All businesses strive to manage their resources as efficiently as possible. But for a professional services firm where skilled staff such as project and engineering consultants represent both their biggest cost and biggest source of revenue, effective resource management is critical to creating client value, enhancing profitability and maintaining a competitive edge.
Clients want to know that their investment will improve their business, whether by lowering costs, enabling efficiencies or expansion into new markets. They also need assurance that a project will complete on time, on budget and within the agreed parameters. If a deliverable does look likely to slip, then they expect to be informed as early as possible.
As such, professional services firms need complete visibility across their business. Projects must be planned, resourced and executed in a way that allows a firm to find the right combination of team members and skill-sets to maximise billable hours at lowest cost and achieve the best possible margin.
They also need to be able to bid for contracts safe in the knowledge that they have the headroom to deliver on what they have set out within the tender. This is particularly challenging in the current economic climate, where headcounts have been reduced and recruitment programs frozen. The more prospective projects there are in the pipeline, the greater the risk that resources will be overstretched.
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