Early September here in New England always represents a wonderful time of transition. The lazy days of summer yield reluctantly to the crisp crackle of autumn air. Majestic maples and oaks ready themselves for one final ostentatious display before settling in for a long, grey winter. Home gardens burst with the last of the summer’s bounteous harvest. Kids don shiny new backpacks and head back to the world of musty textbooks, swirling chalk dust, and sharpened #2 pencils.
This is also the time of year that professional services executives both here in New England and elsewhere ‘round the world turn their attention to planning for the coming year. It’s a time to start nailing down strategic goals and figuring out what people, processes, and systems need to be set in place to achieve those goals. It’s a time to measure progress to date and to figure out how to improve upon that progress in the coming year. For some, it’s a time to consider upgrading their old professional services automation solution to one that better works for their business. For many, it’s a time to consider implementing a PSA for the first time to support anticipated growth.
Is implementing a professional services automation solution in your plans for the coming year? If not, perhaps it should be.
Measuring Where You Are
Sometimes, half the battle to understanding how to improve is figuring out where you are in the first place. Too often, organizations preparing for their annual strategic planning process first have to expend herculean efforts to get an accurate picture of the current state of play:
- Extracting information out of multiple, disparate, antiquated systems
- Scrubbing and manually manipulating reams of data
- Correlating and reconciling information that’s hard to understand, much less trust
- Aggregating raw data into understandable, actionable intelligence
Imagine a world where you no longer have to wrestle the spreadsheet octopus into submission every time you just want a quick peek at the organization’s performance. Imagine a world where all the information needed for the annual strategic planning effort is just a click away. Now, imagine a world where this information is available all year long, real-time. This is the world of professional services automation solutions like Projector.
Earlier this year, Service Performance Insight published the results of their annual Professional Services Maturity Benchmark Survey. In this study, SPI showed that organizations that have adopted a professional services automation tool have better real-time visibility into operational performance. Executives at those firms are able to use that visibility to establish a more accurate performance baseline and develop a clearer picture of where they want to be.
Getting to Where You Want to Be
Once the organization develops a clear vision of the future, professional services automation software is often the key lynchpin to achieving those goals. PSAs automate the key underlying operational processes that professional services organizations all employ to deliver services for their clients:
- Planning projects and staffing resources to execute those plans
- Tracking time and expenses invested to deliver work
- Managing key project performance metrics such as profitability, schedules, and budgets
- Monitoring key operational metrics such as utilization, availability, and backlog
- Invoicing clients and managing revenue recognition
PSA solutions represent the key operational system specifically targeted at the needs of the professional services firm and form a critical link between the organization’s industry-agnostic CRM and financial systems.
The aforementioned benchmark study by SPI showed that PSA software enables firms to realize significantly better performance in the key metrics that every professional services organization is concerned about, such as:
- As much as a 15% advantage in project margins
- Upwards of a 5% advantage in billable utilization
- Billable consultants who billed 12% more revenue on average
- Faster year-over-year revenue growth
- Fewer cancelled projects and smaller project overruns
- More accurate revenue forecasts
- Higher client satisfaction and referenceability rates
SPI’s research demonstrates that PSAs as a class enable services firms to outperform organizations who are not using an automation tool. In its white paper entitled Evaluating Professional Services Automation Software: PSA Deconstructed, SPI further explores the additional advantages that organizations which use Projector demonstrate over firms that have chosen other professional services automation software.
So, as you turn your attention towards planning for the coming year and you begin to make plans for how you’ll achieve next year’s goals, we’d encourage you to put implementing a professional services automation solution on your list.
If you’d like to learn more about how Projector could help, delve into the detailed results of this year’s benchmark survey, or discover how Projector users perform as compared to users of other PSA tools:
- Find out why you should consider Projector
- Get a demo
- Download the latest Professional Services Benchmark Survey
- Read the white paper, Evaluating Professional Services Automation Software: PSA Deconstructed
Whatever you decide, we here at Projector PSA wish you the very best of luck with your planning for the coming year!