Services resource planning (SRP) is poised to be just as transformative for software and professional services as materials requirement planning was to the Manufacturing industry 3 decades earlier.

SRP provides a consistent and comprehensive platform for services organizations to manage the entire client lifecycle, from lead to project to cash. Here are six reasons why service organizations need SRP:

1. Integration — Integrating project management, resource optimization, project accounting and client management is now essential. It is virtually impossible to provide real-time insights to all stakeholders when dozens or even hundreds of simultaneous projects are being managed on spreadsheets, email, and stand-alone systems.

2. Decision making — Until accounting, sales, human resources, project management and field professionals all communicate on planning and execution, it is impossible to make coordinated decisions that lead to better client outcomes and increased efficiencies.

3. Globalization — MRP brought centralized and consistent controls to every step of the manufacturing process at a time when globalization was shrinking the industrial world. American, Asian and European businesses vied with one another for the same customers with the same product lines. MRP provided the manufacturers with tremendous cost and efficiency advantages. The market for professional services and other knowledge-based businesses has become global, and competitive pressures are coming from all corners of the world. SRP delivers the same edge to services businesses today that manufacturers needed in order to succeed three decades ago.

4. Coordination — In the past, organizations used professional services as a loss-leader to secure a larger piece of business, such as a long-term software contract. This is no longer possible with the market for professional services being so competitive. Becoming a profit center requires coordination, and that means SRP.

5. Growth — Accounting and sales departments need to understand future revenue and profit opportunities, which is difficult to do when information about professional services projects and resource utilization is not readily available. SRP gives sales the information they need to understand resource availability when pitching new business, and provides accounting with the insight they need to produce more accurate forecasts and timely invoices.

6. Profitability — The features of Services Resource Planning expose the profitability of every resource and every project. That’s the level of detail professional services organizations need in order to make competitive strategic decisions in the face of global competition.

0