Earlier this month we sat down with John Gaughan and James May to talk international expansion, the search for talented recruiters and the role that cube19 will play in adding £6m revenue over the next three years.
“The faster you access the information you need, the quicker you can make the right decisions towards growth.”
Before Finlay James partnered with cube19 they found – like most agencies – that they were constantly looking backwards on their performance and data.
“You’re not actually using the data you need to make real-time decisions without real-time analytics.” John Gaughan, CEO of Finlay James explains.
In order to be proactive with the performance of their teams, they wanted a faster route to reporting.
Creating a single conversation point for performance
Finlay James are a rapidly growing global success story with offices in San Francisco, London and Manchester.
Over the next three years, they intend to extend their rate of growth by £2m revenue with each successive year.
Across the sea, over 5,000 miles from their Manchester headquarters, they are charting a 610% year-on-year growth in revenue in their American market.
“Before cube19, it was extremely difficult and time-consuming to piece multiple sources of disparate information together.”
“Management was being fed with information housed across seven or eight spreadsheets, with a lot of repeated information and it was a drain on resources.”
John found that his time was split between the under-performers and super-billers and that the invisible child in the middle often went overlooked.
cube19 brings the information that agencies need to their fingertips in a single, centralised place. It means agencies like Finlay James can lead the company from the parapet rather than the trenches.
They can easily track the performance of every individual, team and office at any time across multiple locations and time zones.
“I now have the data at my fingertips to oversee every office remotely.”
“I can dig into the numbers on a Tuesday evening and have a strategy to improve performance on the American desks for Wednesday morning.”
“I’m not technically gifted, but it’s so easy to use that you can just log on from your mobile and it’s all there. The figures work for me.”
“As a CEO, having it at the touch of a button across multiple time zones is critical. I spend more time on cube19 than I do on Netflix and I wonder how I ever ran the business without it.”
Output before headcount
Agencies that want to scale will typically look to pour their efforts into increasing headcount before they try to optimise what they have.
In a talent-short industry that experiences a lot of churn, that can often mean moving forward whilst sliding backwards.
Finlay James acknowledged this and wanted a quicker way to identify future performers and where they should invest their time and training.
Over the last year, they’ve streamlined their workforce and used cube19 to pinpoint the best areas to accelerate performance. Individual NFI has grown dramatically as a result and the time-to-profitability of new hires has shortened.
By understanding the inputs that are driving the outputs and the bottlenecks in activity they are producing a much larger output in a more profitable fashion.
“The platform brings us complete visibility across the company and allows myself and John to allocate time and resource to where it’s going to have the biggest effect.”
“Every consultant now runs their desk like a business. We can give them more autonomy and still have deeper visibility into their activity.” James May, Managing Director commented.
“They can walk into every review with their figures and deconstruct “the why” behind their performance.”
“Instead of being anchored to weekly KPIs that were prone to inconsistencies, we now have longer, prioritised targets.”
“Everyone can track their performance in real-time and identify trends over a longer course. Our targets are more secure and our consultants strive to be in the green.”
“We’ve given more freedom to everyone and yet gained more control over our business.”
More than just a technology solution
There is no silver bullet technology. How the tech is implemented and who’s accountable to drive it is just as important to how successful it will be.
“It was a great onboarding experience that was perfectly timed to launch with our new financial year.”
“The support is also better than any other provider we’ve ever encountered. They’re A1. I’ve never phoned up and had them unable to find a solution.”
The use of cubeTV is designed to drive adoption by incentivising teams, celebrating success and bringing individual performance to the floor.
For Finlay James, it also helped tie the three offices under one banner and engaged them with the performance and operations of their sister offices.
As a final comment, I asked James and John the biggest benefit of cube19 for them.
“Delayed insights don’t carry the same impact. With cube19 we have data at the time of action that we can use to make quicker decisions. Decisions that put us ahead of our competition.”