United Capital Financial Advisors aims to create the first national registered investment advisor (RIA) with retail brand-name recognition. In 2014, United Capital Group began a campaign to both improve the accuracy of its customer information and to maximize business growth. Rather than acquiring more advisors and offices, the company sought to generate dramatic organic growth, with plans to grow assets and revenues by two-and-a-half times over the next three to five years.
Behind the scenes of all this growth, they needed a secure and efficient data management solution with an interface designed to support their proprietary, high-growth processes.
United Capital chose Skuid to dramatically re-engineer the user experience of their existing Salesforce® implementation. Choosing Skuid generated $454,000 in initial development cost savings and significantly improved user adoption and customer data accuracy. The company recovered more than 56 person-weeks by eliminating time-intensive, hand-coded interfaces. Blazing fast Skuid interfaces accelerated advisement processes and reduced sales cycle time. The time savings resulting from the use of Skuid played a significant role in helping both their advisors and their IT staff meet the company’s aggressive objectives.
Leadership at United Capital realized that to proactively drive both revenue growth and customer-success, the user experience of their data management system needed to dramatically reduce the amount of work necessary to complete many tasks. In theory, a better user interface could shorten sales cycles, improve employee productivity and in turn, generate more revenue.
Prior to using Skuid, United Capital Group had tried customizing the user experience of Salesforce® with Visualforce, a code-based user interface framework. The IT team found Visualforce to be frustrating. Visualforce pages required a developer to make even the smallest changes. With limited IT resources, their backlog grew and due to other priorities, the Visualforce interface remained basically static.
Business users did not like the results of Visualforce either. Visualforce pages lacked the speed and ease-of-use they sorely needed to get their work done and meet their goals. Customer information seemed just beyond reach. Advisors struggled to view and manage growth opportunities. Many simply refused to use the system. Others complained that of losing critical prospect information in the quagmire. In short, United Capital’s aggressive growth objectives were at risk due to a poor user experience and an inability to quickly and cost-effectively adapt the user interface to meet their specific business needs.
United Capital chose to deploy Skuid as a replacement for Visualforce development. Initially, Skuid delivered advanced training to United Capital’s IT staff, who quickly mastered Skuid and rolled out their own internal Skuid user training program.
United Capital used Skuid to build a best-in-class user experience, mapped to its unique business processes. Throughout the initial rollout, Skuid provided ongoing support to assist United Capital IT staff as they got up to speed. Today, United Capital is self-sufficient, using Skuid to continuously iterate their user experience as the needs of its business evolve.
With Skuid, United Capital has:
- Overcome the obstacles presented by Visualforce development
- Become highly skilled at presenting complex customer information, tailored to the needs of users with different functions and diverse skill sets
- Established a truly scalable and cost-effective method for managing user experience across a diverse user base
“Skuid is a complete reinvention of how we think, how we work, and how our employees are engaged,” says Brandon Gage, Senior Vice President of Technology for United Capital. “The Skuid solution is intuitive, easy on the eyes, and fun to use. Clean, simple key visuals at the top of each page provide users with all the data they need. Customer prospects are always visible and organized in four sales-cycle stages. It is so easy there is no need for training manuals or checklists.” Skuid is having a measurable and positive impact on United Capital’s bottom line.
Today, United Capital saves an estimated 40 hours of custom code development per incident. With Skuid, the IT staff can bypass the Salesforce unit test system, eliminating hours waiting for unit tests to run and issues to resolve. On average, United Capital saves 30 hours each week by not having to hand-code markup, queries, and presentation layer logic.
The results go far beyond cost savings for IT. The impact is significant to the business users as well. “You can save so much time by having happy users,” notes Gage. “Skuid makes data actionable on every single screen,” says Gage. “There is no other tool…you can bolt on and say that. Skuid is a quantum difference.”