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Project Based ERP for Professional Services Organizations

August 29, 2012BY AMS Editor
What do Project Based Businesses Want?

Advertising companies, financial services providers, IT services organizations, management consulting, and a wide gamut of professional services firms all have one thing in common. They are all “project based” businesses, meaning they derive the majority of their revenue from managing external projects for their clients.

This business model has its own unique set of challenges. Project based businesses need to be able to:

  • Quickly respond to competitive threats
  • Identify which projects are profitable
  • Understand how resources are being allocated
  • Improve staff utilization
  • Keep in constant contact with customers to learn about new potential projects
  • Assess projects that went wrong and learn from those mistakes

Easier said than done, for sure!

What is Holding Back Your Services Firm?

What we unfortunately see is that many professional services firms have no formal ERP or integrated business management software; they often make do with a mix of poorly integrated applications (think Excel files, basic accounting software like QuickBooks, custom databases and email all stringed together somehow) that add complexity and substantial manual overhead.

This lack of an integrated view of your company’s projects is precisely what is impacting your ability to solve issues with utilization, project profitability, and resource allocation. Not having the right data on demand to make informed decisions can have a profound impact on how fast you can react to changes in the marketplace. Worse, without a system that integrates your financial, customer, and project data you are challenged to efficiently capitalize on potential new projects. You cannot adequately plan, budget, and staff up to meet the needs of your project pipeline, and you could well end up losing business.

An ERP for Project Based Organizations

Integrated Professional Service Applications exist today that can help project based firms gain the visibility they need into their projects, resources, and financials. Whether you call them ERP, business planning systems, or just integrated project management software, they all need to be able to give you access to all project-related data including:

  • Project reporting
  • Project management
  • Project accounting
  • Project compliance
  • Risk mitigation and management
  • Human capital management
  • Resource allocation
  • Task management
  • Scheduling
  • Time/expense
  • Purchasing
  • CRM
  • Business Process Management
  • Payroll
  • Billing
  • Financial reporting

By having an integrated software system for your professional services firm you will be able to be more proactive in decision-making, gain deeper insight into every project, and improve your bottom line.

Learn more by watching the educational video below, presented by Forrester Research, on “Project-Based ERP: How Professional Services Organizations Can Master Their Business Challenges”.

Wondering which ERP solution will be a good fit for your Project Based Company? Contact us today and we’ll walk you through some options including SAP Business ByDesign so you can see what an integrated, cloud-based ERP solution can do for a professional services firm like yours.

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