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Building Scalable Infrastructure: 
Software as a Service for Small Business

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Background

A $1.5MM small business grew unexpectedly and rapidly to over $4MM which far exceeded the capability of its manual processes.

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Challenge

Google Suite and Excel supported the firm during start-up. But with rapid growth, the manual processes were overwhelmed.

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Solution

Streamline internal processes and align requirements so that a best-in-class solution could be integrated into the business needs.

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Result

Cost-effective end-to-end automation with off-the-shelf SaaS solutions enabling customer-focused revenue growth.

The Whole Story

A small professional services business suddenly outgrew its manual and excel based processes and needed to automate with scalable solutions.

A small business with $1.5MM in revenues grew unexpectedly and rapidly to over $4M, far exceeding the capability of its manual processes.  Google Suite combined with Excel supported the professional services firm effectively during its startup phase.  But with revenues and numbers of employees growing rapidly, the manual processes were overwhelmed, inefficient, and causing errors.  The founders of the business reached out in panic mode as invoicing, payroll, and resource allocation were not just challenging in Excel but nearly impossible.  There could be no further growth until the problem was solved.

Stanton Blackwell’s Role

Implement Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies to automate key operational processes.

Stanton Blackwell has experts who align a business’s needs with the cost-effective and ubiquitous SaaS tools now available for small businesses.  In large organizations, a disciplined process is followed to document “as is” processes, create user requirements, identify potential solutions, and lead tool selection. Typically, an ERP system, designed as an end-to-end solution, is adopted and configured which is time-consuming, cost-prohibitive, and overkill for small businesses.

Current SaaS tools for small businesses tend to have a narrow focus: payroll, accounting, billing, or time management.  The seasoned team at Stanton Blackwell places listening as a priority, digging deep to understand what our clients really need.  Once we collaborated with our client so that they were internally aligned on their requirements, we were able to scan the market for best-in-class solutions that could be integrated together and easily configured to the business need. The tools selected integrated not only with QuickBooks but also with the client’s bank, resulting in front-to-back automation.

We guided the client through the configuration of each solution and the end-to-end integration.  Standard Operating Procedures, reconciliations, controls, segregation of duties, and access profiles were documented and operationalized.

Results

Cost-effective end-to-end automation with off-the-shelf SaaS solutions enabling customer-focused revenue growth.

Our client now has automated tools for CRM, HR onboarding, capacity management and resource allocation, timekeeping, payroll, billing, and accounting.  This resulted in not only a significant reduction in the founder’s applied time but also eliminated the need for dedicated administrative support.  The cost per seat cost of the new technology is a significant savings over the labor-intensive processes it replaced.  But most importantly, the business is ready to scale to at least $20MM in revenues and the founding partners are free to focus on driving that revenue growth.

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Contributor: Jennifer Williams

Jennifer offers Stanton Blackwell's clients extensive experience in non-profit operations and project management.  She leads with empathy and strives to be innovative, delivering the best solution and user experience based on a client's unique needs. 

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