Are Your Business Systems Performing?

Posted by Fergus Gilmore, Managing Director on May 1, 2014

are your business systems performing

Every year you take your vehicle in for an MOT, and most probably get yourself to the Doctor for a personal health-check as well. But as ambitious businesses focused on turning a profit and beating our competition, why don’t we invest the same time and care in undertaking a check on our business systems?

There is no doubt that professional services organisations evolve at an astounding rate. Market conditions, M&A’s, new client wins, and new service offerings all contribute to a very different business model to the one you had 6 months ago, let alone 6 years ago when you may have last invested in an ERP or current business system. So it is no wonder that systems undoubtedly start to crack under the pressure and are not optimised to your firm’s new ways of working.

Assess your processes regularly to stay ahead of your competitors

That is why we encourage you to take a little bit of time on a regular basis to assess how your current system/s are performing against your business requirements. Taking the time to honestly answer some simple questions will bring an enlightening view of how well your current systems infrastructure is meeting the demands of your project-based firm;

  1. Do know before it’s too late whether a job is profitable or not? 
  2. Can you accurately forecast revenue for the coming months? 
  3. How long does it take to close your books at the end of the month? 
  4. Can you track budget across all your projects? 
  5. Do you struggle to get a complete overview of your pipeline? 
  6. Do you worry about over-servicing clients and losing margin? 
  7. Would you like project managers to have responsibility over their own projects? 
  8. Are you wasting time and money maintaining disparate systems? 
  9. When you win a new opportunity do you have to enter information into multiple systems? 
  10. Do you struggle with multi-company and multi-currency requirements?

What is the cost of complacency?

I know time is money in every services firm and undertaking this internal housekeeping task can seem like a low priority. But complacency could potentially cost you even more in terms of lost efficiencies, lost project margin, and lost user satisfaction as your team battle with a system that is not optimised to their way of working.

In the coming weeks, we will be addressing each of the above business issues in this blog,
and discussing the impact that they can have on profitability should you do nothing to rectify them. As a starter, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to complete our systems assessment to receive personalised insight and tips to show you how the right systems and processes can set your business on a robust path to securing improved margin, and being a step ahead of your competitors.