A project service organization’s greatest assets are its people—and they are also the most costly. When utilized effectively, your team becomes the biggest differentiator between profits and losses, right down to the project level. Obvious? Yes. Nevertheless, organizations routinely make poor utilization choices using standard project management tools. When those tools aren’t integrated with their customer relationship management (CRM) systems, they cannot maximize revenues and control costs because they lack essential, decision-making parameters.
In this post, we explain how financially-aware PSM plus CRM integration optimizes your resource allocation to maximize profits.
Allocate Resources More Wisely
It is easy to miss the mark on work assignments when you can’t see people, relationships, responsibilities, and interactions within customer organizations. Project service management (PSM) systems that are integrated with CRM can access customer-specific data to identify the best choices for resources to allocate based on project specifics and customer type.
Consider what CRM data would bring into the equation. Your team is gathering information from the first touch of marketing programs, to lead generation, to opportunity creation and quoting—right through to project completion. Along the customer journey, the CRM database is filling with knowledge that can inform management choices. Among the most critical junctures is handoff from sales and pre-sale engineering to project delivery teams. Facts on what was quoted, when it was promised, and who the key customer contacts are all live in CRM way before they are touched by traditional project management tools. Doesn’t it make sense to automate that exchange?
Adding CRM Data to Project Management
Through data stored in the CRM, you can identify customer relationships that require special attention, recognize customers who present the highest potential lifetime value, know what industries the customer serves, and even which staff may have had personal or project-specific challenges with that customer. Using this information in your project management workflows prevents mistakes such as assigning the “wrong” employee, and just as importantly, which consultant can provide the best results for that customer, or for that type of project, based on specialized knowledge.
Without CRM integration, for example, you plan to assign your “top” software developer to Project A because Project A has higher billing rates than Project B. You expect that the higher costs of that top developer will be more likely covered by Project A’s higher rates. But when you add CRM-provided information to the equation, you see that that developer had a prior conflict with that customer. That makes for a bad decision. Or maybe the CRM’s calendar, which includes other scheduled items with no relationship to projects, shows a date conflict with the developer’s annual vacation. As a result, you’ll realize that your top software developer is not the best fit for Project A.
Integrating PSM with CRM ensures your decisions are made based on the broadest set of data possible – much broader than you could obtain from a stand-alone PSM application. As a result, you can optimize how you allocate resources and use your most expensive resources – your people – to obtain the highest profits.
To learn how you can improve your utilization rates via smarter resource allocation, contact us today.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.