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Customer Story: Luminary Labs

Big data for big innovation.

Big data for big innovation - Luminary Labs

Luminary Labs focuses on helping clients put innovative ideas into action. They have worked with a number of industries, helping large organizations shape their strategy, which increasingly requires connecting with early stage companies. Starting in 2005, CEO and Founder Sara Holoubek has turned Luminary Labs into a thriving, full-fledged consultancy, with booked revenue doubling each year. They work on high profile projects for Sanofi, Janssen, BMW, and the Kaufmann Foundation, and have even produced numerous open innovation competitions over the past two years (including the industry groundbreaker Data Design Diabetes).

Leveling up from Excel.

Sara admits, “We used - gasp! - Excel spreadsheets. We knew we needed something more when we were awarded a rather significant contract that required input from over 20 subject matter experts. At that point, we realized that it would be in our best interest to track hours and invoices in one place.”

“Harvest was very key to helping me start my company - it allowed us to move from a world of managing a lot of subcontractors to managing a staff quite easily.“ Sara was so happy with what she saw in Harvest, she even wrote us an email in 2008, while she was trying out a Harvest trial account. “I have to say, I am very impressed. Having worked in multiple agencies and start-ups, I have never seen such a clean time tracker.”

Harvest was very key to helping me start my company – it allowed us to move from a world of managing a lot of subcontractors to managing a staff quite easily.

Easy to use, everyday.

Sarah Kim, Director of Operations, says Sara Holoubek, “credits Harvest for helping us get organized to really manage more revenue and a complicated mix of staff and freelancers. For what we need to do today, it really suits our needs.”

She explains, “with a workforce that shifts based on project load, Harvest is an easy to use system that is well designed and makes it easier on everyday users.”

“We use Google Apps, and Harvest plugs in really nicely through Google Apps. That makes things really easy for our staff, obviously. They don’t need to remember a separate password. Harvest is probably one of the easier to use systems, with no barriers to getting people up to speed.”

Visual reports provide a healthcheck.

Says Sara, “We have doubled booked revenue year after year for four years. As a growing business it is important for us to constantly take the pulse. We have made multiple decisions based upon utilization as well as invoicing. Harvest visualizes data, which is important for leads who need quick summaries on project status.”

Harvest visualizes data, which is important for leads who need quick summaries on project status.

Sarah uses the reports similarly for Operations. “I use the reports to understand revenue recognition, across all our projects, and then the roll up for each client. I also use it to look at utilization of staff and time.”

“I may be the power user, but Sara and the other project leads also rely heavily on Harvest. When they come to Harvest, they want to see a quick snapshot on how we are managing time and budget. They need the information really quickly and so the visual bar graph is a simple way to get information. It is really helpful when they need a quick health check.”