Wolf & Company chooses Dayshape to future-proof the firm with full-firm, centralised resourcing.
Kristiann Phelan, RMCP Resource Manager and Amanda Matczynski, Director of Data Services at Wolf & Company reflect on how the adoption has positively impacted the firm.
A disjointed approach to resource management
Wolf was previously using legacy systems (ProStaff), spreadsheets, and an array of different processes to schedule staff across their service lines. Some teams were scheduled by a resource manager, whereas others were scheduled by engagement managers and directors themselves.
This fractured approach:
- Lacked firm-wide visibility of staff capacity
- Left them unable to turn data into insight
- Burdened senior managers with unnecessary scheduling admin
To unify 100% of service lines under a centralised resourcing strategy
To future-proof their operations, Wolf wanted to centralise their resource management approach and build a single resourcing team to deliver a consistent, firm-wide approach. The first step was to find a new resource management solution that would provide the visibility and granularity required to manage all of audit, tax, and advisory, something their legacy solution couldn’t. This move will increase the billable capacity of senior managers who were previously scheduling work and unlocked the opportunity to share resources, optimise utilisation, and build a firm-wide view of performance.
Dayshape as an enabler to centralised and strategic resourcing
Engagement planning & budgeting
Inability to plan and forecast for unconfirmed engagements
With ProStaff, Wolf was only able to pull confirmed jobs from their practice management solution, Star (IRIS). This left them unable to reliably plan, budget, and forecast for prospect engagements. They used manual work-arounds to preemptively block time in schedules, but this often led to clashes, sub-optimal utilisation, and miscommunications between staff. Resource managers would also have to recreate engagements once the job was confirmed resulting in hours of unnecessary effort and misaligned internal processes.
Optimised engagement planning and scheduling for maximum profitability
Using Dayshape, Wolf now has the necessary functionality to implement a firm-wide strategy to efficiently plan, schedule and roll forward engagements using the same process for all service lines. By strategically planning and approving resources and budgets in tandem, they can ensure the right amount of time, and the right staff are allocated to maximise profitability and deliver work to the highest possible standard. Through integrating actuals from Star, Wolf has visibility of predicted totals in real time as work progresses, and takes proactive action to prevent overruns, rather than relying on month-old inaccurate reports and corrective actions.
“The future forecast analysis in Dayshape’s engagement economics is really powerful.”
Inaccurate data and clunky reporting
Data quality issues left the firm unable to accurately report on the data they needed. Their existing solution offered no configurability and relied on further data manipulation in Excel or cross referencing with information in other systems. The reporting module was so difficult to use that reports for the whole business became the burden of a single resource manager.
“Before we had no idea who was working on what, and what capacity everyone had. We’d send manual emails around the teams to ask who had availability when new work came in.”
Real-time access to data for better informed decision making
Reporting in Dayshape enables Wolf to act quickly, confidently and more self-sufficiently, and provides a single source of truth for crucial information. All teams can now run their own reports on any data within the system, including their clients, staff capacity, and financial performance, and pin them to their dashboard to access them in seconds. Links to reports can also be shared with colleagues via a URL, saving others the time and effort of duplication. As a direct result, their resource manager now saves over 4 hours a week running reports for other teams, freeing up valuable time for them to execute other strategic projects.
People first planning
Lack of process and structure for tracking employee skills and preferences
As an 8x award winner for ‘best places to work’, Wolf has always strived to deliver an optimal workplace for its employees. However, when it came to considering staff career goals and preferences at the point of scheduling, this was managed in an ad hoc, manual fashion with email communications being sent between career coaches and the resource manager. This resulted in hours of additional admin and left room for human error and missed opportunities.
Investing in future career growth with skill-based scheduling
By consolidating certifications, previous experience, skills, and job preference data into Dayshape as the new system of record, Wolf is setting the foundation to be able to embed and prioritise people-centric principles into their long-term resource management strategy. Dayshape’s suitability scoring generates a score for every resource, considering not only who is available to take on new work, but also who is best suited. This allows Wolf to invest in employee skill development, and ensure outstanding client service is delivered every time.
Inflexible scheduling with limited functionality
Previously, Wolf had to dedicate hours of unnecessary time per week to schedule work in their legacy system. Their resource manager was unable to easily move the dates of tasks in bulk, and often had difficulty locating engagements within the system at all. They were also lacking insight as to who was available to take on new work.
Intuitive, responsive scheduling for managing complex engagements
With Dayshape, Wolf can schedule efficiently and adapt to changes quickly. A drag and drop functionality allows work to be easily assigned and moved in bulk, colour coding enables clear distinction between tasks, and a search functionality finds engagements quickly.
“Having that visibility of everyone’s schedules, rather than having to search around in a spreadsheet is a big win.”
Suitability scoring and Gantt filters help to visualise and assess staff availability and utilisation, enabling them to proactively prevent burnout whilst maximising billable time for the firm.
“Now we can make sure we assign new work to someone with only 20 hours currently scheduled in a week, rather than someone with 40 hours.”