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LAVA: consultants find instant gratification

The challenges facing LAVA

LAVA is a dynamic and growing consulting services company focusing on target markets such as Utilities & Telecom, Professional Services and SME.

It helps organizations in the context of strategy definition, operational models, performance optimization, post-merger integration, and IT and supply chain advisory services, leading them and their people through important and challenging changes.

LAVA’s fast-growing team of consultants operates across BeNeLux, France, Italy and Morocco.

At its incorporation, it made sense to use Excel spread sheets to store and manage critical information pertaining to managing opportunities, planning, time registration, invoicing, forecasting, reporting, recruitment and selection, and various P&L lines. However, as the business began to grow, the relationship between all those separate information sources became cumbersome to manage in a timely and accurate fashion. It was difficult to get a single reliable source of data that could be easily managed and viewed.

LAVA wished to give its people a more holistic view of the business in order to better understand revenue and profit, and to follow up new business opportunities in a more structured way.

Luc De Keyser, managing partner, wanted to reach this goal by democratizing access to a single source of accurate data on all mission critical processes.

Barriers to growth / Overcoming its business hurdles

“Since vendor selection management is one of our services it was easy for us to apply the same process to our own needs. When choosing a vendor and an application, it is key to focus on strategic business changes you’re trying to drive; not on features and functionality.

“After preliminary research into the types of professional services automation tools that were out there and their capabilities, we soon created an RFP that covered our requirements.”

A small team (consisting of a representative of each business function that would be impacted) was responsible for creating the shortlist and whittling it down to the final selection. Four companies received the RFP and presented product demonstrations, with the whole process from writing the original requirements to the selection of Kimble on March 1st 2015 taking around three months.

Outcomes for LAVA

Benefits quickly made themselves known. Timesheets and expenses are now submitted and instantly processed weekly, instead of monthly, which has turned invoicing from “a nightmare into a pleasure” (from five days’ data processing to ‘push the button’). Kimble now provides LAVA with a real-time view of sales opportunities, resource planning, time and expenses, and company reports.

The introduction of Kimble has induced a company culture where consultants take ownership of both delivery and sales. Everyone now has access to revenue and profitability data, providing insights that allow people to take sales action that will improve delivery profitability.

“Thanks to the increased transparency on company performance and capacity, Kimble continues to support us in turning ourselves in a sales-driven consultancy firm.

De Keyser also cites the advantage of moving to Salesforce’s stable and mature platform, to which Kimble is native, since it guarantees the future proofing of any further investments in infrastructure the company may later take.

De Keyser remarks: “With Kimble, we’ve got a much better structured and clear view of sales opportunities, forecasts, and a single perspective on prospects, customers, and other contacts. We can see work in progress in real time, and with data accuracy we’re confident with.