A Driving Force

Rehmann’s core belief is that the experience their customers have with them is as important as the services they provide. The act of consistently putting customers first is the driving force behind the company’s identity. What began in 1941 as a single, Saginaw-based accounting firm has evolved into a synergistic collection of business services with a common mission: to provide valuable business solutions. Rehmann has grown to become one of the largest CPA, business-consulting and financial advising firms in the Midwest with 800 associates in 19 offices located in Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Indiana.

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BUSINESS DRIVER

In order to live up to that identity, Rehmann realized they needed to look for a way to build consistency, accuracy and speed into their proposal development activities. After several mergers, Rehmann had grown to encompass 19 offices where more than 400 proposals are prepared each year. As they continued to expand, it became increasingly clear that they could not continue to build proposals the way they always had. Until recently, these proposals were office-specific, and did not always reflect corporate standards for branding, content, or accountability. Furthermore, the fragmented approach to proposal preparation was inefficient, with business advisers preparing their own proposals, rather than spending their high-value time in more business-critical activities. Caring so much about their clients, they also sought a way to make their proposals client-focused and personalized while building customer confidence with a clear and consistent message.

APPROACH

Like other corporations that have grown by merger, Rehmann found itself with a disparate approach to proposal creation; offices that had been affiliated with a different parent corporation tended to retain their original processes. Although logos and graphics may have been updated to reflect Rehmann ownership, content, branding messages, and overall presentation often failed to be consistent. “We realized that the underlying reason we had these problemswas the fact that we did not have a single repository of approved content, or pre-approved proposal formats,” said Cheri Reid, Rehmann’s Proposal Manager. “So, we set up an internal committee to consider various solution options.”

“We first looked at using Microsoft Excel and Word,” she continued, “but quickly realized that with the volume of our content, no powerful search capability, and no tools that would facilitate personalization, this approach would not work for us. Yet, we knew we wanted to rely on Microsoft Word because everyone is familiar with the application, and it simplifies editing.”

After additional market research, Rehmann discovered Qvidian’s software solutions. “By leveraging Word,” Reid remarked, “Qvidian delivers exactly what we need; a project approach that ensures accountability, a powerful search feature that lets us quickly identify the content we need, and the ability to establish pre-approved proposal templates.”

IMPACT

Since implementing Qvidian, Rehmann has reaped sizable benefits from their solution. “When comparing our pre-Qvidian proposal creation days, to our current Qvidian environment, overall we spend about 20 percent less time on proposals,” Reid stated. “But our business advisers spend 54 percent less time, an ROI that far exceeds our annual costs for the solution.”

Rehmann achieved these savings by creating a centralized repository of approved content that is categorized by target industry and service offering. Business advisers then direct proposal administrators to the specific areas of content required for any given proposal by completing industry/service-specific checklists. This process takes less than five minutes.

Armed with these checklists, administrators use Qvidian’s Google-like search feature to quickly identify the content required, and load that content into a pre-approved industry-specific proposal template that includes a tailored cover letter and firm overview. A solid first draft proposal can be produced in less than 15 minutes.“This first draft process is so fast and efficient, and the proposal is so good, that business advisers can now use it to drive a meeting with a prospect,” Reid commented. “Then, based upon inputs from the prospect, a final version can be customized and out the door—fully formatted with the consistent branding and presentation standards of all Rehmann proposals in less than one hour. But it wasn’t just the Qvidian software that hasenabled us to achieve this success,” Reid continued. “It was also the outstanding support from Qvidian that helped us determine the best way to meet our needs with their solution. And, with their assistance, we have extended the reach of Qvidian to new target industries and new service offerings.”

Rehmann is comprised of Rehmann Robson, Rehmann Financial and Rehmann Corporate Investigative Services. These entities form a synergistic collection of business services that meet the diverse needs of their clients. Through these divisions, they offer services in the areas of tax, accounting, assurance, business consulting, wealth management and corporate investigative services. Rehmann is also an independent member of Nexia International enabling them to provide a global approach for their clients.

Rehmann Drives New Business and Cuts Overhead Costs with Qvidian