When Martin took over as CEO and Managing Director of Gamcorp, a consultancy firm based in Melbourne, Australia, he knew he had the right team and customer base to succeed in the market. Nevertheless, he noticed a problem when he stepped in. Even though the company had been successful for over four decades in two of the largest cities in Australia, the business wasn’t growing anymore.
While Gamcorp had great employees with a strong reputation in a hot market, something wasn’t right - the team was working hard, but the business wasn't generating enough profit to be able to invest in growth. After focusing on the team, clients, and processes for two years, Martin was forced to look beyond the more obvious and examine some deeper fundamentals. Looking at Gamcorp’s core, he saw one big red flag: utilization. Even though everyone was putting in plenty of hours, it turned out that only 35% of them were billable or generating revenue.
Seeing the problem is one thing, but finding the solution is harder. Examining the way the team worked, Martin had a hunch: if he could streamline their operations, he could free up Gamcorp's team of talented consultants to focus on clients and management would be able to operate with a lot more confidence. That would in turn drive utilization, profitability and allow the business to reinvest in growth. To understand why he thought something so simple could be a game changer, it helps to appreciate how the business was being run back then.
Working hard to stand still
When Martin took the reigns, it really struck him how much time was wasted updating systems that didn't talk to each other or really help run the business. "We didn’t have the tools to be able to manage the work we did," he said, even though at the time, Gamcorp was using many different tools.
With an in-house tool to log time and manage tasks, a separate one for client information, and another for accounting and invoicing, plus lots of spreadsheets and reports, keeping things updated took a lot of work. Even after all the time spent trying to piece things together, Martin and the executives still didn't have a solid idea of what projects or areas of the business were profitable. Realizing he couldn't answer critical questions like "are we on time, on budget, or profitable?", he knew something needed to change. “Things plateaued for us. We found it difficult to keep up with the work. I knew we had enough people on the team, but we couldn’t get the efficiency we needed.” Martin knew he couldn’t be the first person in the consulting business to have this kind of dilemma, so he went looking for a platform built for professional service firms like his that could solve his problems once and for all.
“Things plateaued for us. We found it difficult to keep up with the work. I knew we had enough people on the team, but we couldn’t get the efficiency we needed.” Martin knew he couldn’t be the first person in the consulting business to have this kind of dilemma, so he went looking for a platform built for professional service firms like his that could solve his problems once and for all.
The next step up in efficiency
Knowing that Gamcorp’s 35% utilization rate wasn't great, and believing the company’s problem was a mix of its clunky tools and lack of integrated management software to forecast and optimize utilization, Martin asked other business owners if they had any insights. After many suggestions and research, Martin decided to give Accelo a try.
Right away, he was able to see how Accelo would pay for itself. “Initially, the Projects module got me the most excited because you can do things against budgets and tasks, all while having your time logged automatically”, something the team had been struggling with before. As a business owner, Martin was now able to go in and quickly see how well Gamcorp’s projects were going. But, his favorite part was before a project actually kicked off: "The sales module lets us see the status of a sale before it’s converted into a project, so we can really know where our big wins are”. As Martin describes, “everything flows automatically - it’s the next step up in terms of efficiency”. With Accelo, Gamcorp got a smart and structured system in place so that all the right touch points happen at exactly the right time when a new job comes in.
Less hassle. More success.
A few months after implementing Accelo, the results exceeded Martin's wildest expectations. Thanks to automated timesheets and email tracking, integrated projects and streamlined billing, Martin saw game-changing results in the company’s bottom-line: Gamcorp boosted their utilization rate from 35% to 85%.
With Accelo giving the team a single place to manage all of their client work, “we have much more visibility into how much time everyone has to work, and our efficiency is much greater”, says Martin. He describes his team working in Accelo every day as, “a behavior and a habit, which was built by seeing the benefits of using the platform - much better than writing down a list of things they need to do on paper!”.
While the benefits from implementing Accelo were immediate, they haven't stopped. For example, Martin cites the invoicing module as a place where the team has seen even more improvements in efficiency. “We used to spend a whole day every week invoicing our clients. With Accelo, the same task now takes us about 5-10 minutes”.
Specifically, the bulk invoicing wizard allows Martin and his senior team to bill around thirty active clients at once in just a few minutes. This time saving alone is worth over $60,000 per person per year - that’s on top of Accelo's time-saving automation and increased billable utilization.
Investing in growth.
With an incredible team and a great list of clients earned through more than 40 years in business, Accelo has helped take Gamcorp from a stale growth trajectory to a thriving commercial success. With increased utilization dramatically improving the profitability of the company, they’ve been able to reinvest in growth and expand the team. “We added almost 60 hours a week in new billable time without changing anything we do (other than having implemented Accelo), so we can afford to reinvest in growth”.
Additionally, Accelo has given Gamcorp a consistent and integrated system, making it easier than ever to hire and onboard amazing people to support their growth. After more than doubling revenue since implementing Accelo’s smart technology, Martin expects to nearly double revenue again this year.
“It’s going to continue to make a huge difference for our company” Martin said, excited that Accelo has given Gamcorp a platform to invest in sustainable growth - and without the growing pains.