Welcome to episode 004 of Frankly MSP! Thanks to everyone who has tuned in so far.

In the interview segment, I chat with Beth Burnside, the CEO of CMIT Solutions of Erie. Beth has doubled her company’s revenue every year over the last five years. Today, we talk about success secrets, including employee utilization tracking.


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What’s Going On

[01:14] This week Karl is in Adelaide, Australia, and Richard was at Xerocon, the accountancy conference.

[02:10] There are parallels between accountancy and the managed service industry. Gary Turner of Xero shared a survey that said some partners are still working on paper ledgers.

[02:46] The paper accounting ledger was developed in 1494—which means if a company is still using a paper ledger they haven’t upgraded since the Middle Ages!

[03:28] The biggest pain in the neck for IT consultants is people not upgrading. Karl and Richard both have clients still using fax machines.

[05:13] There was incredible technology at Xerocon and Richard found it surprising there weren’t many MSPs there.

[05:59] MSPs need to get out more to these industry events. Pick a vertical and find how to be successful in the software of that vertical.

[07:44] The NSA found out an employee took home some information and Russian hackers were able to get into his system because he was using Kaspersky. Now the government is removing Kaspersky from all government computers.

[09:05] Was the hole in Kaspersky intentional?

[09:49] Should we be concerned about where our products come from? What MSPs can do to protect themselves and their clients.

The path to doubling your MSP revenue

Beth Burnside CMIT Solutions of Erie

Beth Burnside

[14:40] Beth Burnside opened CMIT Solutions of Erie in 2007, and has doubled her revenue every year for the last 5 years. Success has come from a variety of factors. First is focusing on the managed service business model itself.

[16:04] There’s predictability in the model. Beth also uses metrics to know when they need to hire and what to do.

[17:48] CMIT handles all the help desk work themselves. They like the tight control of the service.

[18:24] KPIs that matter most are aligned to priorities: finance, customer service, and staff development.

[19:12] For customer service they use a benchmark survey to make sure they are keeping service levels high. The comments are also very important.

[20:07] Beth manages the entire business by dashboard.

[21:32] Unhappy employees can’t provide the highest levels of service. Beth’s employees are compensated well, and their compensation is based on a metric of utilization and professional services revenue.

[22:22] Beth offers her employees custom training opportunities. Being small helps Beth know what her employees want, and she’s able to treat them as individuals.

[23:03] Beth’s employees track 100% of their time. Without tracking, there’s no way to know if employees are well utilized.

[24:02] Beth looks at client-facing hours and non-client facing hours. You can’t prove value to the client until you document the time. Training activities and business development contribute to the success of the company.

[25:23] Time tracking is a condition of employment, so compliance isn’t an issue.

[26:08] When people understand the reason why you do things the way you do, they have no problem doing those things.

Links from this episode

What’s Going On

Xerocon & vertical opportunities

Breach linked to Kaspersky

The hosts

Interview

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