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Learn from The Best and compare with The Rest

Posted by  Martijn van der Hoeden

The global professional services (PS) industry is set for a second record year in 2018 following its “best year ever” in 2017, says a new benchmarking study.

The Professional Services Maturity Benchmark report (PSMB) says many PS firms reported record net profits in 2017, with headcount growth exceeding revenue growth for the first time ever. The PSMB, produced by independent research firm, Service Performance Insight (SPI) and Unit4, says that, based on a surge in hiring, the PS sector is “poised for another record year in 2018”.

This year’s study found increases across the board for productivity, profit and billable hours, alongside a widespread drop in admin hours.

About the report

This year’s report set out to investigate whether increasing levels of ‘maturity’ — standardization in operating processes and management controls — improve customer satisfaction and financial performance. It concludes that increasing levels of operational control and business process ‘maturity’ results in “significant performance improvements”.

SPI collated key performance indicators from global PS businesses using surveys and live interviews with leaders.

How it’s useful

The study helps you understand how your organization compares to similar businesses as well as against the top 5 percent of firms and against the backdrop of the broader global market.

It provides an objective, fact-based framework for performance improvements that helps pinpoint the areas that will provide the greatest impact.

The PS Maturity Model to measure the correlation between process ‘maturity’, key performance measurements and service performance excellence.

Key findings

This year’s report found that the top 5 percent of the PS organizations (The Best) achieve success through the optimization of service performance pillars.

They say they “rely on” CRM software to improve marketing and bridge the gap between sales and service.

These top-performers also have low levels of attrition, high levels of employee satisfaction and referrals. This is partly because, says SPI, they embrace technology to “reinvent the workplace” with knowledge-sharing, team-building, transparency, and collaboration.

This year’s cohort of star performers credit their consistent service delivery excellence — executing high quality, profitable projects — to professional services automation (PSA) applications.

And they achieve “enviable” financial results — including higher margins and more revenue per employee, project, and consultant — partly because they have deployed a finance and accounting solution partially integrated with their PSA.

About the Maturity Model

Developed in 2007, the PS Maturity Model is a performance improvement tool used by over 20,000 service and project-oriented organizations to chart their course to service excellence.

The core principle of the model is that PSOs achieve success through the optimization of five service performance pillars: client relationships, human resource capital, services execution, finance & operations and leadership.

Get the inside track

2018 PSMB allows you to gauge your own organization's process ‘maturity’ against the top-performing firms as well as against similar organizations in terms of vertical market, size, business type and geographical location (EMEA, the Americas, Asia-Pacific).

Download the 2018 PSMB report for free.

Martijn van der Hoeden

As Founder of the PSA Suite and Global Head of the PSO Center of Excellence, Martijn van der Hoeden drives to provide the Professional Services Organizations to improve their performances and maximize their organizations efficiency with the Unit4 PSA Suite.