Zoho gives Lavoro Technologies the freedom to scale and evolve.
When Lavoro Technologies began in 2017, the small but determined team had no CRM. Jim Campbell, the Chief Administrative Officer, searched for a Zoho integrator who had the answers he needed. He explained “I realized there were very few [Zoho Integrators] that were familiar with the whole thing. From there, I got in touch with ZBrains.” Lavoro primarily used Zoho Books and Zoho CRM, with 15 total employees using the whole suite of applications. Their primary pain point concerned migrating data from QuickBooks into Zoho CRM, which pushed them to search for an integrated solution.
Lavoro Technologies is the oil and gas industry’s leading SaaS solution provider. The company was formed in Houston, Texas in 2016 with one goal: to help oil and gas companies optimize all aspects of the production lifecycle, from the well head to fluid management, through the power of SaaS.
After the latest oil price crash in 2014, many production and midstream companies embraced digital technologies in order to operate their critical remote assets more efficiently. However, most early solutions provided little more than data collection, resulting in inefficiency, lost opportunities and untapped potential.
Lavoro responded to this market need by pulling from decades of software and energy industry knowledge and developing the Lavoro Platform, its signature technology. An “industry first” integrated, cloud and edge SaaS solution, the Lavoro Platform empowers operators to turn data into actionable insights for a single well, a field or across the entire enterprise.
Since the platform’s launch, a growing number of oil and gas customers have embraced its scalable approach to automation, optimization and data visualization. Today, customers use the Lavoro Platform to automate the liquid transfer process, optimize artificial lift and turn inefficiencies into better margins per barrel.
Before Lavoro discovered Zoho, they had no customer management system in place. “We found that inputting information to the CRM was fairly easy, but ensuring this information was correct was more challenging,” explained Jim. One of the biggest early hurdles was moving from a cash basis of accounting to an accrual basis — a considerable complexity.
“There wasn’t life before Zoho when it came to CRM or automation from a system standpoint. It’s really brought all that together for us in a way that is probably the most user-friendly CRM I’ve ever worked with professionally,” expressed Amber Valentin, the Financial and Business Operations Consultant for Lavoro.
The Challenge for Lavoro was simple: find a CRM that meets their needs and is within their budget as a startup company. “I was surprised how affordable it was relative to the alternatives, like NetSuite. That’s probably what really tipped us over,” explained Jim. Price and value were big considerations for the Texas-based company, “…value especially, because I think Zoho delivers a lot for the price you pay. The really interesting thing is that they keep adding products and they don’t change the price.”
Finding A Solution
For Lavoro, the search for a CRM solution began with Jim’s wife, a NetSuite implementer, who suggested he look at Zoho. Before choosing Zoho they looked at multiple alternatives, including QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Intacct, Sage, and BusinessObjects. The affordability of Zoho was a huge selling point for Lavoro, especially when coupled with its ease of use, as Jim describes, “It just makes sense the way that it operates, how you can go from customer to estimate, from customer to invoice, estimate to invoice. [In terms of NetSuite,] I just didn’t see the reason to pay $125 per month per user for aspects of a program that I didn’t see us using.”
Implementation & Results
As a startup, Lavoro continues to learn the ropes of Zoho CRM and its numerous applications. Zoho provided the most value in accounting and bookkeeping for Lavoro. Amber spoke to their process, “I feel like [our Zoho implementation] is still a work in progress for us. Certain apps are rolled out more than others: our Books are in a good place, we’ve got our chart of accounts in a solid place, CRM is good — but the integration among Subscriptions, CRM, and Books is the next big project we’re tackling right now.”
Lavoro appreciated James’ hands-on approach and brutal honesty, “There was a better way. And he made sure we knew our options, that we were fully informed before taking a path down hyper customization — that in the long run we could have easily broken as we continued to grow. He gave us a solution we didn’t even think of, that will ultimately help us as we grow our business and our needs continue to evolve and adapt. It just allows us a lot more flexibility that we didn’t evision initially.”
Both Jim and Amber have positive outlooks as they look towards the future for Lavoro, “I think we are in a good place in the oil and gas industry…I’d hope within the next three years we’d be looking at several millions of dollars of recurring revenue.” Amber remarked, “We had the luxury of being in [a] position where we don’t have a lot of already built-in systems and software that we’ve been using…We’re new and we get to choose what we want…It’s amazing for me that if Zoho [Corporation] can scale using Zoho, I think we can build something similar for us that will scale as we grow.”
If given the opportunity to do it all again, Jim explains, “I think we probably would have delayed our first project of the creation of the Docs folders in Projects until our VP of Professional Services was hired. I think we will have to undo or redo some of that because of the way he wants to run the proserve group.”
Amber reflected, “…when you’re a small organization…you’re trying to solve for many potential problems and needs of the business, but your area of expertise will only be limited to certain parts of it. ….Going forward, we know now that if there is an app that is part of Zoho that will deep dive into, we want to be sure we have the business owner who is going to be working on that element in the conversation.”
Speaking on the Record
Lavoro had plenty of praise for Zoho, evidenced by Amber’s feelings: “As far as a net promoter score, I would give it a 10/10 in my book.” Jim felt similarly, “I recommended it as recently as last Saturday. I met a guy starting a business, and he was saying they were getting on QuickBooks and he was talking about getting a CRM package and getting QB. I just said ‘You need to look at Zoho.’”
The pair were also very happy about their experiences with ZBrains. Amber explained “Well, we continue to work with them, so absolutely, we would definitely recommend them.” Jim stated, “I think a lot of the value that ZBrains is going to deliver we haven’t realized yet, because we haven’t ramped up revenue yet. But it’s definitely coming.”