How a customer-centric ERP helps Kin + Carta change the game

How a customer centric ERP helped Kin+Carta change the game.

Moving from sticky notes to digital: Inside the day of a Resource Manager turned PSA Product Owner who helped design and roll out a true digital transformation.


Every night before bed, Rachel Manigault would prepare oats in a mason jar for work the next day. She started her mornings with what she called a “super smoothie” (Kefir is the magic ingredient) and then biked to her office building in Chicago – yes, even in the dead of winter. With her bike locked up and a LaraBar already unwrapped in one hand, Rachel would log onto her computer at work. At 8:30 AM on a Monday, Rachel already has the buzzing energy of a business professional on a Friday.

It’s a stark juxtaposition to the image that usually comes to mind when one thinks of a busy Resource Manager at a fast-growing company. But Rachel had a secret weapon. At Kin + Carta, Rachel oversaw the day-to-day company billable utilization goals on FinancialForce across the Americas team. From 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday, Rachel lived and breathed the enterprise resource planning tool, adding finesse to a position that can often pull you in multiple directions at once.

“Can you believe 280 people were managed by sticky notes on a whiteboard? Now, I’m able to make reports and dashboards that simplify our resourcing and present the information we need in order to make key decisions every day.”

As a global consulting firm with a roster of Fortune 500 companies as clients, Kin + Carta has seen its staff more than double in the last two years and is on the fast track to growth. Headquartered out of Chicago and London with offices in New York, Denver, and Buenos Aires, Kin + Carta has been named a Leader in digital experiences by Forrester Research and previously recognized as one of the best places to work by Great Place to Work.


Rachel Manigault, PSA Product Owner at Kin + Carta

Just six months ago, Rachel transitioned out of Resource Management and became the global PSA Product Owner after the leadership team saw the positive impact professional services automation had on the team at Kin + Carta. With this first implementation guiding the way, four companies have since rolled out professional services automation under the Kin + Carta umbrella with more already scheduled on Rachel’s product roadmap.
“FinancialForce’s PSA software allows me to take a step back and see everything that’s running- assignments, projects- and look at the bigger picture,” says Rachel. “It allows me to look at what could happen. My COO and talent acquisition teams love that.”

With full visibility across the entire business, Rachel can make accurate reports and dashboards that simplify things for presenting critical information when the company has turnover or several new pipeline opportunities. “I love having access to so much data and that we’ve had such wide adoption. It’s so cool to get asked a question and be able to go back to the data, analyze it, and get the information I need to answer the question. Sometimes it’s about the future. Sometimes it’s about the past – but it’s all there.”

Go back two and a half years, however, and Rachel will paint you a much different picture. “Can you believe 280 people were once managed by sticky notes on a whiteboard?”

“VFP Consulting came up with the process options and tools – and I came up with how that would work for [resourcing at] Kin + Carta. I ran it by Nick and if we both agreed, we would implement it.”

The whiteboard wall where available resources and demand were being tracked would get updated daily by multiple people without notice as new information came in. Rachel acknowledges that it left a lot of room for confusion. “The way we were doing things was not scalable.”

Enter Nick Anderson of VFP Consulting. Working closely with Nick and coworkers–Elena Buckley from Client Finance and Peggy Dowell Director of Delivery Operations–Rachel was part of the core team that helped craft a viable solution for the company to move to SaaS Professional Services Automation. Nick and the VFP team were able to sit down and hear how Rachel and the team currently worked, how they wanted to do things and shared the various ERP solutions available to them – sticky notes non grata.

“VFP Consulting came up with the process options and tools – and I came up with how that would work for [resourcing at] Kin + Carta. I ran it by Nick and if we both agreed, we would implement it.”

The “it” being FinancialForce. The cloud-based resourcing system was a big transition for the company but Rachel took the wheel and spearheaded the transformation of the online platform from the shareable sticky note wall into the system it is today. Employees no longer have to pop by the Resource Manager’s desk for meetings or updates. Their new online platform has afforded the company the luxury of staying connected remotely. “There are lots of spokes in lots of directions but I think of [the Resource Manager] as the hub of the wheel,” says Rachel.

