Insight Sourcing Group Case Study


Insight Sourcing Group (ISG) is a leading North American consulting firm focused on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services. Founded in 2002, the firm has been ranked among the fastest-growing private companies in America since 2008. ISG was recently named the #1 Most Innovative Consulting Firm and the #1 Boutique Consulting Firm To Work For in the US in 2017.

Insight Sourcing Group’s energy practice has been around since 2013 and works side by side with clients to develop a custom energy profile for their business and to tailor a procurement and risk management strategy to meet their specific budget targets. The energy practice team consists of 12 delivery team members and 3 sales team members.

As a delivery manager on ISG’s energy practice team, Michael Kemp is responsible for aligning resources to projects, shifting resources from one project to another and providing feedback and guidance for the other client managers.

Challenges Faced

As ISG started adding more team members and clients, the company wanted greater insight how much time their resources were spending on certain projects in order to better understand how they should be pricing opportunities. Their current legacy system wasn’t being effectively used and didn’t provide the level of granular time tracking that gave the company visibility into the amount of time resources were spending on those projects and how much of that time was used for billable client work.

As they grew, the team at ISG realized they didn’t have the granular visibility needed to effectively track their resource utilization. “We were pulling new hires in a bunch of different directions and we didn’t have good visibility into what projects they were working on,” states Michael Kemp, a Delivery Manager in ISG’s Energy Practice. “We didn’t have good feedback loops in terms of hearing from new hires on what is taking longer than necessary.”

ISG needed a solution to easily track employee time, but also to assign resources to projects, measure project KPIs and track actuals against estimated proposals for accurate forecasting and pricing. ISG was impressed with the user interface of KeyedIn and liked that reports contained actionable insights without needing to export or manipulate before sharing outside the team.

The key challenges that ISG’s team set out to solve were:

  • Visibility into how much time resources were spending on billable vs non-billable projects
  • Tracking actual time spent on projects against what was planned

Solutions and Impact

ISG went from manually tracking project data in a notation system and pulling time reports out of a separate system to an integrated solution that allows them to see all resource data and make decisions based on real-time information. While the team is still growing, KeyedIn has given ISG increased visibility into how their resources are spending their time as well as how ISG needs to utilize their resources’ time. Managers at ISG have the ability to assign different projects to different resources, review those projects with the resources on a weekly basis, and compare what has been assigned versus what the resources actually spent their time on.

KeyedIn's Impact on ISG:

  • Improved visibility and communication among stakeholders
  • Improved resource utilization and more time allocated to billable work
  • Adoption of the product and seamless tracking of time for consolidated data

ISG’s delivery team now meets every month to assign resources to project through KeyedIn making their weekly “priorities” meetings more effective and structured. The team will pull up the resource plan in KeyedIn and can now better understand what resources are allotted to specific projects and what resources will have extra time to work on ad-hoc projects.

“We’re no longer spinning our wheels in those meetings. We’re getting exactly what we need to get done,” adds Michael Kemp. “We used to spend an hour in the weekly meeting] and now we spend about 30 minutes walking through that information.”

This has allowed the company to better understand how their resources are actually utilizing their time, specifically how much time they are resourcing or giving to junior resources to spend on non-billable work versus billable work. Managers can go back and look at the actual time sheets submitted to see if resources are spending too much time on non-billable work. This has made the energy team increasingly more efficient in maximizing the time their resources spend on billable work.

The increased visibility also provides ISG with insight on how much time it takes to complete certain projects. This will then help the sales process in terms of how the company will price certain deals based on how much time and resources it will take to deliver on those same projects. ISG builds this information into their cost model in order to make sure they are fairly reimbursed for the time they spend on clients.

Next Steps

ISG’s energy practice initially plans to continue to fine-tune their process of resourcing team members using KeyedIn until they are more comfortable with it. However, Michael Kemp says the company is interested in implementing additional features such as forecasting or incorporating particular financial metrics that will grant them greater visibility into the future. ISG’s consulting side is also currently leveraging KeyedIn, for time tracking and has plans to expand and use KeyedIn as a project management solution as well.

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