Making Diversity Work in Professional Services Firms

Professional services organizations continuously strive to expand their customer base, bring in best-in-class talent, and pursue resources with specialized skills. As a result, reaching into new geographies has become increasingly prevalent in services businesses over the past few years. This opens the door to a multitude of unique ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds – a multicultural decentralized workforce, with all the benefits of company diversity and growth. Chiefly, this yields diversity of thought, allowing an organization to look at services from numerous perspectives. 

With globalization, even a small business comprised of few hundred employees could stretch across multiple countries and cultures. This company mentality ultimately attracts both specialized talent and new clients, fostering an advantageous cycle for everyone. But while the advantages are numerous, as services organizations begin to expand their reach, newly global companies can struggle to manage these diversities across vastly different locations. 

Businesses can run into trouble without careful planning and consideration before spreading their wings. Issues with ensuring productivity, collaboration, and standardization multiply with every new location. For example, a finance team could be thousands of miles away from the project manager, who herself is currently grappling with several teams across different time zones and work processes. Holidays also differ greatly between regions, adding to flawed resource allocation and knowledge of availability. Essentially, staying on the same page becomes a challenge – both within company offices, and externally as multi-location customer engagements grow. 

Find out how Xoomworks, a niche consulting company with offices in the United Kingdom, Romania and Bulgaria, saw a 10% improvement in services profitability.

In accordance with respecting what makes everyone different, the answer here is surprisingly simple: one size does not fit all. While professional services firms should require a single source of truth to tie diverse teams together, it doesn’t mean forcing employees to use one approach to standardization, productivity, and collaboration. A layered solution accounts for and even celebrates diversity, including configurable calendars, workflow processes, currencies, language, and more – while providing an overarching company policy that all resources around the globe can refer to. The right solution is out there – you just have to look. Professional services organizations have every reason to move forward and branch out across borders, to manage any potential complications while reaping all the benefits a global, diverse business can enjoy. 

But what makes a solution the “right” one? To start, one flexible enough to respect and support an organization’s unique business workflows without compromise; a solution that builds a time-centered system of record predicated on the way individual organizations actually operate. This unified source of information enables collaboration both locally and globally, ensuring data on current and future projects, profitability, resource utilization, and cash flow ties project and billable time to the outcomes produced.

How can Replicon help?

Investing in an effective solution can revolutionize how you manage your professional services. Interested in how Replicon’s Professional Services Automation can help meet your organization’s project and resource management needs? Request a customized demo to learn more:

 

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Sara Longini
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara Longini
Sara works in Content Marketing and Social Media at Replicon. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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