By having the implementation experts at VFP Consulting usher in FinancialForce company-wide, Rachel has seen the company transform into a data-driven business with insights they couldn’t have dreamt of having only a few years earlier. She’s witnessed the transition from making decisions based on a “gut feeling” to data-driven methodology and appreciates how it’s provided answers to questions that were once indecipherable.

“I got asked about a month ago, ‘What should our healthy benchmark be?’ I knew we needed to go back and look at the previous year’s clerical numbers. Based on all the targets, I was able to determine what a healthy number should actually be and share that with the team. It was really nice to have such a straightforward way to get to that answer whereas before, it would have been very difficult to do.”

“We still use our gut! But we use our gut to make decisions based on the data.”

Nick Anderson, Managing Consultant at VFP, and the team have been working with Rachel and the Kin + Carta team since the start of their switch from manual to automated two years ago and have seen the transformation firsthand. “Now Kin + Carta has separate businesses in their organization running on one platform and communicating with each other and sharing the same data, “ says Nick. “That’s what’s been the most rewarding for me, to see it all come together into a single platform.”

It’s also made everyone else better equipped to handle their responsibilities – and technology. “We still use our gut!” Rachel says. “But we use our gut to make decisions based on the data.”

VFP Consulting helps businesses streamline their Quote to Cash operations, processes and systems on the Salesforce platform. As an industry-leading implementation partner, and Inc. 5000 company, VFP Consulting’s aim is to provide clients a 360 view of their business in a single cloud platform. They work closely with FinancialForce to deliver reliable PSA and full stack cloud ERP solutions to businesses internationally.

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    VFP Consulting Named “Best of the Best” by SPI Research

    We’re excited to announce that SPI Research, the leading independent technology services research firm, has named VFP Consulting as one of this year’s Top 25 Best-of-the-Best Professional Service Organizations.

    As one of the top 25 firms out of 513 organizations who participated in SPI’s annual survey, we excelled across five critical service performance dimensions including leadership, client relationships, finance and operations. VFP Consulting is ranked in the top 5% and eclipsed average firms in revenue growth, team augmentation, and operational excellence (thanks to excellent project delivery and many happy customers!)

    At VFP, our core values anchor us in our decision making, our clients, and how we grow as a business

    Every year, SPI Research releases its Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark to provide insights into critical business processes and key measurements so organizations can compare, diagnose, and improve their performance. “As we continue to expand our reach in the Salesforce ecosystem, SPI Research’s Benchmark report remains an important touchpoint for us on how to remain competitive and keep up the momentum,” says Stephanie Picardi, CEO of VFP Consulting.

    The Best-of-the-Best recognition is significant because it measures professional service organizations not only on financial results but on leadership metrics to reveal exceptional, holistic performance.

    At VPF, we’re a team that strives for operational and cultural excellence, always. Our people-first approach and core values have been our driving force since the start and have created a momentum that has seen a 45% growth per year since 2016.

    “VFP Consulting has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, not only in revenue but as a team and industry leader. At VFP, our core values anchor us in our decision making, our clients, and how we grow as a business. It’s what has driven us in our goal of operational and cultural excellence,” says Picardi.

    With a bigger team and more happy customers, come bigger deals and successes. This past year we’ve taken on more complex projects, reached more than 60 successful implementations, and seen great results coming in from both mid-market and enterprise-level businesses. We’re on a journey to set a new bar for excellence – and we’d like to invite you to be part of #teamVFP in 2020.


    Account Executive, FinancialForce Services

    Job Posting


    Apply Now

    VFP Consulting is an international and co-selling implementation partner of FinancialForce. As an Account Executive at VFP Consulting, you manage the full sales cycle of all assigned sales opportunities. Your focus is on communicating the value of VFP services and approach, negotiating terms and prices, and closing deals.

    You will work closely with the FinancialForce sales team in joint software / services pursuits. You will use your consulting experience to help position and drive deals to close. You will do this by combining your specialized knowledge of ERP, CRM and the Quote to Cash business processes and your professional services experience to resolve complex business issues in creative and effective ways.

    Expert level knowledge of partner software solutions and VFP Consulting services drive your success through the full sales lifecycle.

