Five steps to improving your firm’s productivity and resource control

Staying agile and flexible is key to ensuring any client servicing business remains competitive, dynamic and ultimately successful.

This article was sponsored by Deltek

Delivering on budget, on time, and on target is critical to ensuring clients are happy, bills are paid, and thus the business can keep growing and building on success. But to achieve such transparency through the business, especially one centred around project based activity, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are crucial. They allow an organisation to uncover insight from all areas of the business and quickly identify where improvements can be made, and existing processes refined to become more effective.

Here are five tips for resource success which ERP can drive:

1. Servicing levels

The problem of project teams under and over-servicing clients is one which continues to undermine successful, streamlined operations. However, through a project-based ERP solution, managers can quickly and easily get a window into current servicing levels set against forecast client fees and planned resource allocated to them. In this way, early signs of under or over-servicing can be identified and addressed before they get worse.

2. Resource allocation

Ensuring you have the resource evenly spread across the company is key, especially when considering service levels discussed above. An ERP solution can give real-time insight into where staff may be overloaded with projects while others may be light, thus allowing the project manager to even out the project activities between the team and avoid employees being unhappy with their workload.

3. Right team, right job

Efficiency is king in business, and nowhere is this more relevant than in project based businesses, where having the right experience and skillsets on each job will ensure it is done to the optimum quality in the fastest time possible. This keeps clients happy, but also ensures that you are not wasting talents on the wrong tasks – insight which can be uncovered through using an ERP system.

4. Keeping a cap on hires

If the resource is available already in-house, or you have extensive expertise and skills internally for a new project, then a business needn’t hire new employees to fill the roles. ERP systems can define where these skills may already exist, and can help reallocate staff to fill gaps created through moving people from one job to the other. Telling your Financial Director you can save tens of thousands in recruitment costs by hiring internally is always going to be a positive conversation!

5. Sales pipeline management

Using an ERP system to keep an eye on forthcoming pitches and client opportunities, and measuring these up against skills and experience, can ensure that you have the right pitch team to win the business. It can also mean you free up their time to onboard the client once won – hopefully!

Structuring the workforce strategically would appear an obvious imperative to any business, but it remains something that is often handled by instinct over fact. Using project-based ERP systems, intuition can be replaced by genuine insight – a shift will ensure project centric client servicing companies can not only deliver better, more efficient services to clients, but ensure they do so at optimum resource levels to keep the business growing.

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