Customers / customer story

From operations ping pong to streamlined staffing

"We can now link people’s development better with the operational reality and support the business. I love how we can see how our people connect to the system and the different teams, showcasing the reality of how we operate."

Kristiina Vainio

Chief People Officer at Houston Inc.

“We don’t do it because it’s easy; we do it because it’s hard” describes the mindset at Houston Inc., a software service company from Finland. While this is true regarding customer problems, internal processes should be easy. Houston chose Agileday as a partner to simplify its operations: to improve end-to-end visibility and support higher employee and client engagement.

Houston Inc. helps its customers get the best value from software services and development. The company operates a project-based business and directs skilled talent to solve customer challenges, from full-blown project deliveries to project implementation or support.

“People are the utmost important thing in our business, and it is our business to ensure that everyone at Houston knows what we are doing and where we are going. We don’t want to add bureaucracy but rather keep everything as transparent and fluid as possible”, says Daniel Guillou, CEO of Houston Inc.

To support this, the company chose Agileday as a partner.

“The concept of linking our CRM and our talents together is unique. Mapping our people, their skills and interests, and matching those with sales opportunities, bring us the necessary visibility. Now, our talent is aware of what is happening.”

Ditching the Excels for a better solution

In the knowledge work industry, where talent is supplied to customer projects, staffing is a critical function in the operations and determines success for all parties. Until recently, Houston’s staffing was done manually. With sheets in Excel showcasing all the people and their skills and availability, sorting projects was time-consuming. It took numerous calls, Slack messages, and emails with colleagues and clients to find the best team for the project, which made things chaotic.

“We used to have information in dispersed repositories and manual tools instead of a centralized place. When there was a need from sales or project management or an individual, a ping pong match of communication began”.

Houston’s biggest challenge was the lack of visibility for the whole organization into the staffing processes, causing frustration. To fix the core problem, the company decided to introduce Agileday platform.

Tackling the visibility problem with Agileday

Since the introduction of Agileday at Houston, project staffing has gotten simpler. The tool provides end-to-end visibility from the individuals to sales and everything related to the business.

“For us, Agileday offers a single interface to all our different tools. When all our data is in one place, we can find the relevant information faster.”

Agileday has furthermore brought a better view into where Houstonians are working, which projects people are suggested for, and who is soon to be without assignment. With this view, Houston can immediately see if business potential is left on the table.

Houston views the platform as a data bank for tracking people’s skills and capabilities, which is helpful for both staffing and HR. The data gives viewpoints for development discussions that the parties may not have previously recognized. 

“Next, we will document all development discussions on Agileday, which makes the notes visible for both HR and the individual. We can now link people’s development better with the operational reality and support the business. I love how we can see how our people connect to the system and the different teams, showcasing the reality of how we operate, “ says Kristiina Vainio, Houston’s Chief People Officer.

Better matchmaking strengthens customer cooperation

Transparency to sales operations is crucial for Houston Inc. as it supports the company’s responsibility towards their talents and customers.

The problem before was that individuals at Houston needed more visibility of the sales cases. Everyone was aware of their own projects but did not get information about everything else that was going on in the company. With Agileday, consultants can actively find their next assignment by shuffling through the opportunities and indicate the projects they are interested in. The ability to control their work strengthens employee motivation resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

“If someone volunteers for a project or shows their interest, it is much more probable that this person will do excellent work as they find the project interesting. This helps the business of both our customers as well as our own.”

Not only are there more motivated people Agileday's platform finds, but everything happens faster in the eyes of the customers.

“As all the relevant information is in one place and visible for all, we in sales and as consultants can act quicker. Customers see that we are more responsive, finding the right people to the right place quicker. Our customers do not see the magic but can sense that we react more proactively, strengthening our cooperation from before”, says Tomi Ruotimo, who leads sales.

Learning curve continues with Agileday

Agileday was launched at Houston in early 2023, and the organization is beginning to use it every day.

“We are still on the learning track, and using a new solution requires a change also in people’s mindset. This is a shift in how each of us at Houston works and how we together operate our business. We are on a good path for the future.”

How could Agileday add value to your business? Book a meeting today to find out.

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