Mesh Systems Uses Mosaic to Optimize Resource Allocation and Maximize Revenue
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Founded in 2005 by Richard Baxter—and recognized on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies—Mesh Systems is a full-stack Internet of Things (IOT) solutions provider with a global list of well-known clients and business partners that extend across several industries and verticals, mainly on the industrial side.
According to their website, Mesh “develop[s] end-to-end IoT solutions with a repeatable cloud framework that accelerates time to market, avoids high upfront costs, and abstracts the complexity from solution development so that [clients] can focus on [their] domain.” Today, Kyle Zeronik serves as their VP of Engineering and Tristin Maesch is their Engineering Coordinator.
Before adopting Mosaic, Mesh Systems was relying on Excel spreadsheets to manage their projects and resource allocation. “We tried to visually represent who was allocated where,” Zeronik said. This sheet—which the company called “the bingo board” because of all of its color blocks and completed cells—worked, for a while that is. “It worked when the project load was small and we were a 20-person team,” Zeronik said. “But it was clear to us as our business grew that we needed something that was purpose-built for solving the resource allocation problem.” And that’s a problem that every project-based team faces: who is working on what project and who has time available to take on more—and how much more?
According to Zeronik, it didn’t take long before he got tired of managing the bingo board and started to look for a tool that would provide more value than he was getting from Excel. “You have projects that are ongoing and some that are ending, which means those resources are going back into the resource pool. Then you have new projects with new demands and you’re constantly trying to solve this problem of “Do I have enough people with this skill set [to do the work] or do I have too many and I need to sit people down?,” he said. “If I can’t staff projects fast enough then I’m holding up revenue. Knowing that I have the right resources for the projects that are coming in versus the projects that are rolling off is essential to running our business well from an operational standpoint.”
The spreadsheet simply wasn’t cutting it.
It’s a good thing, then, that they found Mosaic. According to Zeronik, “The first thing that struck me about Mosaic was that I could tell it was a tool that was purpose-built for project resource allocation.” Immediately Zeronik and Maesch knew that it would accomplish what their Excel spreadsheet did and more—but most importantly, ”without the pain.”
According to Maesch, what really stood out about Mosaic was the fact that resource allocation was truly at the forefront of their solution. “I hate making comparisons,” Maesch said. “Because a lot of other softwares have value of their own, but the resource allocation piece always just seemed to be a glorified spreadsheet with just more layers dropped on top of it. Don’t get me wrong, that's a step up from a typical spreadsheet. But Mosaic has other features, like AI that utilizes the disciplines we put into the tool and learns what projects we assign our resources to, so it can make predictions about how we’re going to staff projects in the future.”
And Maesch has noticed Mosaic’s predictions getting better the more data Mesh puts into the system. It’s learning their methods and improving their process. “We’re getting better and better in each sprint we do,” he said.
Being able to capture present and near-future data with Mosaic has been incredibly helpful, but the Mesh team is also using Mosaic to maintain a backlog of their past project data and forecast ahead. “We’re still working on it,” Maesch said, “But the goal is to forecast a quarter ahead—to nail down our resource allocation for three months out.” And they are “very, very close to reaching that forecasting goal” with Mosaic. According to Zeronik, “That is the killer feature for us.”
Ultimately, Mosaic is helping the Mesh Systems team leverage data to understand when they need to hire the right staff and evaluate the capabilities of their existing team—and it’s happening with enough lead time to put them ahead of the curve so they maximize efficiency and revenue. “Mosaic’s biggest value proposition for us is that it's helping us look at what projects are coming in versus what’s rolling off and determine how to optimize our resources,” Zeronik said. “If you have a couple simultaneous projects, you can manage it, but right now, we have 20 simultaneous projects and 60 engineers. There’s just no way we can do that without an intelligent, database-driven tool like Mosaic. And it’s only going to get harder. Our business is growing, so those 20 projects are going to be 25 plus next year—with 70 plus engineers.”
Most recently, Mesh Systems used the data Mosaic provided to identify where to expand their team.
Additionally, Mosaic has helped Mesh Systems improve time tracking with partners. “Before Mosaic, we didn’t have any capability to track time with our partners,” Maesch said. “So we’re taking advantage of that to its fullest, too, and it’s turned out to be a great asset, especially when it comes to tracking time and filling out invoices.” According to Maesch, “From an operational standpoint, Mosaic has been a huge help in being able to close out our months quicker—and we're able to keep better track of how to build these projects. Mosaic has completely changed how we interact with our partners. It's made us more efficient and more in-tune with what's happening.”
In terms of Mosaic’s onboarding and customer service, Mesh Systems has been incredibly pleased. “If there was one thing that I could shout from the rooftops about Mosaic, it would be that the customer success model is one to replicate.” In fact, it’s given the Mesh team the confidence that they’d, one, implement Mosaic correctly to get the most out of the tool and, two, that Mosaic would heed the feedback that they provided to continually make the application better. “More important than even the tool itself has been Mosaic’s commitment to our success using the tool,” Zeronik said.
When asked what advice he’d give to other firms about resource allocation, Zeronik had this to say: “If you're a professional firm—and you live in this dynamic state with engagements concluding and new ones coming in—then you can’t manage resource allocation and optimization at scale without a resource planning tool like Mosaic. Full stop.”