Business management software has the power to make or break a company. Professional services firms looking to streamline business operations won't do it through a traditional ERP solution.
Traditional ERP software is not designed to track projects or enable project-based accounting. Professional services financials are very specific, and they’re based on resources, projects, clients, time and billing, project materials and fixed pricing.
A tailored professional services ERP solution has the power to not only do all of the above, but also improve your overall position in the marketplace.
Professional Services ERP: The Foundation Of Successful Firms
As an executive pursuing new business management software in the form of an ERP solution, you might be wondering:
How do I balance my portfolio of growing business?
How do I maximize my organizational resources?
How do I gain an all-encompassing view of all departments?
How do I get project and business visibility to maximize my margins and minimize my risk?
But, executives, project managers and resource managers all require different software functionality to push a project through to completion and make strategic decisions along the way. If you’re really going to maximize your return on investment with a new piece of software, you must match the needs of all stakeholders to the chosen technology.
Breaking Down The Needs Of Project-Based Businesses
Resource Management: It’s not enough to know who your people are. You must also know details about their skill sets in order to help them develop and place them on the right jobs. You need to see what they’re working on now, when that work will be complete and what project might be next.
Project Management: ERP software gives your project managers greater visibility and insight into the best ways to allocate staff time. This helps you avoid added expenses, such as non-billable hours, and it ensures that your most skilled workers are spending their time on the most profitable projects.
Recurring Revenue Management: A pleasant customer experience stems from managing expectations and consistently delivering on what was promised. Project managers must be able to manage clients and oversee an entire project from scoping to delivery. Additionally, the more you know about an ongoing project the more opportunity you have to extend and improve the relationship through additional services.
Pipeline Management: Monitoring sales cycles and optimizing client interactions are important, but so is tracking the resource pool in relation to incoming sales and sales still in process. An accurate view into both resources and sales pipelines enables you to balance workloads throughout the firm, avoid the risk of over-promising and streamline your entire lead-to-sale process.
Conquering The Challenges Standing In Your Way
The right professional services ERP software keeps projects on track and resources in line so that setting a course for smooth sailing is something you’re known for. Manage and make work happen. Enable organization-wide collaboration for better business management and more of a customer-vendor relationship.
A word of caution: ERP software only works if all of your employees use it properly. Even if your implementation process includes training, it’s essential for this learning to continue. Make sure that newly on-boarded employees are properly trained on the software and that current employees receive continuing education.
Aug 4, 2015