How VOGSY is helping Kirkman Company empower its consultants

17 October 2018 Authored by Consultancy.eu

With a team of around 75 consultants and staff, Kirkman Company is one of the larger management consulting firms in the Netherlands. Using a newly-implemented innovative technology, the consultancy has succeeded in bridging the gap between customer needs and the ability to decentralise responsibilities to the firm’s employees.

Admitted to the G-Suite marketplace in 2017, VOGSY, a Professional Services Automation (PSA) platform that facilitates the internal operations of consulting groups, aims to transform the way consultants work on the go by leveraging Google technology. VOGSY is a fully integrated PSA platform which focuses on business outcomes, offering process support and key performance indicators (KPIs) across every department associated with professional services sales, delivery and collection of fees.

As Google’s G Suite platform continues to evolve, VOGSY has emerged as one of the front running PSA platforms on the infrastructure. As a result, the platform is leading PSA solution provision on the G Suite, and a growing number of executives of both project and services-driven organisations are seriously considering the platform as they seek flexibility and security at an attractive cost.

This is what first led Kirkman Company to tap VOGSY for its people working across the firm. The company is a management consultancy, which manages around 100 projects per year for large corporates with the firm’s headcount of more than 65 consultants. Since its founding in 2000, by three college friends, the firm has grown rapidly. While Kirkman Company was determined to maintain this momentum, the firm was also keen however to grant more responsibility to staff and provide them with the information they need to make the right decision. This philosophy of building growth on decentralised talent is different from many traditional consulting firms, such as the Big Four, said co-founder Ivar Davids.How VOGSY is helping Kirkman Company empower its consultants

Reflecting on the systems change, Managing Partner Davids recalled that he wanted a single system with which to track all of the moving pieces while having the flexibility to allow the firm’s consultants to make many of their own decisions. This desire had to be balanced with the need for back-office staff to have guidelines and some basic controls to ensure business integrity and continuity.

Commenting on the specific set of needs, Davids said, “We need to give our team freedom to manoeuvre, to be on the track to desired outcomes in a changing environment. At the same time, we need to be sure that our clients’ goals are safeguarded and our own governance standards are met. It is similar with our company philosophy. Our people need access to all relevant info so they can make good and informed decisions, but not everyone should have the ability to manipulate the data so we can maintain the integrity of our business.”

Installation

As the company continued to expand, the need for a single, integrated solution built for collaboration between its expanding staff was critical. Davids explained; “VOGSY was built using the intuitive and social-style Google user interface. This means we now bring alerts and updates to our professionals’ personal timeline on any device and wherever they are – so they know when to take action much faster than they used to. And regarding the interface; anyone who can use a social app can use VOGSY.”

According to Mark van Leeuwen, CEO of VOGSY, the app was designed precisely with cases like that of Ivar Davids and Kirkman Company in mind. He explained; “VOGSY is unique in that it has been designed for the new generation of professional services companies who are predominantly mobile, need real-time information and collaboration to make decisions for their clients while transforming the back end of the business.”

Van Leeuwen added that unlike existing products, VOGSY had been built upon the notion that professionals should be at the centre of the technology. As a result, VOGSY can act as a single source of engagement for all service professionals, and allows for instant insight and access to all data and documentation. This facilitates decentralised decision-making which, in an age of agile business, is required to drive the desired outcomes for clients, and for consultancies.

“VOGSY enables maximum self-awareness, shorter throughput times and most importantly, drives successful outcomes for our customers.”
– Ivar Davids, Managing Partner of Kirkman Company

While installing a new PSA system has the reputation of a daunting task, Kirkman Company was able to set up VOGSY for its organisation in just four steps. First, over one to two days, the company installed quick business maps to support the main outcomes streams for projects, time entries and expenses. Then, it took a further day to populate VOGSY with customer and employee data, before spending a further two days working on finance mapping, to ensure all costs and revenues were accurately allocated. Finally, Kirkman Company had to announce the new system to its employees, and educate them in its usage. “Fortunately, thanks to its social-media-inspired interface, a one-hour session was more than enough to do this, explained Davids, adding “VOGSY is second nature to Google users.”

Results

According to Davids, the results to date have been highly impressive. He elaborated that Kirkman Company is now using VOGSY as a real-time all-round business tool to run the company and provide everyone immediate access to business insights. This means that on top of running the firm’s projects and managing its resources, all employees ('not just management') also have a lot more visibility of the engagement portfolio with less effort. As the news-feed style UX design means everyone can see everything they need in one place, there is no longer a monthly report to wait for, and subsequently there is much less strain on the firm’s admin department, while employees are keeping their data accurate.

“After all,” Davids added, “they get a lot in return – most importantly, making decisions on a daily basis instead of waiting for the back office to provide them with the accurate data. When given the proper tools and support, people definitely want to be accountable, we can see that working extremely well.”

With VOGSY in place to support the business, Kirkman Company is confident that they can meet their growth objectives while maintaining their B Corp focus and commitment on a high standard for social and ecological impact, accountability and transparency. Commenting on why the partnership has worked out between the two companies, Davids said that the VOGSY solution both fits the needs and philosophy of the consulting firm. He concluded; “At Kirkman Company there is now maximum self-awareness, no more reporting (or waiting on reports), shorter throughput times and more ownership of the most important job that we all do and that is driving successful outcomes for our customers.”

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