Software Development Company Achieves Growth & Profitability Goals
HOW IT STARTED
Aptera was a 30-person software development company in search of a management tool they could leverage to achieve their growth and profitability goals. Existing options on the market could not provide the information they considered necessary, so they began building their own.
HOW IT’S GOING
Aptera is now a firm of over 120 employees with multiple enterprise-level clients. Factor has played a major role in providing the ability to make critical decisions as the business has grown. In an effort to help other software development firms achieve the same success, Factor is now available as a public product.
METRIC IMPROVEMENTS IN A 3 YEAR PERIOD (2017-2020)
Despite steady growth, Aptera struggled to visualize and predict the range of factors affecting success in its business. The team was like many other consulting firms: specializing in building quality software, but still maturing in the areas that allow a successful business to scale. The business needed to empower more decision makers and give them the data to make educated judgement calls.
Aptera already had tools for tracking projects, assigning resources, logging time, and invoicing clients. Those tools were functional, but not insightful, and as a maturing company, it was unclear which indicators should influence actual decisions. Any products that already existed in the market seemed unnecessarily complicated and bloated with features. They also couldn’t answer practical questions around hiring, profitability, and utilization. The data existed, but it was neither easy to access nor timely, let alone accessible to staff that could influence decisions and improve the numbers.
Aptera used in-house skills to develop a platform that matched their needs in project management, time entry, invoicing, and reporting. They worked across various teams to ensure each feature functioned in a simple way while still accommodating a variety of clients and projects, both agile and waterfall-style. The flexibility is there without the clutter of useless options that do not apply to a project-based consulting business.
Additionally, they found ways to include the data points that actually affected their bottom line. The culmination of this is a new platform, now called Factor, which provides unmatched visibility into company metrics, including employee utilization, resource allocation, project profitability, revenue forecasts, earning capacity, and write-offs.
These numbers are all wrapped into one, easy-to-understand KPI dashboard that integrates seamlessly with Quickbooks Online. With financial information all in one place, Aptera can now easily set goals, view year-over-year comparisons, and analyze trends.
THE RESULTS: ACHIEVING SCALABILITY
The new data and tools that Factor provided had immediate impact on Aptera’s bottom line. It played a large role in identifying how to be more efficient in staff utilization and also forced deeper evaluation of many of our core business processes.
The ability to see unrealized revenue and write-offs on each project led to an entire new way of writing contracts. It became clear that moving to time-based billing rather than scope-based statements of work would be more beneficial and realistic for us and our clients.
With newfound understanding of the types of clients and contracts that worked better for them, Aptera adapted sales and marketing efforts. They were able to raise their business maturity and gain the courage to turn down work from clients that did not make sense. This shift resulted in huge impacts on efficiency, profitability and team morale, ultimately leading to higher client satisfaction and stronger business relationships.
With the visibility Aptera now had, they built a more effective scheduling process. Projects could now be assigned based on actual utilization and capacity data. This, combined with Factor’s visual team schedule tool enabled them to minimize employee bench time, identify upcoming gaps in work, and make better hiring decisions.
Finally, Factor empowered key staff by giving them access to more information. Project managers and team leads can stay focused on numbers they can actually impact while leadership time is freed up to concentrate on higher level business goals.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Factor is not just a collection of tools to manage your business processes. It was built from the experiences of a software development company and became an invaluable guide for gathering actionable data and making informed decisions. Through creating and utilizing Factor, Aptera was able to successfully build value, achieve scalability, and increase profitability.
Built on proven experience.
See how Factor can change your business.