    This is a remote, full-time position working from home anywhere in the United States with some travel required.


    • Strategically drive new business and manage assigned sales targets.
    • Target and cultivate a professional and consultative relationship with our partners.
    • Take a leadership role and accountability in working with cross-functional teams to develop winning proposals.
    • Generate new opportunities through existing relationships, lead-generation, and by scheduling and presenting at marketing events.
    • Follow up on incoming leads, schedule and present at remote or onsite meetings.
    • Advance to close sales pursuits, including negotiating contracts.
    • Participate in weekly sales meetings to present/assess the status of all existing pipeline leads and opportunities as well as potential future target companies and pursuit strategies.
    • Travel is required. (Estimated travel is about 25% but will fluctuate over time.)


    • 4-6 years experience as a consulting sales or integration professional in the technology space, with focused experience selling ERP and CRM applications; primarily Quote to Cash.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of cloud-based business software and professional services
    • Comprehensive knowledge of budget cycles, procurement processes, and contract vehicles
    • Demonstrated experience in closing small to large, solution-oriented services opportunities
    • Demonstrated expertise in consultative solution selling to align the customer’s needs with our solutions to drive and close deals.
    • Must be self-starter with strong relationship management and negotiating skills
    • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills for client audiences ranging from technical implementers through executive levels.
    • Competitive landscape knowledge.

    Apply Now

    Habits are formed by doing something every day, and we think that is an essential can’t-live-without-it part of the job at VFP. We make excellence our habit. So you know you can count on us to look out for you and deliver the best.

    Core Values

    Where PassionMeets Purpose.

    The 3 greatest perks of using a one-platform solution like Salesforce

    The 3 greatest perks of using a one-platform solution like Salesforce

    Are you having difficulties scaling your business?

    Are team productivity and communication dwindling?

    We’ve written an in-depth profile on how you can leverage a one platform business solution like Salesforce to completely transform your business. Implementing a one platform solution has been proven to not only help streamline business processes and accelerate cash flow but increase revenue as well!

    We created this story with Mason Frank International and our FinancialForce partner to inspire you to think bigger and learn how to best utilize the Salesforce platform. Read on to discover the 3 greatest perks of using a one platform solution and how you can use these tools to transform your business for the better today.

    The 3 Most Important Things We Learned at Dreamforce 2019

    Team VFP is back from Dreamforce and what can we say? It was truly a dream! Over the course of the week, we took part in seminars, panel discussions, concerts, and even threw our very own VIP Happy Hour alongside FinancialForce.

    There was a lot to take in but here are the three most important things we learned at Dreamforce 2019.

    Be kind and be useful

    The highlight of Dreamforce was Barack Obama’s very real and honest discussion on leadership in the modern age. The words that stuck with us the most?

    “Be kind and be useful.”

    It’s something Obama instills in his own daughters and has become a guiding point for him in recent years. “Regardless of our surface differences, there's a core humanity and dignity to each of us that has to be shared and respected.”

    Obama spoke honestly about his worries that technology may be leading society astray, adding, “Part of solving big problems is not just a matter of finding the right technical solution, but also figuring out, 'how do we restore some sense of our common values?'"

    “Part of solving big problems is not just a matter of finding the technical solution, but also figuring out, 'how do we restore some sense of our common values?" - Barack Obama

    A notable takeaway from Obama’s fireside chat with Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff is that while technology and the internet can be a powerful tool to unify people, current internet companies have caused mass confusion about what is credible and what is not. It’s important we keep open minds about the information that is presented to us online.

    VFP Consultant Tyler Gau at Dreamforce 2019
    VFP Consultant Tyler Gau at Dreamforce 2019

    Values enhance innovation

    One of the discussions that resonated with us the most was Apple CEO Tim Cook’s invigorating talk with Marc Benioff.

    In a conversation that included thoughts on mobile’s role in the enterprise, Cook expanded on the intersection of innovation and values. For Cook, values enhance innovation. And as a company that lives by its own core values (heck, we even put ours in our name!), Cook’s words hit close to home. While every business has its own unique values, the sentiment is the same none-the-less.

