Client Success Story

Groundbreaking Consultancy Focuses on Its Sustainable Mission

Accelo brings freedom and structure to a trailblazing Australian consulting firm via integrated client data, time tracking and project visibility.

Background

SUHO is a sustainable building consultancy and design firm whose mission is to educate Australians about the benefits of healthier, more comfortable and economical buildings until sustainable building practices are mandated. 

The company is the brainchild of Jim Woolcock, whose family background in construction naturally drew him to a career in alternative ways of building that are good for both the environment and people. 

Founded in 2001, the company has teams in Adelaide, Melbourne and Manila. SUHO is comprised of residential and commercial divisions that design high-performing buildings, perform energy star rating assessments, create sustainability management plans and more. Within its residential team is SUHOstudio, the firm’s specialized design team, which was responsible for designing and overseeing the build of South Australia’s first 10 Star Home.

Challenges

While the team used a proprietary in-house software system called Treehouse until 2020, its capabilities didn’t quite suffice as the business grew. 

Adele Stadoliukas, Operations Manager, says there was very little visibility, especially pertaining to how many clients were using each type of service. There wasn’t an organized way to hold historical notes about what clients and prospects cared about since Treehouse didn’t unite projects and sales data in a contact record.

Time tracking was also an area of concern, as the team knew it was important to track utilization but wasn’t equipped with a way to do so accurately.

Driven by the need for improved project and task analysis, effective time tracking and straightforward CRM functionality, two SUHO staff members researched a number of software solutions in early 2021.

Solution

Accelo stood out amongst the list of options for its “one-stop shop” nature, Adele explains. The possibility of increasing efficiency, with every team member accessing the same information, was intriguing — and reason enough to move forward.

Once they began implementation, the team realized they’d have to change up some processes to match the natural progression of the client journey in Accelo. Adele says this was possible because of help from Accelo’s Professional Services team and the willingness of SUHO’s small staff to adjust.

“It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut and just do things the way you’ve always done them, but I’d say it’s important to review your processes before adopting new software,” she says. “Accelo has molded some of our workflows, so it can make you work smarter.”

The fact that the platform can handle many unique service types turned out to be perfect for how SUHO does business. They set up custom statuses and triggers a bit differently for commercial and residential compliance and custom design projects.

Over time, each department expanded its usage of Accelo:

  • Their commercial team began using its automated time tracking and auto-scheduling features, which has allowed team leaders to more easily manage workload and prevent overwhelm.
  • The residential team input a detailed list of tasks they use to assess homes for energy star ratings, allowing distributed employees to complete work in a more timely manner and increase the profitability of this service.
  • The studio design team in Adelaide broke down the stages of bespoke designs in Accelo, using templates for each stage, and engaged the platform’s quote-to-project conversion button to ensure they don’t miss a step. 

SUHO’s marketing and IT teams now use Accelo’s Tickets product to communicate and resolve issues internally.

And instead of bulk client billing, which is popular with many Accelo users, the business generates detailed individual invoices after each project, according to the client’s billing cycle preferences.

Results

In just over a year, Accelo has made the SUHO team more accurate and efficient. But it’s also gifted them with something even more powerful: the security that comes from having autonomy within a methodical system.

Everyone knows what’s expected of them, and the team gets a lot of comfort in that because they have both freedom and structure. They know what they have to do, and they can see that it’s challenging but achievable.
Adele Stadoliukas, Operations Manager

Accelo has also paved the way for more seamless and present leadership at SUHO. Because they can navigate the platform intuitively, Adele and her colleagues can investigate everything that’s happening with a particular team, client or project in a few clicks. 

“It helps me understand what goes into the work we do and the true amount of time and effort it takes to do that,” she says.

SUHO’s sustainably conscious clients are more confident in the consultancy’s services, too. From their detailed invoices and quick communication, they can tell their projects are up to speed. Adele is excited to improve client relationships even more using Accelo’s convenient client portal.

She says they also have ambitions of using the API to create a custom dashboard to further simplify workflows as they take on even more exciting projects and dig deeper into educating Australians about the immense potential of environmentally friendly building practices.

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