Data nightmare and failed Salesforce implementation cleaned up for Liberty Tax

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Challenge

Liberty Tax Service is a Public Company with +4,000 franchisees in the US and Canada and +300 corporate offices.

The tax industry is changing as more and more people are filling their taxes online using Intuit. Intuit also has very large marketing budgets that allow them a very large market presence.

 

Liberty needed therefore to stay up to its competition in the DIY tax market. They needed to bring their B2C platform to par and make it more user-friendly.

 

Liberty also tried on multiple occasions to implement Salesforce CRM but never managed to get to the end of the implementation. There was a big internal resistance and no adoption by the business stakeholders.

 

Finally, Liberty was recording a very large disparity between the different reports they were producing. Each department was producing its own reports, sometimes for the same data, but were presenting different data. Nobody trusting the data, each department was going deeper in setting up their own report with different terminologies and it became a complete nightmare across the organization.

Results

$1.2M

Revenue Increase

$10M

Savings

4,000

Franchisees set up

Millions

of data cleaned up

How we did it

VDI started by bringing improvements to the DIY platform, streamlining the user experience. We worked with some customers to understand the pain points and gather requirements.

 

We defined all the digital KPIs and set up the right daily report to look at and monitor the business. The team had not been lead and mentored for some time so people were lost and doing their best with what they thought was right. The team was fairly green so needed some training. We fixed the product issues, tested them with the core customers, and then implemented them to make sure we were not wasting development resources. We developed a full roadmap and went through the roadmap to make each change. We started with the quick wins down to more innovative functionalities. We saw an immediate immediately revenue increase during the first tax season we engaged and generated an additional $1.2M for the organization.

Liberty tax form
Liberty tax file your tax home

After successfully revamping the B2C site, we attacked the B2B site, which is the one that tax preparers were using with their clients. We ran a full workshop with a selection of franchisees to gather requirements. The organization was used to involved always the same franchisees and the most successful ones. This time we requested a more diverse panel covering big, small, successful, less successful, new, and older franchisees to participate. This part required a lot of experience to be able to move and engage such groups with a positive outcome. They were very happy that their voice got heard and they had their issues were going to be resolved. We then created the roadmap for the B2B site and walked through implementation of all the changes that were prioritized.

 

After our success, on these two areas, we moved on to the data cleaning. We first understood what data and reports were needed across the departments and with which frequency. We realized at first that a lot of issues were coming with the use of different terminologies/definitions for the same set of data. We first aligned all the terminologies so that when people were talking about revenues, they were talking about the same thing, when they were talking about profit, they were talking about the same thing and so on. We then set up a data governance group for the clean up where designated person of each department was meeting weekly to discuss: new data, reports, overlaps, changes in data, prioritization and make sure that someone was not producing a report that already existed somewhere else and then communicating different data. This phase helped achieve a lot of cleaning.

 

Our next issue was the lack of technical resources to achieve the goals so we jumped on cleaning up the technology team processes. We reviewed, as a team, how they were going through their agile process. There were lots of discrepancies and loss of efficiencies on how the teams were working together. The testing phase was almost inexistent because, when the process was getting to this phase, there was no more time for testing so the quality delivery was not good.

 

We took the lead of the technology team for 2 months, cleaned up the process, made sure people were involved and that there would be full adoption, and handed out back to the CIO a cleaned-up team, new processes, job descriptions, and more efficiency. The technology team had again faith in the future and the rest of the organization regained trust in the technology team to deliver what was needed.

The CEO asked us to then look at the Salesforce implementation that was not making any progress. We aligned all the teams and set up a series of workshops with the different departments and cross departments to understand their pain points and capture requirements. Business, Operations, Marketing, and technology were consulted. One of the previous issues was that the rest of the organization was not engaged as they had the feeling that technology was leading the project without understanding their needs and the outcome was useless so there was no chance for adoption. After the discovery days, we put together a business case with the revisions we recommended and the steps for the project. We also renegotiated with Salesforce the license fees based on the new needs. We had the organization save $10M on this project. We also set up different users training for full adoption.