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Praxis Life Sciences: Overcoming the Challenge of Effective Resourcing

How does a company successfully implement automated technology to improve the user experience for staff? This was the problem that Praxis Life Sciences faced when it identified that its manual administrative processes were not providing the business critical insights it needed to support company growth. Praxis turned to Kimble to help its back office staff and consultants in the field communicate more efficiently.

From its inception, the company used a home-grown Lotus Notes-based application that was neither cloud hosted or mobile optimized. Praxis recognized it needed a major overhaul of its management and information systems in order to support the working practices of its partners, associates, third-party consultants and back office administrators.

Overcoming its business hurdles

Praxis was very clear about what needed to change. As partner Kevin Wysocki commented: “Our number one asset is the people we bill out. We needed to understand within our business where our project resourcing ‘cliff’ will be every three, six and nine months. To do this we needed to revolutionize our project resource planning, time management, expenses, and invoicing processes. We required a total Professional Services Automation suite.”

Kimble was selected by Praxis so the company could better understand its utilization and realization rates, both historically and when projecting forwards.

“Demand and capacity is our number one challenge,” said Kevin. “The key information that the other partners and myself look at is utilization and realization rates and capacity planning. We need to know what is our bench depth and what obligations we have to fulfill in the future. If we can forecast the next six to nine months more accurately and be proactive in our planning, our business will be in a much better place.”

Before implementing Kimble, Praxis used a static system for its invoicing, expenses and time management. Requiring a non-web based network connection, the company’s Principal consultants could only access the system in the office. This meant a consultant working in the field would quickly build up a significant backlog of data entry.

“Using Kimble’s web-based platform and mobile app, our full-time staff and third party consultants can independently enter time, expenses and invoices on a daily or month end basis, from any location. This has fundamentally changed the way that we conduct this side of our business,” continued Kevin.

“Because Kimble has built its platform from an end user perspective, it functions in a way that suits our business. As a result our associates are providing their business data in a much more timely fashion. The improved user experience is being channeled throughout the whole company.

“Our back office staff has acknowledged that selecting Kimble was the right move for two reasons. First is that its performance capabilities match what was demonstrated to us and the support they receive from the Zen Desk is second to none.”

The outcomes for Praxis Life Sciences

Kevin has identified three major operational benefits to adopting Kimble:

  • The efficiency of the business. From identifying which projects they can take on and sufficiently staff, to running these projects and sending and collecting invoices, Praxis has noticed a huge improvement in its day-to-day efficiency. The company is now collecting more invoices in under 60 days than it ever has. The result of this is faster revenue generation.
  • Effective resource decision-making. With all existing project data fed into the Kimble platform, Praxis has complete visibility of the rate of utilization of its consultants at all times. Armed with this information, the company is able to react to any changes in demand.
  • Praxis reporting accuracy. With all time, expenses and invoice information available to the finance team and partners in real-time, the entire financial reporting process is more accurate. The single platform has changed the way the company interacts internally. Thanks to the Kimble platform the accounting team is being better utilized to reflect its breadth of skills rather than chasing and verifying information, saving Praxis time and money.

“Understanding our resourcing and making decisions based on this information is our number one improvement,” said Kevin. “Thanks to the heat map projection of staff availability, we’re better at spotting the need for new hires to support the business on a quarterly basis.”

“We’re also just starting out on our journey. We’re still exploring new ways of building efficiencies in our reporting which will allow us to make even quicker management decisions. Our resourcing of staff is constantly improving and this is improving both our top and bottom lines.

Kevin ended: “With the Kimble dashboard and heat map tools we’ve met our demands to better understand and project our utilization and realization rates. We are now planning very effectively for three, six and nine months down the road. We use these tools bi-weekly to help us stay in front of our resourcing ‘cliff’. And there’s still more potential to unlock, which is exciting for our business.”