To buy or not to buy.
That is the question. As you have probably already identified for yourself, a PSA software is a big step for a business that will without a doubt shift the core dynamics of your everyday business, usually for good. This change tends to be for the better, but the wrong move could turn your business into a hellstorm.
And no one wants their business to turn into a hellstorm.
With that said, generally one of the most common questions that comes along in this stage of a buyer’s cycle is deciding whether or not a new tool will help or hurt. Considering solutions of all sizes exist, there is almost always something that is applicable to your business, but that’s not to diminish the importance that timing is going to be everything.
But when is the time right?
You need to begin by reviewing your most immediate business goals and pains. That is some pretty cliche advice. We know. But it’s important. Every company has pains and struggles and evaluating processes is critical to better understanding where the problem lies.
Is the problem in your processes, in your tools, in your team? Is it that creepy doll on your desk?
These are all questions that must be asked.
We recommend actually reflecting on your goals and pains.
Like… right now. Help us help you. Stop here, reflect a bit then come back to this blog.
Did you do it?
We are trusting you.
After reflection, if you can find yourself solving your growing pains by making a quick change in operations, we find that is always a good idea before going for the big groundbreaking shift such as a PSA before testing out all other solutions.
"I reflected and it still sucks"
If you have made it this far you probably want the answers.
The general M.O. of a team committing to a PSA is the type who walks into work and is instantly struck with stress feeling as if their processes are complicated and wired like a bird’s nest.
Is this you?
There will be an anxious feeling of confusion and missing information. Goals will look fuzzy and there will be knots in your back thinking about the fragmentation of your business.
If you are the business owner, you likely feel a lack of data and reporting, wondering if you are missing out on contracts or opportunity.
If you are the company manager, you feel more pain than most as you have your hand in on both the day to day operations as well as the reporting and analytics. Managers will be stressed by complicated processes and lost information. You will feel as if your team is wasting time and wasting resources. You will be upset about profitability, convinced you can do better.
Last is if you are an agent or technician of the company. You will be able to affirm any theories or hypotheses from managers and owners about lost resources. Field agents feel deep pains about their daily routine of checking boxes over and over for tasks that could easily be automated. The simplicity of your tasks will be discouraging. You know your time is being wasted and you are driven to find work with more meaning packed into the day, whether that be within the same company or not.
Was all of that you, your team or your company as a whole?
If so, a PSA is definitely one of your potential solutions!
Onto some further vetting.
The core idea behind PSA software is to deliver remedies and solutions to all of the pains listed above. The software is made to track and allocate the major resources of service companies or service departments within large companies.
As an additional resource, we have compiled the ultimate resource for identifiers below from various online sources, Rudolf Melik's book (PSAs Optimizing Project & Service Oriented Organization) and our own experience. With this list, you should be able to sit down, review your company, your pains and your goals then be able to actively make a determination based on what is listed below.
Introducing: The Ultimate List of PSA Identifiers
One easy way to identify if PSA software is for you is to review industries the tool has been developed for. If you are in one of these industries, you are on the right path. If you're are not in one of these industries, there may be other tools out there made specifically for you. And do keep in mind, small business PSAs will be different than enterprise PSAs, so keep your eyes peeled which features you need most and which companies support what.
Industries Professional Services Automation Software was made for:
- IT Professional Services Providers
- Engineering Firms
- Construction Companies
- Law Firms
- Health Care Providers
- IT Department of a large enterprise
- The R&D arm of a pharmaceutical company
PSA Software is made for businesses who feel pains like:
- Increasing competition
- increasing customer expectations
- Scarcity of skilled resources and technological innovations
- Too much pressure to maximize revenues
- High project costs
- Difficulty producing more measurable results
- Low productivity
- increasing customer satisfaction
- increasing amounts of administrative tasks
- Increasing technology issues
- Too much-unmanaged workloads
- lack of decision making information
PSA Software is made for businesses who want to improve on things like:
- Managing demand for projects or services
- Searching for, assigning and scheduling resources
- Managing projects
- Tracking work actuals
- Billing or charging back
- Acquiring knowledge, collaboration, and communication
- Managing requests and other process workflows
- Requisitioning purchases
- Reporting and analysis
PSA Software is made for businesses who ask questions like:
- Are billing rates used in an optimal way?
- Can project costs be managed more effectively?
- Are resources being used effectively?
- Can billing cycles be shortened to reduce accounts receivable and increase cash flow?
PSA Software is made for businesses who have company goals like
- More efficient client invoicing, reducing A/R and increasing cash flow
- Improved resource utilization, productivity, and efficiency
- Accurate revenue recognition methods
- Efficiently tracking project costs for R&D or capitalization purposes
- Improved reporting and analysis capabilities, leading to more effective decision making
We hope this helps. Hit us with some feedback and let us know your best tactics.
This is part of our eight chapter series on Professional Services Automation.
See the rest below.
- Chapter 1: What is the hell is Professional Services Automation Software?
- Chapter 2: Where did Professional Services Automation Software come from?
- Chapter 3: How Does Professional Services Automation Software Work?
- Chapter 4: The Buyer’s Guide Checklist to Determining if You Need PSA Software
- Chapter 5: How Professional Services Automation Software Will Change Your Business
- Chapter 6: The Risks and Rewards of Using Professional Services Automation Software
- Chapter 7: How to Evaluate Your Business Needs Before Selecting a New Software
- Chapter 8: How to Implement New Software Into Your Business