The team at Tambla understands how the right software can transform a business’s productivity and culture.
Based in North Sydney, Australia, the company develops leading-edge workforce management, scheduling, payroll and other human capital software solutions for enterprise and government organizations. With integrated SAP consulting services, they support their clients’ HR technology implementation and strategy needs.
Since its founding in 1972, Tambla has evolved significantly. Yet, in early 2020, the business was suffering from a common affliction: inefficiency.
Chief Operating Officer Nathan Thomas recalls the confusion he and his colleagues faced.
“We knew inefficiencies were there, but we weren’t really tracking them,” he says. “And we had dependencies on a couple of individuals that we weren’t sure how to fix.”
Leadership felt out of the proverbial loop, unaware of the best approach to tighten the company’s processes and plug resource leaks. They tried implementing a change management protocol, but it wasn’t enough to produce a measurable outcome.
The idea to explore new software as a potential solution arose when they recognized that the heavily customized Microsoft Dynamics CRM would no longer meet their requirements without significant investment. At the time, they were also using a few other tools, including Kayako for ticketing and various apps including Microsoft Excel to help manage a growing project pipeline — none of which Nathan says added a lot of value. Due to restricted licensing models and internal permissions factors, only a few staff members had login access to each tool.
While they knew they could benefit from more robust technology overall, Tambla didn’t start looking for a client work management platform in particular. Instead, the team wanted a new CRM — and Nathan thought perhaps a multifunctional project management software could be the answer.
When he discovered Accelo, he was excited about the potential of having project management and ticketing in one platform. Because of the built-in time tracking, he anticipated it could also help Tambla overcome what he dubs “the ultimate challenge” in a project business: getting the right people focused on the right things at the right time.
Given Tambla’s software expertise, the intuitive platform interface and support from Accelo’s Professional Services team, onboarding was straightforward. They initially focused on implementing the Projects product.
Right away, Nathan says the cross-departmental visibility Accelo offered generated “a lot more openness and transparency.” The result was a huge overhaul in how the business approaches projects and employee utilization. Now that work is broken down easily with clear task assignments, employees are more self-sufficient.
“A lot of the gross inefficiencies we had throughout the system have been simplified,” he points out. “People’s efforts have been repurposed and they now focus on more important things.”
As Tambla has grown, projecting workload with the scheduling dashboard has allowed the team to easily determine reasonable ramp-up time when hiring. They can quickly bring a new employee up to speed and get them assigned to projects.
Six months in, they were ready to migrate ticketing data to Accelo, which turned out to be beneficial for both customers and technical support staff.
“Our customers had a great experience. It was pretty seamless,” Nathan explains. “Employees can now determine ownership and don’t have to make a lot of phone calls or send a broadcast email when a customer’s got an issue.”
Accelo’s sophisticated automation also makes billing quicker, triggering invoice requests for Tambla’s accounting team. They plan to further simplify billing and invoicing using Accelo’s API and their current accounting software.
In two years of using Accelo, Tambla has doubled in size and revenue and quadrupled the number of projects it turns over.
Recurring client work, which constitutes 70% of the business’s revenue, has increased by 15% in just the last year. In Nathan’s words, one-off projects are now just the “cream on top.”
The powerhouse combination of accurate utilization reports from Accelo and analysis via Microsoft Power BI equips Tambla’s leadership team with priceless business intelligence data that they’ve used to make critical decisions.
One such move was to expand their services by acquiring an SAP business in 2021. Nathan describes the process as an easy one: They used Accelo to transition this company from paper-based processes to digital workflows in just four weeks.
Since they began tracking 100% of their employees’ time in the platform in December 2021, forecasting has become a breeze.
“We can go into the system and I know where people are working today. I can tell you where they’re going to work tomorrow,” Nathan says. “I can actually tell you where they’re going to work for the next four to six weeks now. And because I know that, I can project revenue.”
Precise resource management and a noticeable net increase in efficiency have given Tambla’s leadership the ability to free up its highest achievers’ time and space. The resulting jump in creativity means Tambla is producing higher-quality software design and documentation than ever.
“We’ve moved from being experienced people making decisions based on their gut instinct to a data-driven organization.”
Nathan Thomas, Chief Operating Officer
Your IT firm could be more data-driven like Tambla. Here's how.