Airship Rapidly Strengthens Operations With Connected Toolset
Headquarters: Birmingham, AL
Company type: Custom software development shop
Company size: 43 employees
Airship launched Parallax to connect its toolset and enhance the team’s efficiency to drive more value for the business and its customers. And rather than a long slog with an all-in-one tool, Parallax and Airship were up and running in a matter of weeks.
Airship was on a steady growth trajectory. But as the software development shop grew, it lacked the visibility necessary to accurately and efficiently scope incoming projects, calculate project financials, and plan and allocate resources. It wasn’t for lack of great tools; Airship had all the information it needed in tools it loved, including Harvest, JIRA, and HubSpot. But the team couldn’t connect their tools effectively to get the accurate insights needed to drive strategic growth. Visibility across the business became fragmented and decisions felt reactive.
“We had great tools in place, but there was no way to bring all the data together and synthesize it in a meaningful manner,” said Marnus Venter, senior product manager at Airship.
To better manage its delivery team resources, Airship first tried a homegrown spreadsheet. While it was a powerful tool at first, it also became “very manual and very prone to human error,” according to Danielle Morgan, senior product manager at Airship. Plus, the product team still lacked visibility into the HubSpot sales pipeline, so finding resources for new work always felt reactive.
“We knew there had to be a way to bring all our data together in an easily viewable way without having to go to five different tools and asking six different people,” said Venter.
As a lean company, Airship didn’t have the time or resources to pull critical team members away for a long evaluation or trial of a new solution. They sought a partner that was ready to rise to their “all in” mentality to quickly implement a solution and connect their existing tools for better decision-making. Amid a competitive field of solutions, Parallax emerged as the clear winner, offering Airship the integrations it needed to immediately connect its toolset. A rapid onboarding process helped Airship quickly adopt Parallax through phased training sessions and regular connections.
Airship had strong ambitions to get Parallax up and running quickly. The team wanted to prove Parallax’s value in roughly 90 days rather than the 12-18 months it would likely have taken if Airship had replaced its existing toolset with an all-in-one solution. Parallax delivered on these ambitions, offering an immersive, focused, and collaborative onboarding experience.
“Parallax felt like a partner to us from the very beginning; one committed to our success,” added Morgan.
Airship now uses Parallax to:
- Scope and estimate potential projects quickly, using standardized service offering templates
- Forecast resource capacity to confidently provide project start dates to prospective customers
- Quickly and accurately understand estimates versus actuals
- Optimize resource allocation by balancing workloads across resources and hitting the ideal billable percentage
- Determine when it needs to hire new resources
“With Parallax, we can estimate customer engagements in a couple of hours instead of a couple of days,” added Morgan. “We can confidently answer the question ‘when can we start’ which has been a game changer.”
“With Parallax, we can easily get an idea of actuals versus estimates when it comes to what we actually did and what we had planned. After a project is complete, we can easily see how much we planned and how much we spent for every single person within one view in Parallax. Based on that, we can think through how we can plan better in the future.”
What’s next for Airship?
Next on Airship’s to-do list is to better forecast its utilization and curate a source of truth about business performance using inputs from its CRM, time tracking, and project management platforms. With all of this data curated together in Parallax, Airship will see its revenue potential compared to its current and forecasted utilization — enabling the company to make proactive and strategic adjustments along the way.