Slalom runs its business on Changepoint PSA
Business and Technology Consulting
Streamline and automate the engagement lifecycle; better manage billing, utilization, and cash flow; mitigate risk of lost revenue and invoicing delays
Changepoint for Professional Services Automation (PSA)
Slalom, LLC is the parent company to Slalom Consulting, Two Degrees, and mLevel. Through its various divisions, the company provides management consulting and technology solutions, staffing in accounting and finance, and markets and licenses product offerings on a software-as-a-service model.
Headquartered in Seattle, the Company operates additional offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix, Portland and San Francisco. In addition to providing services to clients in these cities, the Company also provides services in other metropolitan areas of the United States and internationally.
Slalom has grown its business significantly over the past few years, expanding its team from a few hundred employees in 2007 to nearly 2,500 employees across all divisions and revenues of greater than $475 million today. Slalom has made multiple investments to strengthen the organization’s ability to scale, including the strategic investment in Changepoint.
“Prior to 2007, we were a much smaller organization, operating on a custom-developed billing system. But we had ambitious plans for growth and the prior system simply could not scale to meet our demands,” explains Michele Bleser, Managing Director of Technology for Slalom, and technical Changepoint champion.
In 2007, the team selected Changepoint as their professional services automation solution. “We needed a technology that could grow with us for 10 years and beyond - supporting significant increases in our employee base, invoicing, and revenue along the way. We also wanted a best of breed solution, providing us with extensive capabilities geared specifically for services teams, with the flexibility to integrate into CRM and ERP solutions of our choosing. We found the right solution in Changepoint.”
- Mike Heffernan, CFO, Slalom, LLC & Changepoint Business Champion
“Changepoint’s ability to manage the entire lifecycle of an engagement is critical to us,” says Michele. “Through the entire process of setting up the engagement, staffing, invoicing and recognizing revenue, we needed a solution to manage it all. The extensive data we are able to extract from Changepoint into our reporting and BI tools allows us to analyze any engagement in detail.”
Engagement management is so critical that Slalom has established a unique Engagement Management Office (EMO), serving as a shared service function to the broader business alongside other core services such as finance, legal and IT. “Our Engagement Management Office (EMO) is a critical function and an essential interface between our finance team and the rest of the business,” says Mike Heffernan, Chief Financial Officer, Slalom. “EMO has administrative responsibility over the full engagement, from configuration to managing all associated contractual details. The EMO team relies on Changepoint to make this important process work well.”
Slalom’s finance group is another power user of Changepoint. “We rely upon Changepoint for a variety of functions,” says Mike. “Changepoint drives our billing – which is obviously key to our business. Every detail of an engagement required for accurate and timely billing goes into Changepoint. We also use the solution for time entry, time approvals, and for accounts receivable, which is our Company’s largest financial asset.”
The flexibility of Changepoint has also proven an ideal complement to Slalom’s culture of innovation. The Company has developed several unique customizations to automate key
workflows and enhance the user experience. Account information drawn from Changepoint powers the Slalom Cards mobile application that helps employees stay connected with colleagues within the company, and Changepoint’s web integration services enable all Slalom employees to complete time management tasks via a common user interface on Slalom’s SharePoint-based intranet, SlalomONE.
On the revenue and expense side, Changepoint has been customized by Slalom’s Finance team to support revenue sharing between markets, and the Accounts Receivable team uses Changepoint’s workflow to drive a high-volume, PDF-based invoicing system in which all transactions between the team and its clients can be handled via automated emails.
- Michele Bleser, Managing Director of Technology and Changepoint Technical Champion
Further extending Changepoint’s impact, Slalom recently upgraded to Changepoint SP1 and is beginning to use the solution’s mobile device support. “Our team is enjoying the new functionality to submit time and expenses and process approvals from their mobile devices – it has the potential to provide significantly improved efficiency for our employees,” says Michele.
Today 100% of Slalom’s employees use Changepoint at a minimum for expense management, and a high percentage of them also rely on Changepoint for time management. While the heaviest Changepoint use is centered within the finance and EMO teams, the Company is considering expanding Slalom’s use of the solution into other areas, such as project management.
“Changepoint is instrumental to our business and yet we’re still just scratching the surface – probably using about 50% of the total solution,” says Michele. The team plans to invest in a value check in 2014 through Changepoint’s Guardian Services to develop a roadmap for extracting more value from the investment. “This will be our second value check through Guardian Services, and it’s time for us to do another one,” says Michele.
“Changepoint’s solution architects are insightful, knowledgeable and do a great job on advising us how other clients and consulting firms are using Changepoint,” Michele adds. “Also, the globalization of Changepoint is next on our agenda and we look forward to collaborating with the Changepoint team on this project as well.”
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