customer story

70-year-old holding firm expands 20+ international portfolio companies

Skidmore Group uses Insightly to create accountability, efficiency, and transparency.

The Skidmore Group’s history dates back to 1946 when Art and Herb Skidmore started an automotive glass shop in Western Canada. Over the past 70 years, the company has evolved into a diversified holding firm. To date, Skidmore has built and grown 20+ internationally renowned brands.

One company within Skidmore’s portfolio, Kitchen Art Design, needed a more scalable approach to customer management. “Everything was done with pen and paper,” said Rody van Vianen, Manager of Business Improvement at Skidmore Group. “Customer information was spread across folders, handwritten notes, and inboxes. This made it difficult to understand customers and communicate with them. A CRM would make things easier for the end user and provide us with the insight we needed.”


The company needed deeper insight and understanding of the companies in its investment portfolio to light the way for future investments.


Insightly serves as the company’s go-to source of truth, consolidating customer records, projects, and communication within a single system. Ultimately, through internal information sharing and analysis of this database, Skidmore group is able to manage its current investments better, as well as run a more efficient merger and acquisition process and make better investment decisions.


Skidmore Group enjoys greater insight into the operational efficiency, productivity and performance of the companies Skidmore has invested in. This allows the company to provide better guidance and investment support to business leaders.

Rody Van Vianen Manager Of Business Improvement

Simplified lead and opportunity tracking

Realizing the need for a CRM, the Skidmore team began evaluating user requirements and desired functionality. “Our main consideration was ease of use,” van Vianen said. “We wanted

Using Insightly, together with our business managers, we can analyze key metrics and provide appropriate investment for additional growth. It also provides us with benchmarks for comparing acquisition targets.

a system that was easy to understand and use for our Kitchen Design Consultants.” After a thorough vendor review process, Skidmore Group chose Insightly.

Upon implementation, it became clear that everyone at Kitchen Art Design could benefit from the system. “Design Consultants were first to adopt Insightly, since it simplifies lead and opportunity tracking,” van Vianen said. “Production specialists and administrative staff also use the system, helping them to stay on top of delivery, payment, and other important details.”

CRM use case expansion extends to merger & acquisition business

The Kitchen Art Design team isn’t the only one benefiting from Insightly. “Insightly dashboards are especially valuable at the parent company level,” van Vianen said. “They allow us to stay looped into important metrics, such as lead volume, pipeline trajectory, and revenue expectations. We can use such information when we look to invest in the industry.”

Insightly has proved so useful, in fact, that Skidmore Group recently began using a second instance for M&A activity. “We use Insightly to track investment opportunities, contact information, correspondence, and deal history. It has become our central database.” They quickly saw that Insightly is the ideal CRM for consulting firms.

Looking forward, Skidmore Group plans to deploy Insightly at other companies in its portfolio. “We hope to gain similar efficiencies by rolling out Insightly across the board,” van Vianen said. “Insightly is an excellent communication and transparency tool, and we’re excited to offer it as a solution to our portfolio of companies.”

At Insightly, we’re excited to support Skidmore Group’s mission of accelerating growth.

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