“Our business is in growth mode”
Says Kelly McCarthy, CEO of Genesis Integration, “and when we tried to get data from the CRM program, the project management system and accounting system to get a clear view of the business, I couldn’t trust the numbers.”
When a building is being built that requires audio/visual set ups, Genesis Integration does the design and install. Genesis is a construction company that knows audio/visual.
Although the three systems Genesis used were linked, too much time was spent managing three databases. The information was not linked in terms of timing. Data was entered at various times of the month depending on the system or the data. This meant that data was old. Genesis couldn’t make real time decisions to tighten up cash flow, look at trends and do forecasting. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were nonexistent because of poorly organized and recorded data.
Many companies when faced with this challenge, rely on an accounting system to provide KPI information. But when you are run a service business that must also deliver hardware as part of the service, an accounting system is only a snapshot in time of what is going on in the business. It just records history. For a business to make business decisions, McCarthy needed a snapshot in real time of what is going on in the business.
When you work in 3 divergent databases, it’s like using a paper and pencil,” said McCarthy. “You write it down and then erase it if you don’t like what comes out the other end because it does not reflect reality.
Solving the Problem
Genesis knew they needed to make a change and find a single platform to manage all of the key components of the business. The challenge was to find something in the market what would work. This process would be the single largest risk to the business. “We wanted to have much tighter process control,” said McCarthy. “But we found that you can’t do process control work until you solve the software problem. Get the tools and then put processes around them.”
After an exhaustive search that included big names, the company thought the solution was a software as a service (SaaS) product from Europe that was gaining momentum in the industry. After reviewing the product and conducting due diligence, they went to visit a company using it. Management was happy but the users were unhappy.
The base for the program was built in Europe for another vertical market and the software firm had attempted to make changes for the integrator market. The product was not North Americanized and had no solid US support. So Genesis went back to the management team and started asking people in their industry what they were using and how that was working for them. That is when Genesis discovered Solutions360 and their delivery of a single platform to run the entire business. This lead to full day requirement sessions and reviews and after continually “peeling back the onion” Genesis was convinced that one system that could handle sales, project management, project accounting and service dispatch, was the way to go. Plus, they would have a team dedicated to helping set up the system and import data, something that SaaS companies are weak on.
“We thought we were getting good, accurate information before, but we were not,” says Genesis CEO, Kelly McCarthy. “Now we are. This difference has translated itself into much better cash flow management, we cut our accounting department in half in six months, and we are seeing efficiencies in places we could not have predicted.
“Now we recognize revenue in actual real time. When a piece goes out the door it hits the P&L statement almost instantly”.
Having one bucket to draw from creates incredible opportunity to get necessary information in very creative forms. The system also has a document management component. We hope to be paperless within six months. There are a bunch of other aspects too numerous to name like project management via the web, blackberry integration for technicians, GPS integration for service calls, etc.
“It was an integral part of enabling our growth last year with an 80% increase in revenues while using $1.5M less cash to do so. Enough said; this investment has paid for itself many times over.”