Optimising resource utilisation — global matchmaking for consulting managers

Posted by  Bas van Woudenberg

Managing a global team of consultants can feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube in the dark. You need the ability to see around corners, work across platforms and match people to tasks. Here’s a cheat code to help you solve the puzzle.

So you're a consulting manager who needs to show optimal utilisation rates for a team of consultants from across the globe. What do you need? Panoramic visibility over each team member’s skill set, experience, availability and seniority? Some search software that matches the most suitable person to each task? A single dashboard which integrates HR, resource, finance and project management?

That would be a dream, right? Hold that thought.

Breaking down software walls

One of the biggest obstacles to global people management is the lack of visibility over information. It’s difficult to plan and execute projects if you don’t know who is available where and when, or if they have the right skills.

The problem is that software for managing resources, projects and HR usually exist as separate entities. Project management systems show the milestones needed to reach the goal, but they don't incorporate a roadmap for hiring success. HR software has individual candidate information about skills, education and experience, but it doesn't allocate resources according to need.

Nothing can integrate these systems into one place. No algorithm exists that can replace the job of searching databases to match people to tasks. And if it did, it couldn't integrate with software systems that manage resources, projects and HR.

Or could it?

The all-in-one platform (with search and match technology)

Unit4’s everything-together solution, PSA Suite (Professional Services Automation), is an integrated software for resource scheduling and project management. The HRM module allows you to optimise human resource utilisation on a global scale. The Finance module delivers out-of-the-box accounting using a unified ledger, with integrated apps for timesheets, expenses and invoicing. And project templates bring it all together to help budget, plan, forecast and track everything.

Using the right people with the right skills on the right projects means you’ll have happier customers, more profitable projects and more business wins.

Having one system that brings together the data you need in one place means you can quickly assess whether the team members will be a good fit. This saves a lot of time and helps you avoid over- and under-utilisation of your people, as well as run more flexible, successful projects.

Automated match technology is here too (and it’s integrated)

Remember that imaginary algorithm which searches databases to match consultants to tasks? The PSA Suite has that covered too. Automated Match Engine (AME) technology helps you assign the right people to the right job and respond to customer requests on the fly. You can manage sourcing requests with the PSA Suite database, then find potential candidates based on criteria including skills, experience, availability, keywords and costs.

And this last bit is pure genius: after allocating the job to the consultant, they are automatically added to the project.

Optimising resource utilisation on a global scale

The whole PSA Suite is built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM platform and tailored for different service industries including engineering, IT, legal, architecture, accounting, software. Get a closer look at how you can solve the daily challenges of global people management at our next webinar. We’ll show you how to use this powerful software so you can improve performance, productivity and profits in your business.

Nervous of new technology?

We know the thought of changing digital tech is unnerving. It might seem like you did this not so long ago. But changing to a single software solution for these tasks is different from just buying in a new piece of technology and making it fit with what you have. The PSA Suite brings visibility and certainty over data, increased productivity and a long-term boost for the profitability of your projects (and future proposals).

Doing nothing is always an option. But it could also mean continuing with a poor service delivery to your clients and their customers. Switching to a single software solution like PSA Suite allows you to get on with the job of delivering profitable projects by billing with precision and optimising resource utilisation on a global scale.

If you’d like to see how PSA Suite works — from project setup to budgets and project plans — join our webinar on 13th November 2018. To sign up visit our webinar registration page.

Bas van Woudenberg

Bas van Woudenberg is a professional services sector veteran, aiming to support organizations to improve utilization rates, customer satisfaction, and financial results. Bas is also the director of the Unit4 PSO Center of Excellence.