Martin Progressive nets a 2000% first year ROI with OpenAir
Martin Progressive, the international IT consulting firm headquartered in New York
City, needed a better way to manage its consulting staff across seven offices. The group
was using a manual, paper-based system to staff project teams, and track and bill time.
Martin Progressive recognized that by improving the management of these processes
significant improvements would occur in at least five areas:
Resource Utilization Key personnel often experienced costly periods of downtime
Project Staffing The firm was having difficulty efficiently matching the most
appropriate resources with upcoming projects
The Capture of Billable Hours Consultants were under-reporting billable hours,
adversely affecting the firm’s revenues
Efficiency of Billing Time and Expenses Billable consultants were wasting too
much time on administration, and they were not giving Finance the information required
to invoice clients quickly
Project Profitability Analysis Financial analysis to assess the profitability
of projects was cumbersome
In addition, Martin Progressive wanted to achieve these benefits without adding IT
overhead and while increasing the safety of its business information by storing it in a
professionally managed data center.
Martin Progressive discovered OpenAir through the reseller of its accounting package,
Platinum for Windows. Martin’s CFO, Paul Udowychenko quickly became convinced that the
OpenAir system could both improve Martin Progressive’s internal operations and provide
the financial insights he needed for tighter management. Based on the expected benefits,
Martin Progressive laid out an “extremely aggressive timeline” for an implementation that
required integration with the Windows NT operating system the Pervasive SQL database, and
the Platinum for Windows financial package.
The one catch was that OpenAir lacked a few of the specific features Martin
Progressive needed. OpenAir itself has an extremely aggressive schedule of product
updates, however, so OpenAir was able to incorporate Martin’s requests into its solution
very quickly. Martin Progressive began working closely with the OpenAir team to create a
development plan to add the features Martin Progressive required.
OpenAir delivered. Within four weeks the OpenAir professional services team had
completed the required integration and configured the OpenAir application to meet Martin
Progressive’s specific needs. Martin Progressive was able to deploy the OpenAir system
fully, and over time all of the promised functionality was added to OpenAir, giving
Martin the exact solution it required. Udowychenko noted that the “the implementation
was extraordinarily fast, and the company has proven to be very service minded.” He
added, “Because we outsourced the entire solution to them, instead of creating IT
issues, OpenAir.com has alleviated them.”
As of February 2002, Martin Progressive had been using OpenAir for ten months and
realized improvements in several key business metrics, leading to a rapid return on
investment. After the first ten months Udowychenko estimated that:
Employee utilization increased by 6.5 percentage points.
Invoicing cycle times dropped by a week.
ROI for the first 12 months would be over 2000%.
Gains have come from reducing employee “bench” time, cutting the time employees spend
logging hours, reducing the time management spends creating reports, and capturing
billable time more completely. Over time the firm expects to further boost profits by
identifying and focusing on the most profitable projects, and staffing them with more
efficient teams. Ultimately, they expect this to lead to improved customer satisfaction
and/or the ability to charge higher hourly fees.