For professional services firms and project-based businesses, utilization is the key to driving more revenue and improving profitability. Traditionally, firms have employed a top-down approach to improve resource management, starting with strategy, developing a tactical plan, and driving down to the line to execute on it. The problem with this approach is that it can result in limited improvement if it simply unifies the firm with a consistent strategy and makes some process improvements but doesn’t solve the people issue. This approach addresses strategy and tactics but fails to deliver on operational improvements enabling people to execute.
Operational Improvements to Increase Profitability
In truth, all of these will need to happen for you to see the greatest increase in profitability, but the fastest business value and the most direct measure of ROI will be found in operational improvement to increase billable hours. In fact, simply minimizing the non-productive time of billable resources will make a significant and immediate difference.
In order to deploy the right people with the right skills on the right jobs – and make sure they are maximizing their billable time – you’ll want to focus on people and not just on the processes and technology that makes resource management more efficient.
Ask yourself: What part of a service organization is key to its success? The answer, of course, is its people. While it’s important to have effective business processes and information to plan better and make better decisions, it’s more important to make sure your people are working as efficiently and productively as possible.
The problem arises when your people can’t work efficiently because the various systems in your organization aren’t integrated. This leads to redundant work and wasted time – i.e., non-productive time of billable (and non-billable) resources – which impacts utilization and ultimately costs the organization money.
On the other hand, connecting the siloed systems of your organization will lead to the kind of integration that allows for maximum efficiency, the best use of your people’s time, better data and insights, sounder decision-making, and enhanced utilization.
Learn more ways your business can improve utilization – and your bottom line here.