18.1.2019 - Johannes Puro - IT-consulting
Today`s market requires speed. Digitalization drives every business, including the IT-consulting market. However, only few of the consulting firms have digitized their key processes in delivering value for their customers.
Anders Hagberg and Johan Haeger told us how consultant companies can manage their daily business with Cinode’s software that has specialized in delivering expertise of consultants to the end customers.
– When I came to Cinode in 2013, I was surprised by the fact that most of the consultant companies worked in such an analog fashion. They often use outdated tools that run isolated from one another. This will have common consequences like poor overview of their own skills and unsynchronized information about sales and availability. These lead to missed business opportunities, which ultimately means less business, Hagberg says.
Swedish Cinode was established in 2013. All three founders had a background in IT consultancy business and a clear idea about how they wanted to develop it.
– We all had seen how the daily work at consulting business required many separate tools like excel, CRM, Word-documents and Business Intelligence.This results in top management losing the overall picture of the business because all the critical information is fragmented in different systems, Hagberg tells.
Hagberg and his partners wanted to create a tool for consultants which offered all the important functionalities in one, cloud-based service that was nice and easy to use.
To start, the most important thing was to ease the building of an attractive CV. When company has updated information about everyone’s skills and experiences, they are able to utilize the competence inventory and demonstrate the most suitable consultants for potential clients.
Then Cinode’s platform was further developed to respond better to the needs of the sales representatives.
Shortened lead times and higher sales
– Next step was to release the full potential of sales. When sales representatives have meetings with clients, they can easily demonstrate who are the best matching candidates for customer needs and when these consultants are available, Hagberg describes.
This helps consultants in running their administrative tasks and relocates working hours from management to the billable customer work.
Cinode’s Johan Haeger gives an example of how simply Cinode works in practice:
– Let’s imagine that your client is looking for a talented consultant with background in banking and finance and skills in leading a digitization project. Your sales representative writes these skills down and sees directly who is the best match and when he or she is available. Most of the consultant firms still work with Excel and Word that lack this simple but crucial feature.
When contemplating the current process, CTRL + f shortcut is probably the closest that the classic Office tools can offer.
– Instead we encourage consulting companies to manage all consultant competencies and create accurate CV`s, all in one cloud based solution, Johan Haeger states.
Haeger tells that their team has heard more than once that Cinode’s biggest competitor actually is – surprise, surprise – Excel.
These comments shows how tight the old practices might be in the corporate culture. Even when professionals are open-minded to try new softwares, they usually feel too busy to take the first step. On the other hand there just has not been a suitable solution available.
Cinode’s people want to dispel prejudices:
– Our sales team is constantly faced with a same challenge: people are afraid of the new tools to be time consuming to use. This is why we are so keen to demonstrate our easy-to-use product with as few buttons as possible. We strongly believe that the simpler the better, Hagberg says.
There is one customer feedback Haeger and Hagberg enjoy hearing especially:
– We have heard from our clients that our software is fun to use. This has always been our main aim: to offer a dynamic and visually attractive way to demonstrate consultants skills and expertise for potential clients.
Cinode’s men state as well, that at the same time sales gets a better understanding of the company they represent.
Positive user experience is fundamental for success, but numbers tell that Cinode is on the right path.
– We started with one client in 2013, and today we are close to 200 customers. During 2017 and 2018 Cinode has grown rapidly and at the moment we are basically doubling the revenue every year, Hagberg tells.
Finland is Cinode’s key market for 2019
Both Anders Hagberg and Johan Haeger praise the Finns and their working culture.
– It has been a great pleasure to work with the Finns. In Finland decision makers actively join the meetings, so dialogue is very direct. Many companies seem to be open-minded and go for the trials.
No wonder that Finland is Cinode’s key market for this year. Haeger tells that they are very enthusiastic and looking forward to meet potential partners along Finnish IT and Management consulting firms.
Cinode’s customer, Anders Franzén from XLENT Consulting Group squeezes up an essential part of today’s consulting business as well as Cinode’s value proposition:
“The time from business opportunity to assignment has decreased from days to hours. The match between skills, assignments and availability has become smoother. With Cinode, we get more and faster business, which has increased our utilization rate by several percent.”