Riverflex launches Splash! – a platform for consulting businesses

05 January 2022 Consultancy.eu 5 min. read
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Digital consultancy Riverflex has launched Splash! – a platform that digitises consulting processes as well as enables the management of contingency workforces. A discussion with Riverflex CEO Victor Hoong and Tech Lead Hassaan Zaidi on how the new digital platform helps consulting firms maximise profitability and scale their business.

Why did you build Splash!? And how does it fit with the Riverflex vision?

Founder Victor Hoong explains that “having a platform of 1,300 independent consultants allowed Riverflex to grow quickly in four years, enter four different markets and work with 25 top clients.”

“We operate with teams of independents to deliver consulting work. Our model and our way of combining specialist talent with our own team, and methods and standards, deliver really great outcomes for clients.”

Riverflex launches Splash! – a platform for consulting businesses

Hoong believes that in order to keep track of the unique skills and talents that were brought into Riverflex, the use of technology was necessary. This is where the new Splash! platform comes in.

“The Splash! portal has two main purposes. Firstly, to signal to the market that independents can come and join, and secondly, to help consultancies manage their contracting and onboarding information more efficiently.”

The former Deloitte partner explains that tedious paperwork tasks are automated by the portal, and having contract administration compliance and documents all in one place cuts down on the amount of time spent on onboarding.

What solutions does Splash! offer?

Hoong states that “when looking around in the market, other solutions seemed too complex and didn’t focus on running a really profitable consulting service”. The digital consultancy learnt from experience that it is not possible to scale a consulting business on spreadsheets. This led to the idea of Splash! and what potential problems it could solve for boutique consulting firms.

Riverflex Tech Lead, Hassaan Zaidi, explains that keeping the data on spreadsheets makes it very hard to identify what can be done to improve the business. “Having a platform that combines all the information and data that is linked to your business, projects and clients, which you can then share with other team members, brings a lot of value.”

One major benefit: the platform can help identify profitability improvements. “The dashboard gives clear metrics of impacts on margins and profit and puts forward suggestions. Hoong: “The platform highlights where profitability is beneficial and where it could be harmful, as well as potential risks that may arise in a project.”

What are you looking forward to the most when it comes to Splash!?

Zaidi explains that “the idea of collectives and how you can manage them on Splash! is a very different idea than how traditional consultancy businesses are being operated. We want to build this concept of creating and managing your own collectives and then being able to share those with your client or other consultancies.”

The tech specialist further adds that that through Splash!, Riverflex is moving towards creating an ecosystem of different consulting businesses working together which results in “very useful relationships”.

Meanwhile, Riverflex is in parallel to the product’s launch working on new developments. “For example, machine learning, which can provide insights that can benefit the profitability of consulting businesses. But, of course, for that, we need more engagement in the product. That is something which really gets me excited!” comments Zaidi.

How do you see Splash! changing the market?

“This comes back to our vision of doing consulting differently,” says Hoong. “There has been a rise of independent and boutique consultancies in the market and they are successful because they’re niche and specialised in what they do. A platform like Splash! enables many more of these consultancies to thrive.”

“In addition, it will allow many more joined-up ecosystems of boutique consultancies that clients can go to and engage on, rather than just going to the usual suspects,” adds Hoong.

Furthermore, he explained that if every consultancy now starts to create their collectives, “we’ll see a set of network consultancies like Riverflex working together and collaborating to deliver to clients as well. This in return would change the face of consulting as an industry” – which nowadays still is dominated by a group of large, global players.

You just launched a beta version, what can users expect?

According to Zaidi, users can expect all the basics from the beta. “Users can see an overview of all their projects, across all phases of the project lifecycle (proposing, contracting, running). Moreover, the health of the projects can also be seen as well as regular forecasts every couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile, “consultancies can expect a management solution that enables them to manage profitability, project operations, automate their contracting as well as their relationships with independents,” says Hoong. “This will help firms build a collective of independents that can be used for support in the future.”

What is the longer-term vision, how do you see it evolve over time?

For the longer-term vision, Hoong and Zaidi say that the team is already working on several “upgrades” for Splash!. “We aim to enable more workflows between the different people that are involved in a consulting engagement. By managing the relationship of not just the consultancy, but also of the consultant and the client, a richer relationship can de developed, which can unlock value.”

Application Programming Interfaces are another big thing being explored. “Integrations to accounting, timesheet balls and other project management tools is something that is definitely on our roadmap for the coming year.”

The end goal is to develop an “automated digital platform that aims to be a comprehensive financial project, contracting, and network management solution” with the potential to revolutionise how boutique consultancies managed their operations and independent workforce.

“By driving profitability, digitising business processes and managing resources pool of permanent and freelance resources, Splash! will benefit any consultancy looking for an automated solution,” conclude the duo.

About Riverflex
Since launching in 2018, Riverflex has worked with over 25 clients, including multinational Nestlé and global retailer Primark, and built a network of over 1,300 independent consultants.