If you manage a business consultancy, accounting firm, engineering company or any other organization that provides professional services, then you understand how difficult it is to align the right people with the right project at the right moment every time.
In normal circumstances, this is a daily challenge. But during a global pandemic when employees are hunkered down at home and customers are struggling with closed offices, travel bans and quarantines? It’s next to impossible.
Or is it?
Despite the havoc and disruption caused by COVID-19, many engineering firms, financial services companies, accountants and healthcare providers have prospered. What do they know that other professional services providers do not? They know that the latest in digital automation technology can help them rise to the challenges that the pandemic has created. This includes Professional Services solutions that provide reams of business data just begging to be put to use.
Armed with better information, progressive professional services providers are better managing their talent, developing more consistent and repeatable processes, and improving levels of customer satisfaction.
Here’s a closer look at how they are achieving each of these objectives.
Better Talent Management
The most obvious reason for implementing professional services software is to help with resource planning. Solutions built for professional services companies can automate this so that organizations can fine-tune their talent management — billable personnel, especially. But these solutions offer much more, including customizable reporting, data visualization, forecasting, project planning and workflow management, just to name a few.
Where automation really shines is in its ability to help coordinate talent allocation and project management. Consider tech providers that work in secure, regulated settings where services professionals require specialized certifications. Good software tailored to the professional services industry can flag employees whose certifications have lapsed or whose training is not complete before they are dispatched to a customer location. Similarly, it can help engineering and construction firms compete for sophisticated projects while reminding their workers of any possible conflicts of interest or ethical code violations.
All of this, obviously, leads to greater profitability for a service provider and better working conditions for professionals who find themselves working more hours per day and experiencing elevated levels of stress as a result of the pandemic.
More Consistent and Repeatable Business Processes
Though relatively small in numbers, high performers are three times more valuable to their organizations and perform the majority of work done within them, studies show. But one of the most difficult things about managing high performers is reconciling the differences in skill levels between they and other employees. This is especially true when high-performers refuse to conform to preferred ways of doing things. While superstars might out-perform their peers at first, they can fall behind those who adhere to best practices if they burn out. Worse, high-performers often fail to document their work activity and interactions with customers. When they leave, they often take institutional wisdom with them.
This need not be the case. Today’s technology can help capture superior institutional knowledge so that it can be leveraged throughout your organization. By automating what professionals do best, the technology can help everyone within your company perform at same level so that services delivery can be more predictable and consistent every time.
Improved customer satisfaction
As mentioned above, good software will absolutely help you with talent utilization. But there’s another reason for embracing the technology: it helps improve customer satisfaction. This goes beyond assigning the right person to the right job for the right customer. With the right software, every professional has the potential to be the “right” person every time.
This is because it provides services providers with the information they need to do a job, be it a one-time task or a long-term engagement. This includes technical and/or specialized information for different industries, and a complete history of customer interactions down to dashboards and metrics on key performance indicators. If a services professional needs up-to-date information on contracting, billing, communications, work history and more, it’s available at the click of a button.
That kind of software is especially helpful in fields where outsourcing is growing for both economic and technical reasons. For example, many companies increased outsourcing in 2020 as they scrambled to address new needs brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. As they did, they found it more important than ever to work with a partner who can automate documentation, communications and services delivery.
The Link Between Professional Services Software and Organizational Competitiveness
Better talent management. More consistent and repeatable processes. And improved customer satisfaction. With software that provides the actionable data that you need to improve in each of these three areas, your organization can operate at levels never before imagined.
In addition to greater profitability, this will enable your company to operate more competitively, which is a good thing considering how many organizations have fast-tracked digital transformation projects during the pandemic. Given how fast the world is changing all around you, a little more efficiency, agility and resiliency can go a long, long way.
In our next blog, we will dig deeper and introduce you to a solution Projexia designed to address to specific needs of professional services companies. Stay tuned!