How Vokal Increased Project Margin Year over Year with Parallax Insights
Headquarters: Chicago, IL
Company type: Full service digital marketing agency
Company size: 50 employees
Vokal needed a resourcing and forecasting solution that could help them scope projects more accurately, better track and manage project health, and understand resourcing needs on existing and upcoming work. “Before Parallax, our team wasn’t properly scoping out project contracts, causing us to lose greater potential revenue opportunities,” said Henry Byrne, finance manager, Vokal.
Vokal adopted Parallax to gain control over its operations and unlock greater visibility into resourcing needs and forecasting insights.
Seeing each project by person–who is allocated to which account and for how many hours–makes it much easier to make future-forward business decisions, especially around resourcing. The solution helps Byrne better understand project margin and revenue as well. “All the financial metrics in Parallax make it so easy for me to understand and report up how margin is tracking and what forecasted revenue looks like compared to actuals,” he said.
The Vokal team also leverages Parallax to support duration-based planning, helping resource planners and project managers understand when their team members are at capacity, which projects they will be working on over a specific period, and more.
There’s no more guesswork; rather readily available insights that help the team confidently push things forward each day.
- Improved resource planning: Parallax helps the Vokal account team truly understand resourcing needs. “If we need to pull resources off a project, or we need to add resources to a project, it’s a super helpful tool to understand how we’re tracking day-to-day compared to what we planned from an allocation standpoint,” said Byrne. Parallax also provides insights into utilization, helping resource planners understand if there are too many or not enough people in certain practices and where and how to right-size workloads to improve company-wide utilization.
- Proactive hiring decisions: Parallax provides a holistic view of work, accounting for in-pipeline deals and secured projects so leaders have a sense of what projects are coming in, who will work on them, and where they have gaps to fill. Whether they need a new hire or a freelancer to help move projects along, they’re making those decisions and moving on them proactively to avoid resourcing chaos later on.
- More accurate project scoping: The Vokal finance team leverages Parallax to scope out projects, helping them understand how they should be budgeting out a project and how they should be resourcing it. “Parallax showed us we were under scoping, but now, we have a really good handle on pricing and which resources are best for each project,” said Byrne. Parallax shows how many hours each person should spend on a project; for example, if someone was scheduled for 10 hours but took 25 hours, resource planners can note that someone else may be a better fit for those projects in the future. It allows Vokal to optimize teams for every client every time.
- Project health tracking: The team also uses Parallax to track financial progress on projects once they kick off. It’s easy to see how the team tracks against projected hours and the implication on project margins for time and materials projects. For fixed-rate projects, the team has found it helpful to use Parallax to understand how quickly they’re burning through a budget. Did we scope this properly? Do we have the right team in place? Did we get this done efficiently and make a good margin on it? They’re using Parallax to answer these questions and refine how they scope future projects.
- Increased project margin year over year: They no longer have to navigate change order conversations with clients as they now know how to scope projects properly from the start, through Parallax’s project health insights.
“We couldn’t run this business without a tool like Parallax. We’re a small team with multiple projects for multiple clients—and Parallax helped us immensely with organization, giving us an overarching view of business so we can keep moving forward confidently.”
What’s next for Vokal?
Vokal is focused on further adopting the platform across the company so that everyone understands how they use the tool to scope projects, allocate resources, and track time and margins.
“We want everyone executing the work to go into Parallax and see what they’re allocated and what they should be spending time on. That way, they can proactively raise their hands if priorities or project timelines change so we can assess each situation and ensure we’re making the best decisions for the client and the company.”