    Talking about how he leads Apple to continue 40 years of innovation, Cook said, “At some point, you recognize the reason we are all here is to help someone else. That is the sole reason we are here. And once you get that in your head, life gets so much simpler.”

    Diversity and soft skills will eclipse technical expertise.

    Over the past few years, soft skills such as leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, and the ability to manage and control your emotions, have become just as important in the workforce as more traditional hard skills. According to a study, they could very well be more important than technical expertise and experience.

    Keynote speakers Dr. Frida Polli, Co-Founder and CEO of pymetrics, and Lily Gangas, Chief Technology Community Officer at the Kapor Center, discussed the need for soft skills in our industry.

    Managing Consultant Nick Anderson and Consultant Tyler Gau at Dreamforce 2019 in San Francisco.
    Managing Consultant Nick Anderson and Consultant Tyler Gau at Dreamforce 2019 in San Francisco.

    When it comes to diversity, and more specifically, the tech industry’s lack of representation, Dr. Polli said, “When we have a homogenous group creating technology, if you’re not thinking of the unintended consequences, you’re doing it wrong. We’re leaving a lot of undeveloped talent on the table and that’s not good for anybody.”

    Gangas agreed and added, “To create new systems, we need new founders. If someone isn’t asking tough questions, you’re building blindly. I think we can do better and we should.”

    At VFP, we continue to learn and build our expertise (both in soft and technical skills) in order to become better implementation partners and leaders. We build our skills every year to stay on top, and attending Dreamforce is a great way we can expand our knowledge of quote-to-cash and the technologies coming out on the Salesforce platform (Customer 360 Truth! Einstein Skills!) in order to deliver the best service to our customers.

    Marco Casaleina, Salesforce Vice President of Einstein Products, wrapped it up nicely. “It all starts with a question — one that makes sense for your business.”

    Putting customers at the center of everything you do and asking the tough questions is the key to truly understanding your market and becoming a trailblazer in your industry.

    Tell us: which Dreamforce takeaway resonates with you the most? Comment on our Instagram or LinkedIn

    Accelerate Your Quote-to-Cash Implementation with these 5 Insider Tips

    FinancialForce is designed to be an open and flexible single cloud platform that grows with your business. The entire purpose of the FinancialForce platform is to simplify your complex business process after all. Unfortunately, the reality is that many companies are still experiencing massive hiccups during their FinancialForce implementation that can easily be avoided with a few key steps.


    A lack of customer focus, transparency, and communication are just some of the reasons implementation partners report experiencing serious churn before the first user ever logs in. With over 15 years of experience working in the FinancialForce platform, we want to share what we’ve learned so you can avoid the same pitfalls and experience the most seamless quote-to-cash implementation for your business.

    Discover how to apply these 5 insider tips during your own FinancialForce implementation by entering your email below. We'll send the details to your inbox in minutes!

    We know the secret to building a winning company culture


    There’s been a noticeable shift in workplace culture over the past few years, with many companies reforming their views on company culture -- or lack thereof. In short, many organizations are realizing that their “can’t do” attitude towards company culture just won’t cut it anymore. The workforce is now made up of 50% millennials and this generation wants to work for companies that share their same values.

    As COO of VFP Consulting, Doug Johnston understands the importance of strong leadership in growing a business. He’s been building scalable, large-capacity teams in enterprise environments for 20 years and has witnessed first-hand what can make or break a team.

    Having a strong company culture is integral to a company’s bottom line for it affects every part of a business. Without aligned values and goals, employees will start to drift and question their overall happiness at their workplace and this can have serious consequences for your business. Recruitment, productivity, and financial performance will all suffer as a result.

    Johnston brings a unique approach to employee management that’s based on a remote company culture focused on growth, sustainability, and loyalty. So what’s the secret to building a strong team and thereby, a company culture, from the ground up?



    The VFP team at a recent company meet up in Vancouver, Canada.

    Make organizational health and living your core values your top priority

    In a world of financial results, key performance indicators, and rapid change, it’s critical to recognize that one priority must remain above all others. “The overall health of a company -- alignment, engagement, and trust -- should be top of mind for executives that want to build a winning culture and company,” Johnston explains. “Without a healthy organization, you’ll be hard-pressed to get the sustainable business results you’re looking for. It’s foundational, and if you neglect it then nothing else matters.”

