Professional Services Automation Critical to Service Organsiations to Give Competitive Edge

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Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is designed to help streamline a solution provider’s business operations and optimise efficiency.   While many smaller solution providers still rely on homegrown tools and spreadsheets to manage their business operations, the PSA software adopters that we spoke with said that their PSA solutions are mission-critical and that without them, company growth would be compromised. Many of them who use PSA software say that other than email, their PSA solution is their most mission-critical system.

Core PSA functions typically include time and billing, resource management and project management capabilities.  From a financial perspective, a PSA solution provides a 360-degree view of profitability, for example, organisations can drill down to assess profitability by account or type of service they offer.

As service organisations are facing greater competition and constantly battling tight margins, they really need to operate more efficiently and have that all important competitive edge.  In late 2012, Nick Castellina, Enterprise Applications analyst at research firm Aberdeen Group published a report, Professional Services Automation, examining the technology tools professional services firms are using to get ahead of market rivals.

Based on a survey of 165 professional services organisations he found that the top 20% players are 77% more likely than all other professional service providers to have implemented integrated PSA software. This might explain how these same companies have managed to deliver 91% of projects on time or early; and 93% of projects within budget; and achieve an average 83% utilisation rate for employees, and an 18% improvement in customer satisfaction over the last two years.

The evidence suggests, then, that where PSA has been embedded within a business it is having a palpable impact in a whole range of areas. In addition to immediate project and client benefits, PSA sets the stage for profitable business development and growth.

All that said, there are still a large number of service organisations out here still not using a PSA software solution and using timesheet packages that have reached their shelf life.  Not great, when trying to be competitive and profitable.

Without PSA solution in place, a services organisation is going to be fundamentally handcuffed in its ability to grow and be profitable.

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