Discover the FASTer way to optimise your people, eliminate inefficiency and respond better to clients

Nov 01, 2021
  • finance
  • professional Services
  • SAP

The lifeblood of any professional services business is the strength of your client relationships. In addition to exceptional work or top-drawer advice, clients want their expectations exceeded and demonstrable value added. Balancing this with the constant challenge of remaining competitive and maximising your own profitability in a crowded sector might seem an impossible ask.
 

In this blog, we propose the game-changing cloud technology which we know will help you do all this - and more; giving you a genuinely hard-to-beat commercial edge over your competition. 

Before our big reveal, let’s first examine three key systems which are crucial to your success. 

In our experience, and working closely with senior leaders in professional services firms responsible for HR, Finance or IT functions, we have discussed how tech makes you smarter about using and processing your data. It therefore helps you go some way to squaring this circle by: 

  • optimising how you deploy your people;
  • eliminating waste, error and lost time through better billing; and 
  • responding quicker - and better - to customers’ concerns and needs

 


FASTer people 

Whichever area of professional services you specialise in, your people are your most valuable resource and their experience is critical to your business’s success. If your organisation delivers exceptional employee experiences, in return you can expect: 

  • higher productivity;
  • better revenue per employee; and 
  • lower employee turnover.

 

Best of all, you can expect happy clients. Employees (especially customer-facing ones) will be among your strongest ambassadors to customers (and potential customers). By enhancing relationships with your clients and your firm’s reputation, your employees can ensure you outperform your competition.

 In our research, we identified that having an integrated HR solution was essential to having a comprehensive and accurate real-time picture of the talent available at any given moment. So you can quickly select the most appropriate individuals and teams for the work in question. 

 


FASTer time recording

Does a last-minute Friday afternoon chase for time-sheets sound familiar? Are you scrabbling around with spreadsheets every time a client asks for a project update? Time to change! With the right system, you can record your people’s billable work easily and accurately (and timeously) – and automatically generate clearly presented reports on billable time spent so far. 

A second major pain point is being unable to generate accurate status updates during your project. Several companies we spoke to were generally 2 to 3 months behind understanding the true position of the project portfolio.

The risk to your portfolio profitability is clear: projects might make a loss - without anyone realising it until it is too late! And yet solutions exist to ensure employees record work accurately - regardless of whether it is office-, shift- or field-based. 

 We could demonstrate to you today an integrated project planning tool which would connect your HR, finance and procurement (and expenses) solutions, allowing you to anticipate and manage the profitability of individual projects and portfolios.

 


FASTer invoicing

It’s time to be paid. Imagine how an integrated finance solution would eliminate woes such as “client query ping-pong”, banish inefficiencies (and potential inaccuracies) of manual systems, and painlessly convert billed time into revenue. 

 Customers often require evidence to back up invoices. In our research, professional services organisations revealed that approximately 35% of invoices submitted were queried by customers.  

  • 60% of queries were due to “insufficient evidence of the work completed” or “lack of transparency” about the magnitude of the work undertaken before an invoice was submitted. 
  • 40% were due to “inaccuracy” in time recording. 

 Whatever the complaint, any delay in payment – sometimes as much as 3 months – is bad for your business. Although even more damaging is a possible degradation of trust between you and your customer.

 


The FAST solution 

Introducing FAST Professional Services. A fast, flexible and affordable solution, built with market-leading SAP cloud technologies that will seamlessly integrate with, and optimise, your processes. With this solution, you will get: 

  • the best quality data to better inform team selection, 
  • your billings will be more precise, and 
  • your invoicing will be transparent and client-friendly.

 

A great benefit of FAST Professional Services is that it flexes to accommodate your existing systems. Most software packages have interfacing capability, joining together parts of business previously separated. FAST Professional Services lets you choose between a fully integrated offering or leverage the better systems you already have in place. A particularly attractive solution if you have already invested in a “best of breed” system.

Our approach helps both large and small consulting groups increase efficiencies in all their divisions and reduce the cost to serve.

For more information about how delaware expertise will enhance and simplify your professional services operations, email Rory Clarke today.