Slaying silos and connecting the dots for services delivery success
This article comes from Matt Mulley, an expert consultant with extensive experience in the technology sector. He excels in providing tailored advice to service-oriented businesses, focusing on implementing technology solutions that not only align with their specific objectives but also add significant value to their operations.
In a previous blog, we talked about the necessary shift that professional services businesses are undergoing: from the relentless pursuit of growth, to focusing on profit, and the magic that happens when they take on a mindset of optimising, not just maximising, their project delivery resources. This shift is a game-changer for delivering effective, revenue-driving services, and it all depends on two things–information sharing and visibility.
To make it in today’s agile service delivery environment, you’ve got to connect the dots between sales, support, service, customer success, and finance. It’s all about breaking down barriers and creating a seamless, accurate, up-to-date flow of information that everyone can see, use, and draw insights from.
But outdated tools such as spreadsheets create barriers by becoming graveyards for data. They’re also error-prone–which can result in revenue leakage and risk to the business–and not designed to flexibly support a wide range of billable services and delivery models. This disconnect presents a number of critical problems for services-centric organisations:
Delivering on customer expectations. Sales promises the moon and stars, but services can’t always deliver when teams operate blindly, without clear, shared insight into available resources. When projects are billed incorrectly, this hinders the quality of service that customers receive, inevitably leading to invoice disputes, bad debt—and dissatisfied customers.
Let’s not forget the whole “out of sight, out of mind” effect that can occur in the sales-to-service handoff. Sales sells, but then loses interest once the sale is made, dropping the ball when it comes to delivering an excellent post-sale experience.
Achieving financial goals. Unable to accurately define the scope of work, resources, and costs of delivery early on in the process, companies end up selling work that’s over budget and unprofitable, undermining financial success. Inaccurate scoping also results in change requests–a recipe for both wasted costs and customer frustration.
The cumulative impact of this is damage to customer and employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profit.
But the good news is you can do better. When companies bring their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions together, the stars can align, and you magnify the benefits of resource utilisation—preventing excess inventory or shortages, improving delivery times, planning around customer trends and, ultimately, boosting customer satisfaction. When you combine the power of the world’s leading CRM in Salesforce with an advanced ERP solution native to the platform, the benefits are even more pronounced.
Going this route means:
Not settling for clunky, home-made integrations. Certinia is an ERP solution built natively on the Salesforce platform. By avoiding multiple integrations in favour of a single, connected, cloud-based foundation, services-based businesses can achieve a smarter, more effective approach to business connectivity, where information can flow seamlessly between departments and functions. This means less complexity and expense to manage from an IT perspective, and consistent, unified data for service delivery, promoting collaboration and faster, more accurate customer service delivery.
Staying one step ahead of customer needs. Forecasting demand and managing capacity are vital aspects of business operations. With the visibility created by Certinia, you get a comprehensive handle on forecasts, capacity, and demand, ensuring that your anticipated future work is best matched to your resource capacity.
Turbocharging collaboration and innovation. Sales, finance, services, and customer success teams can work together from a single system, sharing the same master customer record, with unified processes and workflows. And you gain insights into revenue and cost to deliver over various timeframes that help you truly see the lifetime value of each customer. This opens the door to all sorts of opportunities to improve and personalise the customer experience, and understand the long-term outlook of your business model. Not only that, but employees are empowered to innovate and do their best work, helping to attract and retain valuable talent that drives your business forward.
By doing so, you don’t merely eliminate disconnects; you pave the way for a future characterised by efficient, fulfilled project teams, maximised margins, and unwavering customer focus.
If you want to dive deeper into optimising your services delivery efforts, learn more how Certinia’s Advanced Resource Management can help. Alternatively, take a look at Certinia’s ebook ‘The Art of Resource Management‘.