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How service-based organizations can excel at service delivery in 2023

As Professional Services Organizations (PSOs) strive to become more efficient in the coming years, service delivery will become increasingly important. Service delivery is fulfilling customer needs and expectations in a timely and cost-effective manner, and providing high-quality services that meet and exceed the client’s demands. This not only strengthens client relationships but improves your chances of having referenceable customers. As businesses seek to differentiate themselves from their competition, service delivery will be a major factor in achieving this goal. So, it is important for PSOs to understand why service delivery is so important and how it can help them stand out from the crowd.

Service Performance Insight (SPI) has been publishing its Professional Services Maturity Benchmark for the past 16 years. We have created an interactive eBook exploring key findings relating to client relationship management and service execution. It sets out how you can understand key drivers to help your business perform at the same level as the top 5% in the market. In this blog, we will cover some of the main takeaways, and you can download the full eBook below.

The report tells us that relationship building is going to be crucial to service delivery and requires carefully choosing target prospects, requiring marketing, sales, and your fee-earning departments to work together to be more selective and targeted about the deals you pursue, boost client reference ability, pursue market expansion, increase deal pipelines, improve financial results, and ensure a profitable balance of work.

Click to read Refine your plan-to-profit process with ERP 2023 Gated

The competitive landscape

Competition has never been fiercer, so PSOs must deliver operational excellence with effective resource utilization and project management through standardized processes. Technology solutions like Unit4 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions can help optimize service delivery, improve margins, and ensure successful client relationships. Relationship building plays an essential role in client success. With organizations expanding their reach, marketing sales efforts are becoming increasingly important. It's essential to have the necessary technology solutions in place to support organizational growth as well as relationship-building with existing clients. Companies should focus on KPIs that measure service execution and relationship building. Best practices, including optimizing resource utilization, should be implemented to ensure successful service delivery. As we move forward into 2023, it will be essential for PSOs to focus on these areas of improvement to remain competitive and increase revenue.

Service execution

According to the SPI report, service execution suffered in 2022, and the use of standardized delivery methodologies also went down. Low project margins are caused by various issues, including poor estimates, scope change, lack of a clear project charter, poor project management, poor execution, and communication combined with insufficient or poorly prepared consultants to carry out work. To improve their margins, PSOs need to provide service levels that exceed customer expectations. They must optimize resources, follow best practices and standards, and eliminate costly mistakes. This can be done by utilizing technologies such as PSA solutions that can help optimize workflow, streamline processes, reduce overhead costs, and create KPIs to measure performance. All this contributes to successful service delivery and improved margins.

The need for speed

The nature of work changed in 2022 as low code, no code, agile delivery methods have become the norm with advanced workflow, reporting, process automation, and AI. For PSO firms, this means they can now utilize technology solutions to improve margins while optimizing their resources to support organizational growth. ERP and PSA solutions provide a more standardized way of project delivery, allowing organizations to establish best practices to ensure a successful service execution and improve customer satisfaction through building positive client relationships.

The importance of quality to drive growth

The two main KPIs - on-time project delivery and project margin - decreased in 2022, which could negatively impact PSO growth in 2023. To drive growth, it is essential that firms focus on optimizing service delivery and resource utilization, and standardized processes. Forward-thinking PSOs should explore technology solutions if they are to improve their margins, increase client satisfaction, and ensure the timely delivery of projects. Firms that develop best practices around relationship building, service execution, and resource management, and deploy a set of optimized processes build a solid foundation to promote organizational growth and positive client relationships.

The necessity of efficiency

Quality, efficiency, timeliness, and service delivery repeatability are critical for PSOs' success in 2023. All departments in the organization must be aligned with standardized processes for bidding, selling, planning, scheduling, project scope, delivery, and invoicing. All project-related information (time, expenses, project details, and knowledge) must be captured to be invoiced and to improve the next service delivered. PSA solutions help ensure a consistent and accurate standard of deliverables across all projects, resulting in improved organizational growth. To increase margins while simultaneously building better client relationships, PSOs should focus on service execution excellence by leveraging best practices, optimizing resource utilization, and leveraging technology solutions that support process automation.

The power of automation

To enable organizational growth, PSOs are incorporating automation, virtualization, analytics, and integrated business applications into their service delivery fabric. As organizations improve margins and adopt technology solutions such as PSA, they can track KPIs, such as client satisfaction scores and net promoter scores. This can provide a roadmap for optimizing resource utilization and enable an agile approach to project delivery. Automated systems ensure standardized processes throughout the project’s entire lifecycle—from the initial sale to after-sale support. By investing in modern technology solutions that enable efficient service delivery, organizations will be well-positioned to remain competitive in the market by providing consistent value to their customers.

How Unit4 can help your service-based organization excel at service delivery

At Unit4, we understand the importance of dedicating time and effort to delivering great customer experiences. We’ve created robust ERP solutions that help to automate and streamline workflows.

Once your enterprise systems have been modernized and your team has been freed from repetitive tasks, the space to consider customer experience is created – enabling the ability to employ customer service best practices that set you apart.

To learn more, download the full eBook here.

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