Kimble Works As “A Profitability Engine” for Certus Solutions

Kimble has been a “profitability engine” for Certus Solutions, helping to maximize the benefits of rapid growth, according to CEO Mark Sweeny. Since implementing Kimble a year ago, this leading provider of implementation and business support services for Oracle Cloud, has raised EBITDA by more than 5%. 

Better visibility and more accurate forecasts have supported more proactive resourcing and more effective delivery management. That has enabled Certus to raise average utilization by more than 7%.  

“We run the business in Kimble. That is where we connect the different areas of the business. It is completely end to end: pipeline, resourcing, financials,” Sweeny explained. Kimble is the “single source of the truth”. “If it’s wrong in Kimble, we fix it in Kimble. If it is not in Kimble, it doesn’t exist, because that is where we get the data to run the business, to make decisions.” 

Forecasts are increasingly accurate. “If we have 2% variance from prediction, that’s a bad month. We know how much work is coming down the pipeline, how much it is going to cost and over what period of time. We manage this in a very disciplined way, quarter by quarter. We are looking three years out. We can see projects in the pipeline, the probable and the possible.” 

As Certus grew, Sweeny explained, it became more difficult to manage using spreadsheets – “you can’t see the wood for the trees.” Running the business from accounts “is far too late, we are not seeing that we are not being efficient or effective until the end of the period.” 

“If we didn’t get PSA when we did, it would have become impossible to run the business effectively,” Sweeny said. Having decided to adopt Kimble: “we drove this from the top. It was management-led. We knew we had to approach this with rigor and discipline if we wanted to get the benefit.”  

The most challenging part of the implementation was aligning Certus processes with Kimble’s best practice framework – but that has driven major benefits. Now at Certus, they have: “real-time analysis and forecast, and we understand where we are. Kimble is unique – it is built for professional services organizations – that’s why it works.”  

COO Rob English, who led the implementation process, said it was relatively smooth. “Software implementation is what we do, so it was quite easy for us to get to grips with planning our implementation, thinking about the kinds of activities that were involved and who was going to do them.” He had two helpers. It took “10 to 15% of their time, 40% of my time, and it took about 4 months. There were peaks and troughs, but the effort was quite manageable.”  

English said that, prior to bringing in PSA: “we were flying blind – we didn’t know what the work was going to be, where everybody was.” With Kimble, “we know what resources are available, with what skills and what projects are coming down the line. Kimble has fundamentally made a positive impact on our business operations and more importantly in allowing us to manage our bottom line. “