From XU Magazine, 
Issue 17

Get on your feet faster: An interview with cloud expert Maree Maxfield

We sat down with Maree Maxfield – a Xero and WorkflowMax implementation partner – to chat about the value of working with a cloud expert, and how she’s helping businesses thrive by creating tailored software solutions...

Maree’s story is particularly inspiring. As a CA in New Zealand, Maree got started with Xero early on. She recognised the enormous potential of the platform and made the bold decision to set up her business in the UK, 10 years ago. Luckily, she had correctly anticipated the groundswell that was to come - and today Maxama Limited is a thriving cloud services and training consultancy for a range of clients.

“Half of it was a lucky punt, but it was such a good product in New Zealand, with phenomenal growth, that I just had faith.”


So, what drew her to WorkflowMax and Xero?

“I purposefully made the decision not to work across a number of add-on products, which can sometimes lead to being a ‘jack of all trades’ and master of none. I started off with Xero training and eventually began to specialise in WorkflowMax.

“My background was in accounting and financial management, but I always preferred working in industry and I love project management. When I started out, there was already a lot of demand from clients wanting assistance with WorkflowMax implementations.

“I truly believe in the product. I use WorkflowMax to manage my own business.”


“Now 80 percent of my business is focused on WorkflowMax and the remainder is around Xero training and implementation.

“In my experience, there are typically a few key drivers for businesses looking for a solution like WorkflowMax. First, they want to understand their project profitability. They often have systems all over the place. They want to get timesheet recording sorted, and need a system that just flows through…”

“90 percent of my clients are already on Xero or are thinking of moving to Xero. They quickly realise WorkflowMax talks nicely to Xero...so they go from there.”


Maree’s approach is thorough and honest. With years of experience, she knows when the software will fit a customer’s needs – and when it won’t.

“The first step of the scoping process is to gather as much information as I can about their requirements and what they’re trying to achieve. If I don’t think WorkflowMax is a good fit for them, I’ll tell them quickly, up front.”

WorkflowMax is a highly customisable, end-to-end project management solution for businesses that need to manage their workflow from quote through to invoice while tracking time and costs. It has a lot of powerful functionality that an expert like Maree can help tailor to a business’s needs.

“I work with clients across a range of industries – creatives, architects, consultants, even ecologists, and engineers. In fact, WorkflowMax was originally created for engineers. The engineers I work with tell me they love it!

“I love putting a system into a business and seeing how it’s making people’s lives so much easier at the end of the day”


“Even compared to other add-on products I’ve worked with, the customisation in WorkflowMax stands out. Together with the architects I’ve worked with, I’ve developed a template of common custom fields that architects find really useful, and it really lights up their eyes. They’re able to use that feature to store a database of additional information.

“The standard reports are great, but every business is different, even within the same industry, and that’s where the customisation elements in WorkflowMax create real value.”

Richard Todd, one of Maree’s ecology clients, has been using WorkflowMax for three months and agrees wholeheartedly.

“Maree’s knowledge of the product and her ability to deliver in such a clear and concise manner is to be truly applauded. She worked with us to create a tailored course based around the way we run our business. Throughout the process, she provided great support with custom templates and other settings, enabling us to get going faster and improve our gross profit margin.” - Richard Todd, Director, Wildwood Ecology Limited.

Finally, for Maree, true success is when everybody on the team has embraced change.

“When they’re using it to get some good information, and starting to make some key decisions from it, that’s the sweet spot. I’ve even had clients who’ve raised their pricing, after realising they’d been undercharging the whole time.

“But if your team don’t embrace the tech, all those benefits fall by the wayside. To ease the process, I always suggest doing the following:

Take the team on a journey - make it personal

Show the value - explain the goals and objectives behind the change

Baby steps - roll out slowly with lots of education

Provide ongoing training and support

Lead by example and cherish the data

“And of course, I can help with all of the above. I’ve been doing implementations for a number of years. That means for my clients, it’s a huge time saver; they’re getting all the benefits of information I’ve learned from other people in the industry and all my years of experience.”


***


Maree has implemented and trained over 200 companies across a range of industries in both Xero and WorkflowMax. Get in touch with her at maxama.co.uk

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