    Johnston’s approach is straightforward: whether remote or not, you need to have a good sense of your company’s values. “VFP stands for vision, focus, and passion, and we have a great definition of exactly what that means that we talk about every day. We expect everybody who wants to be a part of this adventure to understand what we stand for,” Johnston says. “We want them to bring our values to everything they do in their jobs, every single day.”

    "Too many businesses think culture revolves around free beer and foosball tables, but in reality, it’s rooted in something a lot more personal.”

    Johnston has noticed company culture thrives when employees start to take pride in their work. “People start to feel connected to the results of the business through their individual contribution, and the value they know they’re bringing to customers. People realize that they’re part of something special and that their contributions are meaningful. Culture starts to take on a life of its own, which is exactly what’s needed. Too many businesses think culture revolves around free beer and foosball tables, but in reality, it’s rooted in something a lot more personal.”


    Create a communication plan

    While having your employees aligned with your organization’s values and goals is an important first step, many companies fail to recognize that success goes beyond a splashy meeting and slogans written on a wall. It’s critical that culture is at the forefront of everything a company does, every day. At VFP, Johnston implemented a multi-tiered communication strategy to preserve and strengthen the health of the company. As the company grows, it becomes more difficult to keep everybody aligned and happy and effective communication becomes key.

    VFP’s team lives and works all over the world, so staying in sync is no small feat. In addition to monthly All Hands Meetings and standard weekly operational meetings with teams, even more important are the one-on-one meetings that happen weekly between every VFP employee and their leader. “This is where the personal connection happens,” says Johnston. “It’s a chance to take everything the company is doing and make it relevant for an individual. We help them understand how they fit and how they can grow. And as importantly, it’s our chance to get feedback on things we might not be seeing given how spread out we are.”


    Team meetings, whether in person or online, happen without fail once a week in order to stay personally connected with one another on company projects and goals.


    Johnston also created VFP Consulting’s much buzzed-about ‘Virtual Friday Parties,’ where the company comes together in an unstructured, weekly video happy hour to connect with one another in a casual environment. “We shoot the breeze on what's going on around the company and tell some funny stories. You’ve got to have a sense of humor in this line of work,” Johnston explains with a laugh. “You spend a lot of time away from family, and there's a lot of pressure to get things done. We’re operating in a world of ambiguity and it's our job to bring clarity. You have to enjoy the people you’re on this journey with.”

    Johnston acknowledges that effective communication starts at the top. It’s crucial that the executive team lead by example in order to maintain engagement. It’s the key to having your employees continue to push forward. “Disengagement can be a fatal blow to a company. I’m unapologetic for constantly reminding our team of what we stand for. If I don’t constantly show that culture matters to me, how can I expect others at VFP to buy in?”

    These days, you can accurately measure financial performance, customer satisfaction, and even productivity. But how do you know when your company culture is having a positive effect on the company?


    Effective communication and collaboration starts at the top, with the executive team leading by example.

    Attitude counts

    Data is important, and measuring things like employee satisfaction can be useful, but sometimes you have to put it aside and look at the employees themselves. Building a team that operates well together and follows a company’s core values is difficult but it’s also integral to a company’s success. Johnston is a big believer in attitude as the top trait in people who work at VFP.

    “When we’re hiring, we hire for attitude first and experience second because we know it counts. It’s something that is constantly being looked at throughout the year to make sure people are looking at their jobs and their results the right way,” Johnston elaborates. “We make sure that the attitude we liked when they came into the position hasn’t slipped. If it has, we try to figure it out. It’s important to recognize that constantly realigning at all levels bubbles up to the results of the business.”

    Organizations that put company culture at the forefront of their priorities will have a leg up on other companies in the industry, especially in the coming years when an entirely new generation of employees will dominate the workforce. With different values and attributes to consider, companies will need to adjust appropriately to ensure business growth down the line.

    Tell us: what is your business doing to put company health and culture top of mind?