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Ever try to manage a global project only to discover that half of your team is still manually logging time in project timesheets while the other half is spread across multiple legacy or native-grown solutions? When you try to get visibility into resource time capture, project status, or client billing data in real-time, do you end up spending more time trying to make sense of the data than actually using it? Are you constantly worried that critical metrics like resource availability, project profitability, project accuracy, billing, and resource utilization may slip up without you knowing?
Questions like these haunt professional services leaders every day when they do not have the right systems at their disposal and it can feel very much like guessing. On top of that they have unhappy employees. Business leaders want to drive higher project profitability for their business. They need to know how all their employees are spending their billable hours. Automated project time capture provides the best way to answer all these questions with reliable data sourced directly from the business. With it, you can start making real-time project decisions to ensure you deliver all your projects on time, on budget and deliver business value to all your clients.
Single Source of Truth to Driving Project Profitability
One of the biggest challenges of project time tracking is getting a centralized, organization-wide view of employee time.
Filling out project timesheets manually leads to inaccurate information. Moreover, time data is often captured and stored across multiple enterprise systems and solutions making it difficult to access and use. Inaccuracies in time date and a lack of transparency leads to miscalculations in project costs and delayed billing cycles.
As we see fewer and fewer projects start on a Time and Materials basis, being able to manage your cost base is even more important. Ensuring a good margin on fixed price contracts is an easy way to increase your profit levels – so it’s essential to get easy access to data that will help you do that.
Real-time Visibility into Billable Hours & Utilization
Automated project time capture ensures resources are spending their time on project related tasks rather than spending their time capturing their project hours in a spreadsheet or non-intuitive time tracking system. According to Aberdeen, with the project management pressures faced by professional services firms, 25% of the professional services surveyed have confirmed they need to manage their resources effectively.
The data that you need to maximize billable time comes from your project time tracking systems. You have an incoming pipeline of chargeable work, your resource utilization, and project timesheets. This all gives you a rich stream of data from which to draw information for decision making and analyse your project profitability.
Bringing together these disparate sources of information is easy when you have a consolidated enterprise time tracking platform. Automated project time tracking allows you to capture time using artificial intelligence and embed productivity target tracking into your team’s capacity and workload, making it easy for your employees and managers to be on the same page and achieve the billable target set for each employee. All this will allow you to maximize billable time.
3 Steps to Successful Profitability Analysis
Time is money for large services firms and many processes for professional services rely on the timelines, accuracy and efficiency of time tracking processes. Now more than ever, every professional service firm must be agile and make sense of the staggering volume of data to anticipate the billable time spent across their projects and become an insight-driven company. Successful profitability analysis requires overcoming three key challenges.
The Data Challenge
Maybe you can relate to this firm: they have thousands of employees, residing in 25 different countries, using over 20 different project time capture platforms and missing out on capturing 100% of their billable hours. It’s not that uncommon!
You risk delivering on time and within budget. Your proposals are not accurate. You risk losing future projects with existing customers or future bids.
Driving higher project profitability for your business demands a global view of all employees’ time capture to gain real-time project visibility and track if the project is delivered on time and budget. Managers also need to be able to see where all the billable hours are going while the project progresses. Manual methods such as emails and spreadsheets will not suffice anymore.
Through an integrated project time tracking platform, it becomes possible to gain a comprehensive and real-time visibility of the project from anytime and anywhere. It allows you to automate project tasks, bring intelligent processes to capture and process time, and integrate these with your existing business processes to accelerate your time to revenue process.
The System Challenge
Employees end up spending innumerable hours trying to manage and reconcile the time data spread across multiple systems. Multiple systems also invariably create multiple siloed databases that can’t or don’t effectively mesh with each other, limiting your ability to share relevant information quickly resulting in a failure of departmental or team coordination. Overall, there is an increase of inconsistent and error-laden data that serves little purpose except to frustrate employees.
An automated project time capture embedded with artificial intelligence ensures that 100% of the billable hours are tracked without employees manually entering their timesheets. Large services organizations can gain a competitive advantage here with increased visibility allowing managers to monitor the project progress in real-time and keep the project schedule and budget on track. Employees also gain a better sense of control over their work, improving productivity.
A cloud-based enterprise time tracking system not only standardizes the process across the organization globally but also streamlines business processes such as time off requests, payroll and billing. This brings us to the final challenge of time.
The Time Challenge
Time is the key resource in today’s service oriented economy. Unfortunately, many managers struggle to get a centralized view of their employee time due to a lack of visibility around time in a fragmented ecosystem and using disparate project time tracking systems. As we march into the hybrid digital era, a disconnected ecosystem and an antiquated approach to project time tracking will invariably lead to last-minute fumbles and overblown budgets. Coupled with manual timesheet entries, this a recipe for disaster as billable hours are missed, productivity is hampered and processes come to a halt while course corrections are made.
With millions of project hours at your disposal, how can professional services ensure they meet their employee expectations with a modern initiative project time tracking platform and also meet their project goals of delivering projects on time and within budget?
The answer is simple: Automated Project Time Capture. With an AI-powered project time tracking, managers can gain immense insight into business metrics. Instead of missing out on billable hours for any project, artificial intelligence can leverage historical time data and auto-suggest project tasks thus saving a lot of time spent by employees on administrative tasks.
Discover the Potential of a Global Project Time Tracking Platform
For any project-based organization, simplicity and flexibility are of critical importance. A fully configurable time tracking system allows for the capture of precise time data (billable and non-billable hours) needed for gaining a complete picture of all time spent across all global projects. With pre-configured templates and automated approval workflows, you ensure a friction-free time capture experience for a more productive and engaged workforce. Support your finance team as well by enabling them to receive instantly all approved timesheets to process invoices faster leading to improved billing cycles.
Instead of the typical scenario of manual timesheet tracking and data spread across different enterprise systems, consider what could be gained if you had an intelligent project time tracking platform:
- Accurate billable time
- Greater transparency to calculate billing costs
- No delays in billing cycles
- Increased employee billable utilization
- Higher annual revenue per employee
From high-growth professional services firms to project organizations with global teams providing services across multiple projects and clients, a robust professional services time tracking system significantly transforms the organization’s productivity and profitability levels. A modern platform powered by artificial intelligence can drive innovation in business processes and extract actionable insights from data to deliver a single source of truth for the organization. Instead of relying on manual inputs, these platforms drive accuracy in time data by capturing all billable hours against projects through AI without requiring employees to even touch their timesheets.
More and more enterprises are now embarking towards cloud-based time tracking to not only gain a competitive advantage but also deliver a future-ready ecosystem to stakeholders. Additionally, ensuring an improved employee experience through accurate project time tracking data creates a win-win situation for the enterprises and helps them thrive in the hybrid digital workplace. It is now time for you to get started on your digital transformation journey as well and streamline business processes, shorten billing cycles, reduce revenue leakages, drive operational efficiencies, and improve cash flow and profitability. Turn time in your strategic asset.
Do you want to understand how you can drive higher project profitability for your organization? Download the latest Aberdeen report and learn how other large services organizations are gaining a competitive advantage with a project time tracking platform.