Kimble

MSS Technologies: business transformation driven by technology

Transforming internal business operations from manual to automated is a significant technology project which can be fraught with problems. This was the challenge that MSS Technologies faced when it sought to migrate its business operations onto a fully automated cloud hosted professional services platform.

When the company was formed almost 30 years ago, MSS Technologies discovered that the market place only offered professional service software designed for law firms. Not appropriate for a management consultancy business, MSS technologies designed its own software which the company used for 25 years. That is until the business hit its own ‘technology wall’, instigating a search for platform that would help it remain competitive and hit its growth targets.

Overcoming its business hurdles

MSS Technologies was very clear about what needed to change. As founder and President Mike Hawksworth commented: “Being a professional services firm our main concern is people. We worry about their utilization, that they are managing the contracts correctly against our customer engagements and that we can invoice for the work completed by our people on time. Receivables are our lifeblood.

“We don’t run mass marketing campaigns, all of our business is driven through networking and relationships. This means a lot of face-to-face conversations which generate a lot of information. We needed a platform that could deal with all of the touch points our people have with our customers.”

Mike deployed a market research team to identify a suitable platform to meet the needs of MSS Technologies. This is when they came across Kimble.

The MSS Technologies team worked using the same methodology that the firm uses for its clients. The team focused on the core requirements the company used for its internal process and discovered Kimble brought together all of the elements needed for professional services automation.

Mike continued: “We were running two separate systems for our CRM and billing systems and we wanted a product that would integrate them. We knew we had to step up and integrate the full life cycle of our customer engagements from sales to service delivery to billing. Kimble provides that fully integrated system. It addresses the sales opportunities coming through the pipeline and balances our resourcing against this pipeline. A further benefit saw our existing financial system migrate seamlessly with Kimble’s cloud hosted platform.”

Kimble provides a consistent platform across the company. A key factor behind its selection was that everyone from the accounting team to the consultants in the field reaps the benefits of sharing real-time information.

“At first the accounts team were triple checking reports for data inaccuracies, but they soon realized this wasn’t necessary. Kimble’s background in consultancy meant the go-live was incredibly smooth with both parties on the same page throughout. Eventually we were able to ‘flip-the-switch’ and our whole business was migrated across,” said Mike.

The outcomes for MSS Technologies

Mike has identified three major operational benefits to adopting Kimble:

  • Better client service. Thanks to adopting Kimble MSS Technologies is tracking its sales pipeline and resource data better. This is allowing the business to begin delivery planning ahead of a contract being signed. By gaining the available insight from its data MSS Technologies is moving forward into its active project stage one step ahead where possible.
  • Increased performance against forecasting. MSS Technologies now completes its monthly forecasts with data driven through the Kimble platform. As a result the business can identify if it needs to adapt its resource planning for the month ahead. When running its mid-month forecasts and performance analysis, the firm is regularly finding itself ahead of targets. For the management team, this practice is made even easier by the ability to run reports in a matter of hours on request.
  • Improved relationships with third parties. Like most management consultancies, MSS Technologies generates a significant amount of revenue through subcontractors. Previously an internal contracts group managed these relationships. Using manual invoicing, time collection and status reports the team would act as a go-between subcontractors and the delivery teams. Now subcontractors use the Kimble platform to interact with the business, saving time, expense and improving the relationships.

“Kimble is the single platform that we used to describe as ‘Zeus’ because for a software to do all of the things that Kimble does for us, it would take on a god like status for the business,” said Mike. “To go from multiple to single platform so easily was a major business transformation for us which has paid off.

“With Kimble as a foundation we believe that we can grow our revenue by four or five times with increasing the headcount in the back office. We see growth being driven by cloud technologies. Now our customers know that we have the skills to migrate their business to the cloud as we’ve undertaken the same process ourselves. It gives us real gravitas in the market.

“Because Kimble is an industry vertical solution which is always improving, it is also helping us to continually improve. I am delighted to be a part of the bandwagon of what I expect to become a major technology firm,” finished Mike.