Agility Factor – Fully integrated PSA Timesheet, Invoice, and Workforce Planning into its internal system
When it came time to choose an automated professional services...
Established in 2006, Calgary-based Agility Factor has experienced rapid growth providing expertise in program and project management, change management, and business consulting for companies such as Husky Energy and TransAlta Corporation as well as numerous local utility companies. The company focuses on practices such as mergers acquisitions & divestitures, strategic business development, regulatory compliance and stakeholder relations. These are carried out through a 100% project workforce model that leverages the insight and experience of contracted senior level consultants to customize solutions that address client needs.
To ensure its own internal business processes were appropriate, Agility Factor initially used spreadsheets and other manual processes to track consultant timesheets, invoices and other professional services. This allowed the company to manually create the most efficient possible internal processes, according to Partner Kevin Litzenberger. “We knew from the outset that we wanted a professional services system, but wanted to make sure we had completely honed every one of the processes and that all the pieces of the basic foundation were in place before we moved to an automated system and began to grow,” he explained.
The manual processing of timesheets and invoices required several of the management team to spend days each month combing through spreadsheets and doing the necessary calculations.
When it came time to choose an automated professional services system in late 2008, the company had three requirements:
- An on-demand system that would not force the company to tie up resources and overhead provisioning and managing an on-site system.
- Seamless integration with its Salesforce.com CRM and QuickBooks accounting systems.
- Scalability to accommodate anticipated growth and the expansion of the consultant workforce for large-scale projects.
Once these priorities were met, Agility Factor would be assured of the reliability of its system and of the smooth flow of data between its key internal solutions. The company could then focus on core business objectives and delivering the highest level of results for its clients.
These three priorities narrowed the list of possible solutions to PSA and two other on-demand project management software vendors. Agility Factor chose PSA primarily because of its integration capabilities with both Salesforce.com and QuickBooks.
The fact that PSA is a part of Salesforce’s AppExchange compatibility marketplace was also a motivating factor.
When implementation began in the spring of 2009, a few challenges arose when the PSA team attempted to incorporate the processing functions that Agility Factor had worked so diligently to develop. “The initial effort had some issues, but when we pointed this out, PSA was able to adapt, gain a better understanding of our business, and figure out how to support our approach,” said Litzenberger.
Agility Factor has now fully integrated PSA Timesheet, Invoice, and Workforce Planning into its internal system. CRM data is integrated from SalesForce.com to PSA, which provides relevant accounting data to QuickBooks and back to SalesForce.com. As a result, a single administrative resource can now process many more timesheets and invoices than before.
“Even if we doubled or tripled the volume of our business, the time required for processing wouldn’t increase much and PSA automation would keep everything flowing smoothly,” Litzenberger said.
He also pointed out that in some cases, PSA has become part of the company’s sales process. In those instances, Agility Factor showcases its own internal systems to prospective clients in order to demonstrate how robust and sophisticated their solutions are. “By using PSA we ‘walk the talk,’ and show our own prospects how organized, standardized, and repeatable our operations are,” Litzenberger explained.
Another benefit is the consultants who make up their extended workforce have found the system very easy to use. “Our consultants have worked with a lot of companies and used a variety of high powered systems,” stated Litzenberger. “They find the PSA system to be intuitive to work with, so as a result the transition was painless.”
By providing the on-demand reliability, integrative capabilities, and scalability that Agility Factor demands, PSA helps ensure the company will efficiently and effectively continue to deliver the high-level, high quality expertise its clients have come to expect.