2008 and 2009 saw one of the toughest economic climates in decades hit the professional services industry. Services firms with customers rooted in the hardest-hit sectors of the economy—manufacturing, construction, and financial services—or whose offerings were considered discretionary spending by their clients often felt the pain of layoffs, cost cutting, or insolvency. Organizations that were left turned inwards, focusing on shrinking smartly, managing morale, and simply surviving.
Fast-forward to 2010. According to this year’s 2011 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark report, many of the leading indicators for growth—annual revenue growth, headcount, backlog—were all up significantly. Average bill rates were up, as were salaries, all indicating that 2010 and 2011 herald the start of a strong recovery for the professional services sector. What a difference a year or two makes.
As the economy starts its rebound, however, services firms need to shift from survival mode to growth, to cast off their defensive posture and look to capitalize on the recovery. One of main investments a services firm can make to fuel their growth is to ensure that their services systems triumvirate—their CRM, PSA, and financial systems—are well-oiled and integrated. These systems together provide the organization with the visibility into operational and financial metrics to enable smart, sustainable growth. By automating the mundane, they facilitate scalability, and enable high-value resources to focus on high-value work.
The evidence that these systems have a material impact on the bottom line of the organization lies within these pages:
- Of the 214 survey respondents, the top 5% all have invested in adopting one of the leading commercial PSA solutions.
- These top-performing organizations are twice as likely to have integrated their PSA software with their core financial system, providing a powerful consolidated view of what’s happened in the past and what’s to come in the future.
- With 58% of respondents’ employees located outside North America, PSA solutions allow firms to deploy more effective resource management strategies and support global, multi-currency operations.
SPI’s 2011 Professional Services Maturity Model report allows you to not only see how your performance compares against your peers’, it provides valuable, measurable insight into some of the strategies and systems that helped top performers to achieve and exceed their business goals.
We are pleased to have sponsored SPI’s 2011 Professional Services Maturity Model Benchmark report. We hope the insight that it contains helps you to achieve your goals no matter what 2011 and beyond brings.