BigCommerce Streamlines Systems to Scale Services
Founded in 2009, BigCommerce is a publicly-traded technology company offering a SaaS eCommerce platform. The Austin-based company aims to help merchants sell more at every stage of business growth with software designed to enable businesses to scale seamlessly and realize their visions efficiently and without compromise.
BigCommerce was stuck using email and spreadsheets to manage professional services projects. But when the company decided to pivot and target larger household brand names, it realized the current DIY system couldn’t scale alongside them.
“We wanted the biggest companies in the world,” recalls Patrick O’Connor, Manager of Professional Services on the Data Migration team. “But managing projects in Google Drive doesn’t scale. It was really hard to keep track of dates or the current status of our projects. When you’re doing everything disjointly, managers have no way to align their processes or report on what’s going on. You just can’t have an Excel sheet, a Google Doc, and a Trello board talk to each other.”
“Systems like Smartsheet or Microsoft Project don’t allow you to scale across your business and see the portfolio of a project manager’s book of business,” explains Neal McCoy, Senior Director Professional Services. “You need to be able to see what’s on schedule and what’s not. You need to be able to measure your metrics and your data across the portfolio — especially when you’re managing over 100 projects in your queue as a department globally at any given time.”
The eCommerce leader began its search for a better way to work and meet their strategic growth goals. “We went looking for a project management system that would help us standardize things, improve our reporting, give our customers more visibility, and have all those aspects in one platform,” explains O’Connor. “We needed a software solution that could help us manage a lot of our interactions with our customers, especially for onboarding,” adds McCoy.
After vetting systems like Smartsheet, Microsoft Project, Asana, FinancialForce, Klient, and Jira, the Professional Services department at BigCommerce selected Wrike as the collaborative work management system that could help it streamline processes, simplify reporting, and scale the business.
Multiple methodologies in one platform
Because BigCommerce selected the most versatile work management system, its professional services teams and customers can follow its preferred workflows and processes. “In the eCommerce world, you work with a lot of design agencies,” says McCoy. “We find that some design agencies prefer Waterfall, and some prefer Agile, so we need to be flexible and be able to accommodate that as we’re onboarding customers on our platform.”
Wrike empowers clients, engineers, managers, and everyone in between to work how they work best. “Behind the scenes, we use a Kanban board and Agile,” continues O’Connor. “And we have a few custom workflows built as well at the project and the task level.”
Better reporting delivers better forecasting
With a strong strategic focus on scaling its business, BigCommerce loves that Wrike gives it the insights and visibility needed to predict and plan accurately. McCoy says his favorite aspects of Wrike are “the reporting, the ability to see things in a snapshot, and also being able to look at the team’s utilization. Wrike helps me plan and understand the costs in my organization.”
O’Connor is experimenting within Wrike to analyze his team’s efficiency by project phase, so he can determine which aspects of each project are most time-consuming. “My customized project phase duration report shows me how long project phases take on average. Then I can use that data to understand what our longest phase is, why a phase is delayed, and how a new process impacted turnaround times.”
Wrike’s reporting and analytics also help BigCommerce make informed business decisions and better predict its costs and resourcing needs. “With the hours reporting and tracking in Wrike,” explains O’Connor, “I can better understand how much time we spend on projects against how much we’re charging. So I can better forecast when we’re going to hit bottlenecks or when we need to hire.” McCoy adds, “Another thing [O’Connor] is experimenting with in Wrike is putting in the cost rate for our deployment employees, and measuring that up against the actual project.” The unique reporting tools in Wrike help the department improve forecasting, planning, and resource allocation.
Teams can work better in a collaborative, flexible workspace
With the entire Professional Services department working in Wrike, the teams can collaborate more effectively and make strategic adjustments sooner. “Having everything standardized in Wrike makes iterating our process and making updates a lot faster and more collaborative,” notes O’Connor. “If I want to change something I’ve tested, then I can just release it. I just make a change at a Blueprint [template] level, and it’s out there. We’re able to learn and adapt a lot faster, which has been really beneficial.”
Wrike’s versatility also benefits O’Connor’s other Professional Services teammates on the Solution Architects and Customer Success Management teams. “Wrike has been invaluable in providing transparency to other teams on hours used by the Solution Architects on each project,” adds Mark Seung, Enterprise Solutions Architect Manager. Scott Leroy, Team Manager of Technical Account Management, notes, “Wrike has been a great tool for our TAMs to track their billable hours on each project, keep their tasks organized, and report on which tasks each project is being leveraged more heavily.”
Key integrations are centralizing work in Wrike
After successfully consolidating so many processes into Wrike, BigCommerce hopes to leverage some key integrations and further streamline systems.
“I use the Slack integration,” says O’Connor. “I can quickly see what people have been working on in Wrike today and which projects got pushed back. We’re also building a Salesforce connector so we can automatically kick off projects with a Blueprint and push Wrike updates into Salesforce. We’re also building a Jira connector to share when tickets are opened or completed.”
“I look forward to having Wrike fully integrated with our Salesforce instance,” adds McCoy, “so I can look at my pipeline and see what’s in best case, commit, and current utilization. It’ll also be great to have our annual plan in both systems as well and have that Wrike data feed our Salesforce so it can influence reporting across the organization.”
By bringing more work into Wrike, BigCommerce can continue to work faster, keep everyone aligned, and access the insights needed to make strategic decisions.
Having Wrike’s collaborative work management system has helped the Professional Services department at BigCommerce streamline processes, simplify reporting, and scale the business.
“We’re especially getting faster with Large Enterprise Projects,” concludes O’Connor. “There’s less rework. There’s less confusion. There’s less escalation because expectations are clearly set and documented at every level.”
“Wrike gives us the ability to create greater efficiency with the project manager and makes them more effective with their customers,” adds McCoy. “Having all their projects organized in one place is extremely helpful to our managers; it makes them more effective and more efficient. Wrike also gives leadership the visibility to see what’s on track and how to get things back on track, so it has improved both time to value and customer satisfaction, which are our main KPIs.”