Valamis Group is an award-winning developer of digital learning solutions. When Valamis implemented Dear Lucy, Excel-reports were the first ones to fly out the window. CEO Jussi Hurskainen and COO Esa Turunen describe the challenges in reporting and communication as the company grew, and how they’ve solved those.
Valamis Group designs digital learning solutions for large corporations that allow employees to continously develop themselves at work. One of the most famous organizations utilizing Valamis is NASA, the The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA.
Valamis was founded by four guys sitting in the same office and working on IT subcontracting projects. Communication at the time was rather easy. Today, Valamis Group employs 180 people in five different countries: Finland, Russia, Germany, USA and the UK.
CEO Jussi Hurskainen describes how the company started out as an IT subcontracting company. The company has evolved to a product company over the years, and the key performance indicators and metrics have totally changed from what they were in the early days. As the company grew and people started to work in different locations, the team faced challenges in communication and in providing visibility to the key data to everyone.
“We have had several IT systems in use – and we still do. One of our challenges was that access was only given to certain people in the organisation. We also spent a lot of time drafting various reports, and there was quite a lot of delay in our reporting.”
Real-time visibility to all
Valamis used to have many separate systems in use and the data regarding sales, marketing, projects and human resources was collected manually from different sources, explains Esa Turunen, the COO of Valamis. The management team wanted to have a single solution that would make it easy to share how the company was doing, in real-time, to all personnel.
“We started to search for a solution that could share the relevant data to all our employees”, describes Turunen.
Today, Valamis uses Dear Lucy to follow commonly defined key performance indicators. In sales, the main metrics are sales performance against set goals and the way sales is divided between entities. Marketing team follows metrics such as the number of contacts, website traffic and the geographic footprint of the traffic. Human Resources tracks new recruits, number of leavers, the amount of sick leaves and the average employment duration. Project teams follow billing forecasts and the how different business areas and countries contribute to overall revenues.
Easy, everyday tool
How has the new solution changed the day-to-day work and what have the benefits been? “Our implementation started when two guys – Tommi and Rasmus – came to our office and introduced the type of KPIs other companies have measured. Over half of those were suitable for us, too” explains Hurskainen.
Dear Lucy connected with many of the relevant systems in use at Valamis, and that speeded up the implementation. Existing relevant integrations was also one of the factors that made Valamis choose Dear Lucy, explains Turunen.
What comes to the daily working practices, one of the biggest changes is probably this: “I have not done any more excels since the implementation”, Hurskainen laughs.
“I just visit the website, and I can see all our key numbers and the way they develop. This has saved a lot of time”. People are also a lot more prepared as they come to meetings as they have the same information available to them – all the time.
Turunen is especially fond of the drill-downs in Dear Lucy that allow him to dig deeper whenever there is a need to get further info about a particular number. Clicking the grahps provides further detail on the number in question, right away without the need to log-into another system.
Access to real-time dashboards have helped Valamis identify new areas for improvement. “One area that we’ve started to track more carefully than before are absence days,” Hurskainen explains. The easy access to key data has also helped to analyse why certain numbers look the way they do. This has helped the team to draw right conclusions, and react quicker.
Organizational transparency was one of the drivers of the initiative. Being able to display the goals and real-time progress per business area and country to the entire personnel is now easy, and everyone knows how the company is truly doing.
At the end of the interview, Hurskainen highlights one key aspect for him: “Cooperation with Dear Lucy has been easy. Response time has typically been only minutes and that has been great!”