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FDM Uses Kimble To Automate and Streamline A Growing International Business

FDM Group provides graduates, returners to work, and ex-forces personnel with award-winning training as IT and business professionals. As the organization continued to scale globally, it became clear that their manual operations and processes would not support the business. With a focus on improving accuracy of financial data, they began looking for a PSA to streamline time, expense, payroll, and invoicing processes. With Kimble, FDM has been able to:

  • Improve timeliness and accuracy of financial data
  • Reduce debtor days, resulting in quicker cash turnaround
  • Foster better client collaboration through Kimble Community portal
  • Facilitate rapid expansion in new territories

Challenge: Manual Processes Unable to Keep Up with Global Expansion

Prior to Kimble, FDM’s financial processes were time-consuming and often prone to error. They faced challenges streamlining time and expense submission, which caused delays and errors in invoicing, payment, and financial period close.

The time and expense process was complicated, inconsistent, and unsustainable. Project Manager at FDM Group, Luther Cornelius, recalls: “It was email, Excel documents, we had people writing on paper and scanning that in, and then that would have to be collated by a team and manually typed into our previous system.” Reconciling all of this information took a lot of manual effort, with errors creeping in at every stage.

This all had to be done before invoices could be produced and sent to clients, and before consultants could be paid and reimbursed for expenses. Accordingly, FDM’s Finance department had to spend a lot of time fielding queries and finding and fixing mistakes in order to keep the business running. Clients were also struggling to stay in the loop – it was difficult for FDM to consistently share accurate time and expense with their clients so that they could approve it and check the progress of their projects.

As a result of rapid global expansion, FDM was opening new clients in different geographies, each with their own currencies, regulations, and compliance issues. FDM’s manual time, expense, and billing processes needed to be updated in order to keep up with this level of growth. They began the search for a PSA solution that was designed to support large, international businesses and would be able to grow alongside them.

“A major differentiator for us was the people side of it. When we first met up with Kimble, the culture really aligned with FDM. In Kimble, we have found a supplier that we really trust. That was very important to us. We have felt from day one that they are really trying to guide us and help us to solve our challenges and address our issues.”
- Luther Cornelius, Project Manager, FDM Group

Solution: Kimble Automates Financial Processes

Since adopting Kimble, FDM has been able to optimize the business’s financial processes from start-to-finish. Kimble has improved the overall accuracy, visibility, and reliability of financial data — from timesheets and expenses to invoices and reconciliation.

FDM’s more than 5,000 consultants around the world now use Kimble to enter their time and expense data on a daily basis. The team can be confident that this data is accurate and reliable — which directly feeds the efficiency and consistency of invoicing and payroll. Kimble supports the finance team in processing over 8,000 accurate and timely invoices a month.

Flexible and Adaptable Solution

FDM was keen to avoid implementing any PSA solution that would be likely to need extensive customization.

In the past they have had problems with that approach to software — it can make it hard to access support and upgrades. They selected Kimble because they were confident that it would be flexible enough to grow with the business.

“We could see Kimble was a very flexible system, which could meet all of our core functionality from day one, and imagine it being able to accommodate any unknown functionality that we need.”
Luther Cornelius, Project Manager, FDM

Streamlined Time & Expense

Prior to Kimble, FDM was using a variety of siloed and manual methods for time and expense. This led to delays, errors, and complications that impacted the entire financial process — including billing, invoicing, payment, and period close.

FDM adopted Kimble knowing their financial operations had to be streamlined in order to keep up with growth. Today, all consultants at FDM are using Kimble to quickly and easily input their timesheets and expense claims.

“A major benefit of Kimble is the time and expense functionality. Our consultants use Kimble on a daily basis to record time and expense data, which feeds through to the community portal for client approval.”
Luther Cornelius, Project Manager, FDM

Efficient and Accurate Invoicing

Automating time and expense submission through Kimble has had a significant impact on the consistency of FDM’s invoicing process.

With Kimble, the finance team can trust that time and expense data will be accurate and timely, leading to efficient and consistent invoicing.

“One of the main benefits of Kimble from a finance point of view has been reducing our debtor days. By having a much more accurate and efficient invoicing process, we're able to get our invoices out quickly.”
Luther Cornelius, Project Manager, FDM

Rapid and Successful Global Expansion

As the organization continued to expand quickly across the globe, with clients opening regularly in new territories, including expansion into Poland, Australia and New Zealand, unique challenges surrounding different requirements and regulations emerged.

Kimble has enabled FDM to cater their processes to address the unique needs of each territory, allowing expansion to continue apace.

“Kimble gave us the confidence that we could continue with FDM's expansion and rapidly growing consultant base in the knowledge that no matter what region or requirements came up, Kimble could solve it.
Luther Cornelius, Project Manager, FDM

Singular Portal to Connect with Clients

Where FDM previously struggled to give clients a consistent and accurate view of essential data, the business now shares information with clients automatically in the Kimble Community portal.

Having one source of truth for project data and a single portal for communication provided FDM with a much more structured approach to connecting with clients.

“Clients can use Kimble Community directly to access project data (live and historical) and approve everything all in one place. They don't have to come back and forth with us to get the information that they need.”
Luther Cornelius, Project Manager, FDM

Results

  • Significant expansion of services division with many new staff successfully onboarded since 2018
  • Improved billable utilization resulting in more efficiently meeting Client demands and overall performance
  • Increased confidence in the accuracy of financial projections such as estimate at complete (EAC) and revenue forecast
  • Improved communication and collaboration despite remote work during Covid-19
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