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ERP has proven its value over the last few decades as a means for tracking and reporting on a slew of financial and operational data. Recently, modern ERP systems have taken another giant leap forward. They incorporate a broad range of functionality to help executives understand the performance across all areas of a professional services organization (PSO).

Not only is the entire quote-to-cash process enabled by today’s ERP, executives can leverage the system to quickly and easily gauge the health and progress of their business. They can do so at various levels ─ by team, individual P&L, and on a company-wide basis.

This post will delve into the ways a modern ERP system brings new levels of performance visibility to the PSO C-suite.

Unified Data Presents Fast Insights

The easier it is for your employees to capture and share data, the more visibility you will have into the business. That is the essence of ERP’s value. A modern ERP system enables your staff − regardless of department or team – to input data once and have it shared across the organization in a wide range of analytics and reports.

This means your professional services teams can update their project completion data, as well as their associated expenses, and have that reflected in ERP in real time. As the data is input, the system stores it in a single, unified database that is accessible via intuitive, desktop interfaces with single-click access to views of your core company metrics/KPIs.

With all project-relevant data living in one place, executives can view their critical KPIs on their own individual dashboard and/or expect the Finance Director to report on critical KPIs whenever required, without dragging the finance department to a crawl each week. Since project data updates to the ERP system in real time, the Finance Director can quickly access the financial module to sort individual, grouped, or company-wide project data and run all relevant KPIs, such as:

  • Percent of project completion by team, region, P&L center, etc.
  • Billing volume and percentage growth over specified time periods (by team, region, or other relative breakdowns)
  • Gross expenses per project or as a percentage of overall revenue
  • Statutory compliance adherence
  • Project profit and loss, at both the project level and phase level

Within minutes, Finance can identify how each person, team, region, or P&L center is performing relative to the others.

The Executive Level View

It’s important to note that you gain visibility far beyond project price, expense, and margin data. You can also gain insights into how your critical operations and customer-facing metrics are improving (or worsening) within and across teams, departments, regions, and the company as a whole. For example, the CRM functionality within today’s ERP systems enables you to view customer satisfaction levels in groupings of your own choosing. Overlaying that customer satisfaction data with your “staff turnover” metrics would yield actionable cause-and-effect data resulting from the two KPIs.

There’s almost no limit to how you can view and correlate performance metrics across the business. These yield the insights PSOs need to survive and thrive. You can now answer questions you never could before, such as:

How profitable are our teams in Asia versus in Europe?

Where are expenses varying across the regions?

Which types of projects prove most profitable?

If we change our staff profiles in certain ways, how will that ultimately impact revenue and profit goals?

This type of reporting and follow-on analysis is made easy with a modern ERP system.

Conclusion

The decision to modernize how you gauge the health of your business should be an easy one. Simply ask yourself two questions. Can our Finance Director quickly and easily provide real-time insights into the operational and financial health of our projects, or are we falling behind in our ability to control and optimize operations? Can we generate real-time reports that yield insights into how the business is doing and trending from an operational, customer satisfaction, and growth/profitability standpoint?

If you answer “no” to either question, then it is time to investigate the executive-level power you will gain from modernizing your ERP system.

Sapphire Systems offers a dedicated end-to-end industry solution. To learn more, view our infographic or contact us today.

#Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) #Professional Services





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