Drive Projects with a solution built to work the way you do
Today’s digital world is progressively changing the way that clients interact with professional services firms. Client expectations are shaped by day-to-day consumer experiences where immediate responses and on-demand self-service access to information is the norm. Now more than ever, building trusted relationships and maintaining a solid reputation depends on delivery of outstanding and increasingly distinctive experiences—not just for a single project or at executive levels, but consistently across every client interaction.
Firms need to embrace new levels of transparency and build a workplace where it’s easy for professionals to find and share information about clients, access all available expertise and apply preferred practices widely.
With foresight and integrated, flexible systems from Microsoft, firm leadership can optimize people and processes, streamline operations, deliver distinctive client experiences, and fulfill profitable growth objectives. By taking advantage of these integrated business solutions that work across multiple business focus areas and individual roles, professional services organizations can obtain a 360-degree view into client relationships and better coordinate project execution.
Project Management and Accounting for Project Driven Organizations
Change is an inevitable part of business. How well you respond and adapt to change can determine how well you succeed, and how well you respond is determined by the accuracy and timeliness of the information you have.
Professional Service firms are challenged with selling an intangible product that is difficult to quantify and ever-changing. Profitability requires that projects are estimated correctly and completed on time, while meeting or exceeding customer requirements. To succeed, companies must adopt strategic and comprehensive financial, project, and resource management practices. This can be accomplished with an information technology infrastructure that allows your people to share data, work together, and make effective decisions.
Accounting for every detail of a project or contract, including measuring the degree of project completion, remains a huge challenge for professional service firms, particularly as projects become more complex. Poorly managed resources and budgets can turn what appeared to be profitable projects into a string of unfulfilled client expectations, extra work for employees, and less than anticipated profit margin on the books.
Professional Service Organizations need actionable business intelligence tools, available immediately, so key individuals can make critical business decisions to run a smarter, more profitable service organization.
Why Microsoft Dynamics?
With Microsoft Dynamics business management software, you can:
- Make it easier for you to complete projects on time and within budget.
- Make it easier to get business-critical information into the hands of key decision makers.
- Track project status, including expenses and profitability, and monitor all related activities.
- Learn how to get real-time visibility into your business.
- Improve data sharing and reporting.
- Accurately identify client and industry trends.
- Comply with mandated client requirements, and track expenses.
- Track project details in real-time.
- Tighten schedules, control costs, and increase the accuracy of future estimates.
- Improve resource utilization — providing your clients with more valuable service.
- Have better document audit trails and policies, which will help reduce risk factors.
- Be able to reduce the complexity of variable billing arrangements to improve cash flow.
- Work and integrate with familiar Microsoft Products
Microsoft Dynamics for Architecture & Engineering
Buildings evolve with occupants’ intended uses, within physical and economic constraints. When designed to accommodate “upgrades” in various component elements, buildings can achieve longer and more productive lifespans. By analogy, this principle applies also to the design of organizations and the people, process, technology and culture elements that comprise them – elements that accept change at varying rates and thereby constrain overall change. Thus, sustained growth depends on flexibility, agility and adaptation to changing business objectives at many levels or layers within an organization.
Proactive and forward-looking technology can connect people to their work, bringing forward insights that enable better decisions and guiding processes that optimize results. Agile software empowers adaptation to changing economic and market conditions. It supports a firm that can anticipate rather than react to rapid change, and supports the optimal alignment of people, assets, systems, and data. Microsoft Dynamics delivers a system of engagement that helps firms stay current with leading edge practices and value-chain integration in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
Technologies should enable business process flexibility, support organizational change, and foster rapid adaptation to evolving operational and market needs. Indeed, this is a guiding principle fueling the Microsoft approach to modern business solutions and our vision for the Dynamic AEC Firm, designed and built for change.
Microsoft Dynamics for Consulting
Pressures to improve corporate governance are driving dramatic changes in the management consulting market. Many large professional service firms are facing enduring market wariness about the role of external services. Also, significant cost and pricing pressures are causing service firms to drastically realign their offerings and skill sets.
New opportunities are emerging for small to medium size management consulting firms that deliver customer satisfaction, good value, and flexible offerings. Regardless of a firm’s size, they are being asked to provide more services in a time when margins are declining but delivery of quality service is critical.
Now more than ever, management consulting firms need to be certain of working on the right projects and delivering profits with every contract. It is absolutely crucial that all financial controls be sound, auditable, compliant, and transparent. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which requires greater financial accountability in public companies, may not directly apply to the management consulting organizations, but the spirit of the act is pervasive.