Difficult economic conditions and a rise in customer expectations mean that professional services organisations are under more pressure than ever to offer value for money. Clients with shrinking budgets need to demonstrate tighter controls over spending and this pressure has contributed to a demand for professional services automation (PSA) software. This was highlighted in a recent white paper ‘PSA: Delivering Customer Transparency and Competitive Advantage’ which was commissioned by V1 Limited.
The white paper explores the reasons behind the rising popularity of PSA solutions, which stems from both customer demand for better software, and advances in technology. These advances have not only made current software more aligned to customer needs and requirements, but has helped deliver a more holistic approach for organisations seeking closer integration between such systems and their other core business IT platforms.
As a result, organisations using the latest PSA software are finding they have a competitive edge over rivals. The paper also highlights that PSA is no longer regarded simply as a system to manage resourcing and scheduling. Instead, it has become much more sophisticated in what it can deliver, from revenue recognition, sophisticated billing, including intra-company billing, and supply chain functionality through the ability to manage external relationships.
Janette Martin, Managing Director at V1, said: “For many, the purpose of PSA is to provide a competitive edge pure and simple. Advances in technology, which have been driven by customer demand, means a good PSA solution can now integrate and share data with project management solutions, each adding value to the other and ensuring a greater return on investment.
“Much of the value derived from a modern PSA solution comes from the improved insight it provides. This aids decision making and can support both long and short term planning, particularly in relation to budget setting. The ability to create new and amend existing budgets, and be able to see the knock on effect of proposed changes, is really important in the current climate when profit margins can be slim.”
The V1 white paper also references a study into the effectiveness of PSA solutions by research firm, the Aberdeen Group. The Group’s research, based on a survey of 165 professional services organisations, found that the top 20% were 77% more likely to have implemented integrated PSA software. 91% of these same companies had delivered projects on time or even early.
Janette continued: “The evidence suggests that once a PSA solution has been embedded within a business, it has a strong impact this is a recurrent message in the white paper. In addition to immediate project and client benefits, it is evident that PSA sets the stage for profitable business development and growth.
“Organisations that employ a significant number of skilled and expensive professional staff must account for their time and decide when it is appropriate to charge clients versus when it should absorb costs internally. Without accurate information on project status, billable hours and resource utilisation, the resulting loss of control will lead to dissatisfied clients and reduced profit margins.”
V1 (wearev1.com) recently expanded its product suite and now includes professional services automation, project accounting, as well as document management software. The software provider commissioned the research in November as it sought to discover more about how businesses were using PSA technology,
*The white paper, which primarily focusses on change to the way organisations are using PSA software to develop and manage their business, and to facilitate new approaches to customer relationships, can be downloaded here.