When asked about their top three priorities, consulting companies surveyed by IDC* reported the following:
- Increasing revenue
- Maximizing profit
- More effective and efficient project management
This is not surprising, given that consulting firms as well as other service-based providers (advertising, legal, audit, etc.) operate as project-based organizations. As such, being able to effectively manage their projects is a key requirement for continuing to do business.
So why do so many professional services firms struggle with maximizing their profits and effectively managing their projects? One answer lies in the systems they use. What we typically see are firms that had started off with manual processes and ad-hoc systems built on Excel files and then later migrated to some form of in-house application, which, as the firm has grown, has become a bottleneck.
Switching from home grown systems to a complete professional services software package might have been cost-prohibitive in the past, but with the advent of cloud computing there is no reason why service-based companies should continue to struggle. A case in point is SAP Business ByDesign, a business management application built specifically for Professional Services firms.
Here’s a short video that makes a compelling case for professional services firms to start looking at a comprehensive business management solution, like SAP Business ByDesign, as a potential alternative to their internal systems.
* “Successfully managing a consulting business in challenging economic times”, IDC, August 2012