Understanding how professional services businesses should evolve with the changing landscape in 2019

By Raj Narayanaswamy, Co-founder and co-CEO at Replicon | February 10, 2019

With another New Year’s Day come and gone, many have begun to envision what the year ahead may hold for them. It’s no different for businesses – and especially in the constantly evolving landscape of professional services, it’s helpful to consider how exactly this new landscape might redefine the status quo in 2019.

Wondering what to look for? Here are the top trends professional services organizations should expect in 2019.

Providing a Highly Tailored Customer Experience

In today’s customer-driven climate, services businesses are learning that each customer expects personalized contracts, services, processes, and more. Competitive services firms are obligated to adapt to each customer’s workflow, resulting in little to no standardization in their own ranks. Without a centralized system, this arrangement quickly becomes unsustainable. To deliver a customer experience unique among the rest, look for technology solutions that can help manage your organization’s processes as you navigate different workflows for each customer.

Globalization: The Double-Edged Sword

Today, the size of a business is irrelevant – everyone wants best-in-class talent available for their organization, and have begun utilizing resources spread across the globe. Similarly, opportunities for broadening the customer base drive interest in globalization. The motivations are many-faceted: the need for specialized skills, clients requesting work done in those locations, greater availability, lower costs, and more. But expanding both literal and figurative boundaries can be a mixed blessing – while a distributed organization paves the way for new opportunities, it also disperses both the workforce and global customer engagements. Solutions with unified platforms can allow services organizations to manage global customers and project resource metrics with more confidence.

Billable Hour Who?

Once considered the standard, the billable hour’s iron grip on professional services engagement models is beginning to slip. While customer preference may be steering the ship, services firms should also be considering their own best interests. When limited to the billable hour, the potential to improve average revenue is finite. Sooner rather than later, resource time and availability will be intrinsically tracked and tied to the outcomes produced – and as the world moves towards a subscription-based economy, understanding how to effectively optimize revenue and other metrics is fundamental. Expect a rise in the number of fixed-bid, milestone, and value-based pricing engagements in the coming year, and make sure you have the tools in place to understand how to deal with them.

Forecasting: The Rising Star

Perhaps the most involved trend on this list, forecasting, is quickly finding its way to center stage for services businesses. Firms looking to optimize profitability should expect to forecast everything: Customer engagements, fixed-bid project profitability, effort-estimate accuracy, resource utilization, skill requirements, performance trends, and undoubtedly even more as the year goes on. With advanced forecasting, businesses can reference historical data, optimize the present, and better plan for the future, to ensure profitability for both hourly and fixed-bid projects.

The professional services market is dynamic, and effectively managing a PSO requires staying in control of these dynamics. With the billable hour in decline, and services businesses increasingly locked in to fixed amount contracts, accurate estimates and project tracking are key. Move into 2019 at full steam prepared for the trends that await your services business in the coming months.

Original Source: HR.com
Author: Raj Narayanaswamy

Get started today.
Set up a free trial based on your business needs. Start Free Trial

Connecting with Investors, the AI Revolution, 4 Personas of Female Entrepreneurs and Other Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Smallbizdaily | April 15, 2019 18 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know By Rieva Lesonsky 1—What to Know Before You Buy a Website Buying an existing website can get…Read More

Global Compliance Desk – New York

New York Amends Time off to Vote On April 1, 2019, New York State passed the 2019‒2020 budget which amended Election Law §3-110, which provides employees with time off to…Read More

Global Compliance Desk – Connecticut, United States

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering several proposed bills in the state House and Senate that if enacted would affect employers in significant ways. There is a good chance that…Read More

Miscalculating wages by a few cents led to this company paying a six-figure lawsuit

West Marine Products, which operates a chain of retail stores across the United States specializing in boating supply and fishing equipment, recently settled a class action lawsuit involving 707 former…Read More

Employee time tracking is dead

iBeacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, Proximity sensing and the obsolescence of time tracking as we know it. Businesses have to track the time their employees work for a variety of reasons,…Read More

How Sarbanes-Oxley Impacts HR Departments

Ever since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed in 2002, following a spate of high-profile corporate scandals, companies have had to take a wide range of precautions to ensure that…Read More
  • Cloud
  • In The News
  • Corporate
  • Professional Services Management
  • Project and Program Management
  • Shared Services Management
  • Time and Attendance Management
  • Workforce Management
  • Customer Feature
  • Feature Update
  • Time Intelligence
  • Industry News
  • Webinar Recap
  • Global Compliance Updates
  • Chat with us
    How can we help you?