Is PSA Software the Key to Solving AEC Firms Bottom-line Profitability?
AEC firms face constant challenges balancing budgets and getting projects completed on-time and on-budget. Precious time is often lost when project managers manually work on support functions and administrative tasks (i.e. assigning specific projects to different people, over/under budgeting, not logging in time efficiently, etc.), putting a wrench in workflow and profitability goals.
Operating these tasks manually is costly, time-consuming and can be prone to errors. A recent survey on FoxBusiness.com revealed small business owners collectively waste four billion hours of company time annually by spending too much time on back-end support functions and administrative tasks. A manual approach keeps AEC owners and management from focusing on what’s important – their core business processes.
Because AEC firms face these pressures, it is crucial to automate as many business functions as possible, allowing for more projects to be completed quickly. Ongoing pressure to compete and survive in the marketplace is driving many AEC business owners and project managers to adopt comprehensive and integrated Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions to help them better manage their pipeline, reduce costs, increase employee productivity and ultimately revenue.
A report by The Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class professional services firms are 77 percent more likely than other firms to implement integrated PSA software to attract new customers, achieve more favourable contract terms and increase retention rates. Because of this growing trend, the PSA software market is projected to be an estimated $7.63 billion industry by 2017 (according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.).
Today, PSA software doesn’t just manage resourcing and scheduling. It is more sophisticated in what it can deliver, from revenue recognition, sophisticated billing (including intra-company billing) and supply chain functionality to even customer relationship management (CRM).
PSA software can provide a solution that addresses automation needs, where managers and staff can collaborate effectively, stay organised and easily access data (on-site or remotely). Through these solutions, firms can customise workflow and back-end systems, preventing escalating budgets and improving profitability.
At Vorex, for example, we recognised a need and developed a module of features specifically for AEC firms. These cloud-based solutions include:
- Ability to invoice according to labour hours, or based on a fixed contract amount … or both;
- A ticketing and issue-tracking module with instant notification;
- An easy-to-use time and expense tracking interface, with the ability to add notes and attach receipts;
- Invoicing fixed contracts, which can be broken down by completed phases, project percentage completion, down percentages within a single phase;
- KPIs and reports that show project performance, labor utilisation, etc.
The PSA software market is projected to be an estimated $7.63 billion industry by 2017 (according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.). As the PSA software market booms, there will be an increase in providers and products, which is a win-win for AEC companies and firms. Not all PSA providers are the same, so it’s important to explore different vendors to see which solutions fit best for your firm.
Do you think PSA software could make a major difference for an AEC firm trying to survive and thrive? I would love to hear from you.
Mike Salem is the co-founder and CEO of Vorex. Vorex PSA solution options include Vorex Project , Vorex 360 and Vorex BackOffice. Vorex PSA products offer a 14-day trial, as well as a personalized live demonstration – with no contract commitment. To schedule a free trial, demo or for more information about Vorex PSA products, call (888) 908-6739 or log on to www.vorex.com.