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Visibility into Your Services Organization: Do You Measure Up?

Posted by Evan Heby, Services Industry Marketing Lead

I sat down with Robert Scott, Senior Account Executive at Oracle NetSuite, to discuss the changes to the Services economy over the past decade. Scott provides insight into how Services businesses are changing and what companies should do to keep up – here are some of his thoughts:

We’ve all heard the old adage about the Cobbler’s Children. In my years of working with services organizations, I have come to realize that to some extent, many suffer the plight of the Cobbler's Children: they are so busy working on their clients' problems that they often ignore their own.

We all know what happens when services organizations suffer from a lack of visibility into operations: revenue forecasts are inaccurate; managers don’t know which projects are most profitable; resource utilization lags; and identifying the changes necessary to maximize profits becomes extremely challenging, if not impossible.

I frequently speak with business leaders that still rely on disjointed homegrown systems or packaged solutions built for another purpose entirely (i.e. project portfolio management tools used in billable services organizations) to manage their business processes, whiteboard discussions for requirements gathering, email for data collection and elaborate spreadsheets for tracking and reporting. Any time the data becomes outdated, they spend hours entering and transferring data manually from individual systems into analysis and reporting spreadsheets. This occurs on a weekly or even daily basis – and as with any manual process, mistakes and data inaccuracies compound the problem.

As a result, they are unable to measure and analyze their business in real time, and consequently, to make appropriate strategic decisions to sustain (or initiate) growth and profitability. Worse yet, some don’t even recognize this problem, or can’t identify which statistical components they’re missing. And with so much energy focused on maintaining existing systems, they don’t know how or where to begin correcting the problem.

Greater visibility into finances, projects, and resources lets you analyze projects in greater depth and identify profitability by client, project type and employee. You can also identify and control at-risk projects sooner so that steps can be taken to resolve issues and maximize profitability. But how do you assess your current level of visibility to determine if you could benefit from greater insight into your operations?

Over the past 20 years, many organizations have turned to Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions to improve visibility into finances, projects and resources. Sophisticated PSA solutions provide a foundation for standardized service delivery, including a Project Workspace to store, manage, organize, search and retrieve project-related materials such as statements of work, intellectual property, contracts, resumes and templates.

Every services organization can benefit from improving its practices. So, our team created a Services Organization Visibility Checklist that should help you get started.

If you want to learn more about the industry leading solution to help improve your business visit www.openair.com.