In any organisation it can be difficult to establish where efficiencies can be made and productivity increased, let alone implement these changes. This is true even more so of Professional Service Organisations (PSOs) where you can have tens if not hundreds of project managers working at any one time.
By using project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software it is easy to find where changes can be made to increase productivity. One Deltek client realised a 3%-5% increase in 100 of their project managers’ productivity as result of implementing an ERP system, which translated into a profit improvement of at least £125,000 (€150,000) – over £1,000 per project manager.
Creating employee utilisation reports from within the project ERP software, which details the billable output for each project manager, allowed personal recommendations to be made on where to increase productivity. Project ERP software also allows employees to spend less time on admin, which means they can bill more time.
Ambitious PSOs should implement project ERP systems that will allow them to drive efficiency by streamlining time-wasting administrative tasks, gain visibility of the entire firm’s operations and client relationships and improve cash flow by accelerating time-collection and client invoicing.
As companies chase margin growth, this has brought the role of good project management to the fore for PSOs. It has become more than how to scope and structure a project so that it’s delivered on time and on budget. Project Managers today face any number of complexities, for example, does the project scope allow for change requests? Are the contracts strong enough to cover additional charges? Can you re-budget if different resources are needed than originally planned?
Firms today that focus on commercial project management must have the ability to manage every change, planned or not, from a financial as well as logistical perspective to maximise margins on every project. This drives commercial project management right the way through an organisation, which will help increase profitability.
Project ERP software is a brilliant tool that as well as making a project managers job easier, will help to find small efficiencies, that when implemented on a large scale, can lead to significant increases in efficiency and profits.