Five years ago Live Group, an event management specialist that produces more than 300 executive events a year, embarked on a digital transformation designed to create solid cross-departmental collaboration and resource allocation, align budgets, and reduce its long invoicing cycles. A key part of this digital transformation was the company’s rollout of SaaS applications designed to improve efficiency. While these applications improved accessibility and productivity within departments, they also created silos that prevented Live Group’s teams from effectively sharing information across the organization and with partners.
As a result, Live Group spent dozens of man-hours each month manually ensuring the data in one system was consistent with other systems. This process was inefficient and led to inconsistent data, which ultimately stymied the company’s ability to achieve its transformation objectives. To break down these silos and overcome workflow challenges, Live Group turned to Azuqua. With an extensive library of cloud and SaaS application connectors (more than 150), Azuqua enabled Live Group to create custom automations that helped the company take the finals steps needed to streamline their business processes and meet company objectives.
Here are the three improvements they achieved:
Increasing Cash Flow By Shortening the Invoicing Cycle by 71%, from 35 Days to 10
Live Group partners with a number of different agencies that provide venue services, travel services and more. Managing the communication between these partners is vital to ensuring accurate invoicing and contract management. Azuqua streamlines this process and ensures information is accurately exchanged by connecting Salesforce and Smartsheet with custom workflows and automations. When an opportunity comes into Live Group, the sales team enters the details into Salesforce and that information is automatically relayed into SmartSheet. An alert is then generated to relevant representatives at partner/vendor companies, with the option to include proposal information. Partners can log into Smartsheet to see more information and enter purchase order details, which are then automatically synced back into Salesforce, so account teams can send out payments or additional invoices.
Making Salesforce and Smartsheet Work Better Together for Collaboration and Resource Allocation
Live Group’s primary resource is people. Allocating them effectively is an important step in the event management process. Calendaring is key to ensuring Live Group has the proper resources allocated internally, and that teams are on the same page for coordination with partners and vendors. With sales and account teams constantly adding, changing and updating events in Salesforce, it’s vital that information is instantly replicated into Smartsheet so project teams can properly book resources. Azuqua allows Live Group to immediately relay event information from Salesforce to a calendar in Smartsheet. This information is also synced with a Google calendar in their HR portal so they can overlay employee out-of-office data. This enables project teams to have real-time insight into events (that are color-coded) in Smartsheet and have complete visibility into employee resources and availability. This was previously done with a shared excel document that required hours of manual data entry and replication by teams.
Budgeting: Driving Profitability With Better Resource Planning
Accurately tracking time is vital in the event management space for two primary reasons. First, it allows teams to understand where they stand against a pre-established project budget. And second, it allows organizations to analyze total project costs so they can more accurately predict them in the future. Both drive profit and loss within an organization. To help gain this level of insight, Live Group transitioned to centralized time tracking in Smartsheet. All employees enter time weekly and assign entries to specific job codes. Using an Azuqua workflow, the information is then synchronized with Salesforce and rendered in a dashboard that shows overall progress versus total budget. This helps project managers instantly gain insight into budgeting goals. Live Group also uses this data to analyze project efficacy. In doing so, the company quickly realized it billed far more than it budgeted for. This sort of intelligence has helped the company restructure its billing model to ensure profitability.
Hundreds of the world’s smartest companies trust Azuqua to connect their key cloud applications, including GE, Dun & Bradstreet, P&G, Charles Schwab, and more. To learn more and see what’s possible, head over and schedule a demo.