Interview with Colleen Kelley, President of Management Consulting Firm Stratford Group
Stratford Group is a leading management consulting firm based in Ottawa, Canada. Their goal is simple – help organizations and their leaders grow, improve and transform.
As the President of Management Consulting, Colleen Kelley leads the business strategy and operations practice for Stratford Group.
Her practice includes all the elements to help a company scale include strategic planning, and strategic finance support, mergers and acquisitions advisory and integrations, go-to-market implementation, IT & digital services, interim and advisory CxO, and board governance.
When Stratford recognized a challenge within their own business, Kelley was able to apply her deep client-focused experience and operational rigour to resolve it. She explains:
“We were at a point like many companies where we needed to take our systems and processes to the next level. We had a disparate range of manual systems (like Excel), some bolted on project management tools, a CRM deployment and an accounting system. None of which were connected.”
A focused approach
To get things underway, Stratford defined their key requirements. They came up with three big things they needed:
- An end-to-end work management solution, to cover all processes from new business lead through to receiving cash from the client.
- A project management solution.
- An invoicing solution to integrate with their existing accounting software package (Quickbooks).
They went through an extensive search of the work and project management market, and arrived on Scoro as the best overall fit to meet their three key requirements.
The entire team across all of Stratford’s business units were chosen to make use of Scoro. Kelley outlines how they went about managing the change to a more structured work environment:
“We did everything in phases, which meant the implementation went pretty smoothly. Implementation is about change, so we made a concerted effort to get everybody on board before getting going.”
Despite this, there was still some work to be done, as Kelley outlines:
“Some initially resist new approaches, but once they understand the value of the system and that it’s not to keep track of people, but to track the projects, something clicks and they are bought in. It’s really important to keep in mind that implementing the system is a culture initiative, not an IT initiative.”
Once the implementation was complete and the cultural changes bedded in, Stratford began to see significant business benefits. Kelley highlights the commercial impact Scoro has made:
“As we hoped, we now have all the key business information in one system, and it all connects.” – Colleen Kelley, President at Stratford Group
“For example, we use the CRM functionality to drive internal business development conversations, and the data really supports our weekly meetings.”
Real time visibility of project utilization and profitability
“We didn’t have a time tracking system before, but Scoro made it easy for us to implement time tracking across the company.”
“We can now be highly accurate on project profitability.”
Real time visibility of client billings
“The management team now has real-time visibility to the accounts receivables. Previously that resided with the accounting team in Quickbooks.”
“The Client practice leads can easily see the receipts and outstanding invoices in the Scoro system, bringing them closer to the client.”
In addition to the business benefits, Scoro itself has proved itself to be highly effective in supporting the unique requirements of a management consulting firm. Kelley concludes:
“The Scoro interface is excellent. And it had to be easy to use to ensure our teams used it! Many other enterprise systems are clunky, but Scoro was one of the most intuitive systems we found.”
“What I like about Scoro is how straightforward it is to create different settings and bespoke dashboards, so the right people have the access to all the right data.”
“Even during the pandemic we were able to grow. If we didn’t have the Scoro system in place, I don’t think we could have done it.”
“We’ve also been so happy with the support. The people have been so helpful and responsive. Culturally I really like how Scoro treats its clients.”
Curious about how other companies have transformed the way they work? Take a look at other customer success stories.
Scoro is an award-winning end-to-end work management software loved by agencies, consultancies and professional service firms around the world. With Scoro, you can manage your entire workflow all in one place, from the first hello to the final invoice.
By combining a robust suite of project management, CRM, billing and reporting tools all in one place, Scoro enables you to streamline work, automate routine tasks and ensure a business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Powerful API integrations connect Scoro to dozens of tools you already know and love, from Zapier and Google Calendar to Mailchimp and Xero.
With excellent reviews from clients around the world, Scoro has been listed in the Technology Fast 50 list by Deloitte, in the Inc. 5000 list, and has also been selected as one of the top software companies in EMEA by G2.