& Salesforce Admin
Finance & Operations
“Before we implemented TaskRay, there was a lot of friction caused by what we couldn’t see.”
We spoke with Asa Kelly, Operations Manager and Matt Tyner, VP of Finance and Operations about how SmarterHQ’s services and delivery teams are using TaskRay to leverage data to help them manage client work and grow their business.
Pain points before TaskRay.
SmarterHQ was experiencing a mix of established company and start-up challenges with strong sales and long-established customers, but their services and delivery teams had only anecdotal information about how they were spending time, who their problem clients were, etc. A lack of measurable insights made it difficult to be intentional about growth.
The work that SmarterHQ provides to their clients was becoming more complex, but the tools they were using to manage it all were not keeping up. Before TaskRay, SmarterHQ was using the usual hodgepodge of tools: Google Sheets, Basecamp, Slack, email, etc. This led to, as Asa put it, “eighty places to get information that you had to struggle to make sense of.”
Not having a comprehensive solution also meant a lack of visibility into workload, progress, and scheduling, which caused friction between different teams.
Matt and Asa knew they could leverage the data if it was all easily accessible. They also knew it would be possible to hack data together with manual processes or APIs, but it would add a lot of complexity.
Asa had seen TaskRay at Dreamforce a couple of years ago and thought it could be the solution, but he and Matt took the time to confirm with internal teams and Salesforce consultants that TaskRay would work for what they wanted to do.
After evaluating TaskRay and other tools, they realized that the time and investment to build out an API was far outweighed by the value of TaskRay.
The fact that TaskRay is Salesforce native was also a big factor in their decision. Per Matt, “having everything on one platform adds an extra level of magic you wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Before implementation, Matt and Asa evaluated use cases to make sure TaskRay would work for everyone in their client service organization—account management, creative services, ETL, onboarding and delivery (includes tech department), and finance and operations.
Once the evaluation was complete, the team spent several weeks mapping their business processes into TaskRay, which included development of templates and process automation.
Because data insights were such a crucial part of their overall use case, part of the implementation of TaskRay included inventorying all past purchases and delivered services for each of their clients, and deploying Asset architecture in Salesforce to better keep track of purchases.
Benefits of TaskRay.
The team at SmarterHQ is extremely happy with the results they have seen from TaskRay in such a short time.
Easy to get up and running. Because TaskRay is Salesforce native, training was focused on process refinements rather than the tool itself.
Ability to handle multiple use cases. TaskRay provides the flexibility needed to automatically implement unique templates across different use cases. For example, the creative services team manages projects using an agile methodology and their onboarding team uses a waterfall model to deploy clients. TaskRay can handle both and more.
Eliminates friction. With a new project request process and planning reports in place, the account team can now see how much capacity the creative service team has before requesting work.
Saves time. With TaskRay, their project manager is saving 10-20 hours a week and their managers who handle scheduling are saving 4-5 hours a week. Each!
Transparency at every level. TaskRay allows everyone to see the what, how, who, and when at both a high and deep level what they couldn’t see before. This includes active as well as backlogged work.
Improves understanding of the big picture. Because TaskRay is a native Salesforce application, the time and cost of each client project in TaskRay as well as other costs like support and hosting, can now be tracked in Salesforce at the individual client level. This gives Sales, Account Management, and Executives new insights into which clients are profitable and why.
Powerful reporting capabilities. TaskRay provides SmarterHQ with a limitless level of visibility, enabling them to identify core competencies, prioritize their product roadmap, and provide a high-quality customer experience.
Increased revenue capture. SmarterHQ has set up TaskRay to have better visibility into billable and contracted work. With this increased visibility, they’ve been able to implement new controls that give the team the ability to bill appropriately and understand projects’ impact to the overall workload. While they don’t have exact numbers yet, Matt thinks they can increase their billable services revenue by 90% or more.
Bottom line: Within months after deploying TaskRay, the team was seeing results. And, the measurable insights and visibility into their client work that TaskRay provides is helping SmarterHQ to grow with intention.
The team at SmarterHQ is a big believer in building positive feedback loops, so they will be on the lookout to leverage even more insights from the data. They are also heading towards additional refinements by looking at all the other operational areas TaskRay can affect, such as: better capacity planning, increasing margins by client, streamlining processes further by creating more automation, and saving even more time and money.