The professional service industry in the United States “… includes about 770,000 firms with combined annual revenue of more than $1 trillion…” all coming off a 2013 year that, so far, has actually grown at a lower rate than future projections.
These effects are attributed to the fact that “the revenue of the professional service industry lags the performance of the rest of the economy. The late 2000s recession officially started in December 2007, but declines in corporate profits peaked in 2009. Professional services unemployment peaked in 2010.” Future output projections are high due to the late industry response to improving economic conditions, which is beginning to drive more demand for professional services.
Like every industry, there are a variety of challenges professional firms face. Customer retention and relationship management is key for consistent business in an industry where projects and work demands can be very erratic. This is reflected by the uneven cash flows of most firms.
Outside of financial trends, many professional firms are using more technology due to the need for close coordination and collaboration between firms and their customers. In addition to communication and portable tools, “… firms also rely on computer technology to track projects, expenses, and billings.”
Proper data management, analytics, communication, and financial software is key to keeping track of your professional firm. Many firms have adopted Microsoft Dynamics AX for the proposal management, budget control, forecasting, scheduling, and collaboration features. AX provides a centralized location to track customers, projects, and data to ensure financial and quality goals are met.
SBS Group can help integrate your software needs, including Dynamics AX, with our Professional Service industry experts. Contact us for more information and follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our LinkedIn group for more updates.