ACV Auctions
ACV is a publicly traded technology company providing a digital marketplace for wholesale vehicle transactions.
Industry
SaaS, Wholesale Commerce, Automotive
Location
New York
Employees
1,500+ employees

Who is ACV Auctions?

Founded in 2014, ACV is a leading digital marketplace that enables a simple, transparent way for auto dealers, commercial partners, and customers to buy, sell and value vehicles with confidence.

The company raised their $93m Series D in late 2018 and has been in hyper-growth mode since that point with Salesforce playing a vital role in their core Product offering.

What were ACV's goals?

At the start of our partnership, we focused on clearly defining ACV's goals and the ways they wanted to augment the existing Salesforce team with Contractors.

  • Rapidly Scale: The 6-7 person Salesforce Development team simply couldn't handle the requests coming in and needed to 2x-3x headcount immediately.
  • Keep Costs in Check: ACV was nearing their IPO and needed to be conscious of spend, so they specifically wanted to leverage Nearshore and Offshore Salesforce Developers.
  • Maintain Flexibility in the Contract: Since priorities were shifting, ACV didn't want to get locked into a yearlong contract and needed to structure an engagement that could stop whenever needed.
  • Fill in the Gaps: While they had an established internal Salesforce team, there were huge gaps that needed to be filled in, specifically around finding a Salesforce Development Lead, an individual focused on Dev Ops (Copado), and several QA Engineers.


Let's dive into the background on how ACV Auctions was leveraging Salesforce, the breakdown of the current Salesforce team, and how FoundHQ helped to rapidly scale a team of Salesforce Engineers across LATAM and India.

How does ACV use Salesforce?

The Salesforce footprint within ACV Auctions is significant.

The team sits within the core Product & Engineering team, which is 160+ people in total. In some orgs, this would be an atypical structure and Salesforce would live within a Business Applications or Internal Systems team; however, the platform is used as a primary component of the ACV core product offering.

The Salesforce products implemented at ACV include: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, multiple Communities, Field Service Lightning, and heavy utilization of Lightning Web Components (LWC).

Some of the ways ACV uses Salesforce is standard: it's their main Call Center Application, it integrates to Netsuite as the main data source feeding Finance etc.

However, their use of Communities and Field Service Lightning is fundamental to the business. These applications have critical touchpoints with B2C users (Buyers), B2B users (Sellers, Distributors), and are a critical element in their overall supply chain.

Salesforce powers inventory and order management across the marketplace and is used by 1,000+ vehicle inspectors throughout the country conducting field inspections of vehicles and tracking everything through Field Service Lightning.

In short, this is a company that has fully evangelized the capabilities of Salesforce and used it as both an Internal Application and as part of their core Product suite.

How big is the internal Salesforce team at ACV?

When our discussions with ACV kicked off in late 2021, the Salesforce team was a total of 20 people reporting into the Sr. Engineering Manager (Enterprise Applications).

The entirety of this team was based in the US, broken down as follows:

  • 1 Salesforce Engineering Manager
  • 5 Salesforce Engineers
  • 2 Salesforce Technical Architects
  • 1 Project Manager
  • 2 Data Integration Engineers
  • 9 Salesforce Administrators / Business Analysts


The Salesforce Engineering team was organized around specific workstreams, meaning it was a domain-based organizational matrix. This type of strategy has advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage: This allows Engineers to gain a better understanding of the business understanding and specific use case they are building tools around, which can lead to more strategic input from the Development team.

Disadvantage: If Developers focus on a single business line, it's very difficult to allocate resources as Salesforce project demand surges in other others.

How FoundHQ Partnered with ACV

Our discussions with ACV began in late 2021 and started with a single need - urgently replacing a Sr. Salesforce Engineer during a critical phase of their Service Cloud and Telephony go-live.

Within 48 hours of our kickoff call, FoundHQ presented a shortlist of 3 Sr. Salesforce Engineers available for a full-time, 6 month project.
ACV conducted interviews with 2 of the Contractors and onboarded their top choice 5 days later.

This began discussions around a broader partnership that would align with ACV's core objectives.

Define the Hiring Priorities

Since ACV was looking to move quickly, we outlined the concrete headcount they planned to hire, an hourly budget for each Contractor, and a realistic timeline to begin onboarding Contractors.

3 Sr. Salesforce Engineers: located in either LATAM or India with a $65/hour maximum hourly budget for each Contractor.
FoundHQ introduced ACV Auctions to 3 Sr. Salesforce Engineers, all Platform Developer II Certified, and all 3 were hired within 10 days of introduction.

Onshore Salesforce Development Lead: since the Salesforce Development team was expanding so quickly, the 1 Engineering Manager was becoming a bottleneck, so we identified an ex-Accenture Lead Salesforce Engineer to join and oversee the work of 5 Salesforce Developers.

Dev Ops: ACV was already using AutoRABIT but lacked a formal Dev Ops process, which would create problems as the team grew 3x and became a global Development organization. We helped onboard a Dev Ops Lead to streamline workflows.

As of May 2022, we had added 7 members to the Salesforce Development team at ACV Auctions and continue to evaluate increasing their capabilities.

By December 2023, our team of Salesforce Contractors at ACV had grown to 12 people globally, including Salesforce Engineers, Testers, and Technical Leads. Additionally, we have begun supporting ACV as they stand up an entire Development Center in Chennai, India.

Structure the Interview Process

After we defined the open headcount, FoundHQ takes over the entire process.

We discuss the engagement in depth with our Contractors, we cross-check their skills and experience against the requirements, we conduct technical interviews, and we run a complete reference check on all Salesforce Developers before recommending them to an engagement.

Our team will manage the end-to-end interview process, execution of NDAs and SOWs, and all Contractor onboarding.

Onboarding, Working, and Engagement Structure

The best part about working with FoundHQ is that all engagements are open-ended. ACV didn't commit to a minimum project duration and made no payments upfront.

FoundHQ onboards all Contractors and sends a single invoice at the end of each month for all hours billed in that previous period. Companies are able to cancel the work of a single Contractor or stop the project altogether with no notice.

Our goal is to deliver flexibility to companies, connecting them with the resources they need, and enabling fast decision making because the risks are low.

Conclusion

There are a variety of reasons why companies choose to leverage Salesforce Contractors. This scenario with ACV Auctions prioritized speed - the need to rapidly increase the velocity of their team and ship faster.

FoundHQ has focused on building a diverse pool of Salesforce Engineers, capable of recommending Contractors with deep expertise across Experience Cloud, LWC, Field Service Lightning, Vlocity, Mulesoft, and more.

As organizations grow, staff augmentation becomes a critical part of resource strategy and a mechanism that can be used to keep costs in check, scale Salesforce Development teams without making full-time headcount commitments, and as a ways to quickly onboard resources as a temporary stopgap when internal resources are in flux.

6
Salesforce Engineers Hired
4
Platform Developer II Certified
21
Time-to-Hire (days)

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