Launchpad Lab Scales & Improves Operational Efficiency with Parallax
Company type: Digital project agency
Company size: 60+ employees
LaunchPad Lab, a digital product firm focused on web, mobile, and Salesforce development, needed to have better processes in place to enable accurate business forecasting. They searched for a solution that allowed them to continue using the tools they valued and a partner who could provide expert advice on running and scaling the business.
LaunchPad Lab had no processes or systems in place to enable accurate forecasting for the business, leaving its leaders making resourcing and revenue projections based on limited data and gut instincts.
“We needed a tool that allowed us to plan better and create forecasts based on actual insights,” said Nick Lindeke, Head of Delivery, LaunchPad Lab. “We wanted to be able to understand what opportunities to put focus on in the sales pipeline so we could not only fill up capacity for our people but also know when we could and should start new projects and who we needed to hire to make those projects successful. In short, we needed tactical but powerful inputs to make strategic decisions.”
The team searched for a forecasting solution that 1) would sit comfortably within its existing tech stack so the team could continue using the tools they valued and 2) was backed by a partner who understands the ins and outs of running a digital agency. LaunchPad Lab wanted to be able to pick their partner’s brain and receive expert advice on how to influence and measure critical KPIs, which industry best practices would work well for their operation and which wouldn’t, and more.
“The engagement we receive from Parallax has been fantastic—I’ve never had such a responsive support team. We love that they’re constantly checking in about what can be better and then helping us solve it. There’s no question that Parallax is invested in our success.”
With a combination of the Parallax customer success team and an internal champion for the tool, who provided educational sessions for the organization to showcase how each role should use the tool and the value they’d experience in doing so, the LaunchPad Lab organization was up and running.
“Doing a deep dive on the platform for each role really helped us advance the tool’s adoption. It was like the flywheel effect—everyone knew what Parallax did and how they were supposed to use it. As we started to see follow through across the organization, data quality went up, which made more people go back and use it more,” said Lindeke.
With the adoption of Parallax, the LaunchPad Lab team also shifted from solely a task-based approach to adding in a duration-based planning approach, where a certain percentage of each role is allotted to client projects instead of breaking down each project into a series of tasks and subtasks and estimating how much time it will take people to complete each one.
“Duration-based planning helped our business from a utilization perspective because when you’re doing live time tracking, you miss hours,” said Lindeke. “You could be sitting behind your desk for eight hours a day, but somehow, your time won’t equal eight hours at the end of the day. A duration-based approach actually gives you more control and allows you to showcase how people spend their time more accurately.”
Scott Weisman, CEO of Launchpad Lab answers.
132% revenue growth
“Forecasting features from Parallax have allowed us to figure out what’s in the pipeline and what’s likely to close, so we can adjust our team to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of our customers. Having insights into workforce needs – which roles we need to focus on from a hiring standpoint and where we need to pick up the pipeline in certain areas – is a game-changer.” – Scott Weisman, co-founder and CEO, LaunchPad Lab.
37% headcount growth
“Having real-time staffing insights makes it a lot easier to facilitate conversations. Decisions aren’t made in a silo anymore, as Parallax provides the tools I need to share good recommendations in our staffing meetings. Plus, it’s so nice to see all this data in one place,” said Lindeke.
73% increase in revenue per employee
“Parallax exposes staffing-related issues or concerns that all managers can see. They’re looking at utilization variance, checking in on their team members’ expectations from different project managers, and providing feedback during staffing meetings,” said Lindeke. “Making staffing a collaborative, decentralized activity has driven revenue per employee.”
13% increase in project margin
The Assignments view in Parallax has been helpful on a day-to-day basis, allowing Lindeke and anyone supporting resourcing to see where people’s allocations drop off, which usually signals a project is ending or someone is no longer needed on a project. “Those indicators are really useful for starting conversations,” said Lindeke. “Seeing a drop off usually reflects that we either haven’t communicated something to the client or teams haven’t talked to each other about sharing team members. We’re fixing that and having those conversations earlier to ensure there’s always something lined up next to help us reach our revenue growth goal.”
19% increase in utilization in year one
“I’m confident Parallax is the reason why our utilization went up,” said Lindeke. “Utilization and billable targets became easier to track and manage because I had oversight of all the projects; if someone wasn’t billing and there’s a utilization variance, it’s easy to see and act on it.”
What’s next for Launchpad Lab?
Looking ahead, the LaunchPad Lab team plans to further streamline the Parallax and Asana integration and adopt additional forecasting best practices. They also want to create more standardized processes across their systems to support the business as it matures and scales over time so they can easily take on anything and everything that comes their way.
“In selecting Parallax as our partner, we got the full package: not just a great tool but great people who have helped us transform our business,” said Lindeke.