Meeting client expectations and ensuring good profit margins is not easy. That is why businesses use project management software or go one step further with Professional Services Automation.
Whether you are looking to increase market penetration in existing geographies or developing new markets, you will not be able to go far without building excellence in project delivery. While the human element plays a big role in Professional Services, what your team needs is the support that the right technologies and tools can offer to reduce time and effort, errors, and cost of operations.
A growing Professional Services firm looks for a project management software to gain better visibility of how many consultants are occupied with projects, for what duration, who will be available when, and how profitable each project is likely to be.
What is Project Management software
Every project has multiple components to it and different metrics that you need to track. You need to check whether the consultants with the relevant skillsets are assigned to the project, you should have a mix of senior and junior resources to make the project profitable, and you need to be able to check if the project is progressing as per schedule.
For smaller firms with manageable number of projects and resources, an Excel sheet is generally enough to monitor all the projects. But as the number of projects grow and you have more consultants, it gets difficult to track all this from one spreadsheet. Businesses end up with multiple Excel sheets and weekly meetings to get everyone aligned and give the much-needed visibility across projects to make strategic plans and investments.
To solve this problem, businesses implement Project Management software.
Project Management software helps you monitor multiple projects and automates the whole process, including the creation of routine reports and red flagging of issues when projects fail to meet milestones on time or go over budget.
While a Project Management software can help you deal with the immediate challenges in monitoring your service delivery, it will not help future-proof your business and may act as a hinderance in the future.
The demands of the Professional Services industry are such that you will be tempted to implement multiple solutions to solve business-/ function-specific problems, like a time and expenses tracking application. This leads to multiple software that don’t talk to each other. There will come a time when you realize that there is more you can and should do with your data that is sitting in silos. Finding ways to bring all that data will become a challenge.
That is why you should consider a Professional Services Automation tool with robust capabilities.
What is a Professional Services Automation tool
A Professional Services Automation tool comes with features that you will need to build efficiencies, gain visibility, and grow your business. The solution will help you automate tasks, track the progress of projects, and measure performance through various metrics that help you gain a better understanding of individual projects as well as the financial health of the business as a whole.
What you get from a Professional Services Automation tool is a complete system that helps you plan resources, manage projects, and track time and expenses. You can do all this and more without needing to buy individual solutions to perform each task.
How to compare Professional Services Automation software
While most Professional Services Automation tools are capable of delivering what is promised, there are a few aspects you need to consider to ensure that the solution fits the needs of your business.
- Will the solution integrate seamlessly with the existing applications and software solutions your business currently uses?
- Does the pricing of the solution and the implementation cost fall within your budget limits?
- Is the solution native-cloud based or a legacy on-premise system that has been adapted to the cloud?
- Does the solution provider have a roadmap for the further development and enhancement of the solution to future-proof your business?
- How efficient is the support offered by the implementation partner?
Finding the right solution that can deliver on your business needs can be hard. What will reduce the risk is selecting a software that is purpose-built for your vertical and has proven to be a reliable solution in the market.
evergreen for Professional Services firms is one solution you can consider. Built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform and purpose-built for specific verticals in the industry, you will find the software to be faster to implement, reliable in functionality, and easier to integrate with your existing software systems, especially if they are in the Microsoft ecosystem.