How Thompson Engineering Uses a SaaS Management Platform to Scale Efficiently

Back in 1985, Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, argued that information technology gives companies with global ambitions a significant advantage.

While a lot has changed in the intervening years, the core idea holds: superior IT resources creates a competitive advantage by giving companies new ways to outperform their rivals.

Thompson Engineering Inc is a 390 person commercial design and engineering firm with global ambitions and an IT strategy to support them. The company focuses on using the latest visual, design, and 3D technology software to remain competitive in its many markets.

The challenge with this focus on moving fast and innovating on its tech stack has created one major issue: too much spend on duplicate technology and overlapping licenses.

The CFO Sarah was keen to get a handle on how to reign in spending while continuing to provide its employees with the best tools possible.

She found the answer in a SaaS management platform.

Getting a Handle on SaaS Applications and Usage

Before implementing an automated solution, Sarah was tasked with putting together a comprehensive spreadsheet reflecting SaaS spend and usage. Creating a detailed and accurate SaaS spreadsheet is not easy, especially in a company with different offices and regional structures.

Sarah was pouring through expense reports and budgets, trying to piece together the different tools. She knew she couldn’t devote months to this with year-end fast approaching. Sarah figured there must be a way to automate it.

That’s when she came across the world of SaaS management platforms. With the tools to support her through the process, she was able to:

  • Provide a single, comprehensive view into SaaS usage across the organization
  • Delegate and automate tasks related to on and offboarding
  • Accurately forecast spend and trend data regarding the SaaS tools.

Findings That Supported Sarah’s Hunch

She found a whopping 221 SaaS products in Thompson’s ecosystem. These included Slack, Trello, Confluence, Autodesk Fusion, and Adobe Creative Cloud.

What became clear was that there were many duplicate licenses for core applications. For example, Sarah noticed that there were ten duplicate Adobe Creative Cloud licenses. By eliminating these licenses, she was able to save close to $10K a year.

There were also other instances where regional teams used different products. For example, the London office used Asana for project management, while its headquarters used Trello. By switching the London office to Trello and upgrading to an enterprise package, the company was able to save an additional $300 per month.

Thompson Engineering Is More Efficient Than Ever

As an engineering firm, Thompson’s is focused on correcting efficiencies wherever possible.

Its helped them reduce time and resources spent on onboarding, offboarding, and other process-driven activities while providing the data needed to make accurate forecasts regarding spend and trends.

As for Sarah, she can identify which apps the company’s teams are using and how much it is spending on SaaS. This means no more spreadsheet management, and her time is freed up to focus on strategic business initiatives.


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