FDM Uses Kantata To Automate and Streamline A Growing International Business
Time & Expense, Billing
FDM Group provides graduates, returners to work and ex-forces personnel with award-winning training as IT and business professionals. As the organization continued to scale globally, it became clear that their manual operations and processes would not support the business. With a focus on improving accuracy of financial data, they began looking for a purpose-built professional services solution to streamline time, expense, payroll and invoicing processes.
With the Kantata Industry Cloud for Professional Services™, FDM has been able to:
- Improve timeliness and accuracy of financial data
- Reduce debtor days, resulting in quicker cash turnaround
- Foster better client collaboration through Kantata Community portal
- Facilitate rapid expansion in new territories
FDM Group is the global leader in the Recruit, Train and Deploy sector, launching thousands of careers every year across the globe. Founded in 1991, FRM remains dedicated to our purpose of creating and inspiring exciting careers that shape a digital future.
Challenge: Manual Processes Unable to Keep Up with Global Expansion
Prior to Kantata, FDM’s financial processes were time-consuming and often prone to error. They faced challenges streamlining time and expense submission, which caused delays and errors in invoicing, payment and financial period close.
The time and expense process was complicated, inconsistent and unsustainable. Project Manager at FDM Group, Luther Cornelius, recalls: “It was email, Excel documents, we had people writing on paper and scanning that in and then that would have to be collated by a team and manually typed into our previous system.” Reconciling all of this information took a lot of manual effort, with errors creeping in at every stage.
This all had to be done before invoices could be produced and sent to clients and before consultants could be paid and reimbursed for expenses. Accordingly, FDM’s Finance department had to spend a lot of time fielding queries and finding and fixing mistakes in order to keep the business running. Clients were also struggling to stay in the loop – it was difficult for FDM to consistently share accurate time and expense with their clients so that they could approve it and check the progress of their projects.
As a result of rapid global expansion, FDM was opening new clients in different geographies, each with their own currencies, regulations and compliance issues. FDM’s manual time, expense and billing processes needed to be updated in order to keep up with this level of growth. They began the search for a solution that was designed to support large, international businesses and would be able to grow alongside them.
"A major differentiator for us was the people side of it. When we first met up with Kantata, the culture really aligned with FDM. In Kantata, we have found a supplier that we really trust. That was very important to us. We have felt from day one that they are really trying to guide us and help us to solve our challenges and address our issues."
Project Manager, FDM Group
Flexible and Adaptable Solution
FDM was keen to avoid implementing any professional services automation (PSA) solution that would be likely to need extensive customization. In the past they have had problems with that approach to software — it can make it hard to access support and upgrades. They selected Kantata because they were confident that it would be flexible enough to grow with the business.
"We could see Kantata was a very flexible system, which could meet all of our core functionality from day one and imagine it being able to accommodate any unknown functionality that we need.”
Streamlined Time & Expense
Prior to Kantata, FDM was using a variety of siloed and manual methods for time and expense. This led to delays, errors and complications that impacted the entire financial process — including billing, invoicing, payment and period close. FDM adopted Kantata knowing their financial operations had to be streamlined in order to keep up with growth. Today, all consultants at FDM are using Kantata to quickly and easily input their timesheets and expense claims.
"A major benefit of Kantata is the time and expense functionality. Our consultants use Kantata on a daily basis to record time and expense data, which feeds through to the community portal for client approval.”
Efficient and Accurate Invoicing
Automating time and expense submission through Kantata has had a significant impact on the consistency of FDM’s invoicing process. With Kantata, the finance team can trust that time and expense data will be accurate and timely, leading to efficient and consistent invoicing.
“One of the main benefits of Kantata from a finance point of view has been reducing our debtor days. By having a much more accurate and efficient invoicing process, we're able to get our invoices out quickly.”
Rapid and Successful Global Expansion
As the organization continued to expand quickly across the globe, with clients opening regularly in new territories, including expansion into Poland, Australia and New Zealand, unique challenges surrounding different requirements and regulations emerged. Kantata has enabled FDM to cater their processes to address the unique needs of each territory, allowing expansion to continue apace.
“Kantata gave us the confidence that we could continue with FDM's expansion and rapidly growing consultant base in the knowledge that no matter what region or requirements came up, Kantata could solve it.”
Singular Portal to Connect with Clients
Clients can use the Kantata Community directly to access project data (live and historical) and approve everything all in one place. They don't have to come back and forth with us to get the information that they need.
“Where FDM previously struggled to give clients a consistent and accurate view of essential data, the business now shares information with clients automatically in the Kantata Community portal. Having one source of truth for project data and a single portal for communication provided FDM with a much more structured approach to connecting with clients.”
- Improved timeliness and accuracy of financial data
- Reduction in debtor days, resulting in quicker cash turnaround
- Better client collaboration through Kantata Community portal
- Efficient and rapid global expansion in new territories, with the ability to adapt to new regulations