generic resource functionality – when a project proposal is nearing close, placeholder resources with generic skills are put onto the project to get a better idea of the cost and scope even if actual resources are not ready to be allocated. This makes it easy for the team to see if they have enough (or the right) resources to successfully deliver the projects in the pipeline. If there seems to be a gap, Contino can now start the hiring process much sooner – preventing any bottlenecks or reduced margins that may have resulted from last-minute resourcing scrambles.

“Generic skills are allocated to future projects at an early stage so we can see how many open roles we have coming up – which grades, time frames, and skills which lets the talent team plan for the next few months.”
Orinta Bernataviciute, Resource Operations Lead, Contino

A Single Source of Truth

Orinta Bernataviciute, Resource Operations Lead at Contino, turns to Kimble as the trusted and singular source for all resourcing data. Information is no longer kept in a silo as Kimble makes data available to everyone in the organization along with real-time updates and nudges to ensure the data being inputted is accurate.

“All I have to do is to log in to one place – Kimble. I don’t have to have a million tabs open. The information is now kept up to date because people in the business know that Kimble is the source of truth. That means everyone can see what is coming towards us.”
Orinta Bernataviciute, Resource Operations Lead, Contino
“We used to do all our resource management and reporting in a spreadsheet. Now we have actual views of who’s on the bench, who’s available, utilization reporting, forward views of who might be available and when — that’s been really helpful. Now, I can’t really imagine having to spend basically all my time in spreadsheets. I think we’d need 10 of me just to keep up with all the changes.”
- Orinta Bernataviciute, Resource Operations Lead, Contino

Results

  • Revenue forecasts give an accurate view of future company performance
  • Increased profitability with the ability to track gross margin at a project level and highlight issues at an early stage
  • Increased resource utilization with a complete view of resource data (i.e. skills, location, cost)
  • Better collaboration and visibility between Sales, Finance and Delivery – no delays sharing spreadsheets or checking on data accuracy