Professional Services Companies Improve Utilization with Highly Engaged Workers and PSA Solutions

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Employee utilization is the number one factor in determining profitability for professional services firms and project-based businesses. However, recent staff shortages make it hard for firms to keep utilization up. Staff shortages have escalated to become the top emerging risk organizations face globally, according to Gartner, Inc.’s latest Emerging Risks Survey, making it more important than ever to increase utilization with your existing workforce.

The answer? Highly engaged workers.

What is a Highly Engaged Worker?

A study of 150 highly engaged employees in 13 different industries and 50 different organizations, from aerospace and health care to technology and media, consistently found that these employees exhibit these 5 behaviors:

  1. Highly engaged employees take primary responsibility for their own engagement.
  2. Highly engaged employees feel the least entitled.
  3. Highly engaged employees engage customers.
  4. Highly engaged employees remain highly engaged almost anywhere.
  5. Highly engaged employees apply six behavioral drivers: connecting, shaping, learning, stretching, achieving, and contributing. The ongoing process of applying these drivers allows them to sustain high levels of engagement over time.

Within professional services companies, a lot of time is wasted when employees are not provided the tools and information needed to deliver high-quality projects. This results in:

  • Wasted effort that drags down productivity and reduces billable hours.
  • Inefficient, misaligned, and manual processes that can lead to errors and mistakes.
  • Limited visibility and poor business insights weaken decision-making and alignment between the project pipeline and resource capacity.

How do you Support a Highly Engaged Worker?

The easiest way to encourage a highly engaged worker is to give them the tools they need, when they need them. An integrated professional services automation (PSA) solution will support the highly engaged worker. It gives them the insights they need to get the job done instead of wasting time searching for the details  they need. When a project kicks off, an automated workflow starts right away. All the data and shared documents are easily accessible, adding efficiency to the process. Employees don’t have to spend unbillable time on “busy work.”

Modern, connected systems provide the capabilities needed to make operational, tactical, and strategic improvements that drive better utilization and, ultimately, greater revenues and profit.

The power of accurate, coordinated forecasting and control of the project portfolio enables professional service firms to more effectively align human capital management with the needs of the business and the demands of the market. With this knowledge, managers can optimize investments in people, recruitment, and training to maximize chargeable utilization and increase revenue and profitability.

For professional services firms and project-based business, labor is the highest expense. But people are also the greatest source of revenue, and the determining factor of success. Resource management strategy and tactics are vital to successfully improving utilization. However, resource management is extremely challenging to operationally execute without connected systems that enable people to interact effectively.  This people-centricity also means that  technology investments will have an immediate and direct impact on productivity, and ultimately ROI by providing time for execution on strategic and tactical improvements.

ERP Based Business Management Solutions for Service Firms

ERP and cloud-based solutions for professional services companies should be strategically designed to target the needs of larger enterprises, and small and medium-sized companies ensuring the best Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution for each company's requirements. At Velosio, we have developed AXIO for larger service firms. AXIO leverages our unique Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations implementation methodology to reduce costs, increase security, and improve the user experience with additional features specifically for service firms. We have also developed Progressus for small and medium-sized service firms. Progressus PSA transforms Dynamics 365 Business Central  for service firms, delivering an end-to-end business solution.

CRM Based Business Management Solutions for Service Firms

Another solution is Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation (PSA), is available to project-oriented companies who wish to dive into the Dynamics 365 platform. Instead of an ERP-based project management solution, Dynamics 365 PSA is based upon Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM).

These three solutions are easily accessible through any device while highly engaged workers are on the go. These applications have the same familiar look and feel as other Microsoft products like Office 365 and are tightly integrate with those products. This means existing workers already using Microsoft products will adapt quickly to the new technology and training for new hires can be greatly accelerated. For more information about these three solutions, check out our recent blog where we break them down for you.

To learn more about business solutions for project-based companies, download our whitepaper, Improve Utilization by Connecting People, Processes and Technology.

By Velosio,

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