Winning work is hard enough, delivering can also be challenge. However, surprisingly, the hardest problem many organisations face is getting the contract set up correctly in potentially multiple systems.
Let’s take a look at a typical scenario for a technology company.
You win a new customer with a project to deliver, combined with an ongoing support contract.
As a minimum, how many times does that order (or parts of it) need to be modelled in their internal systems?
- The project part will need to be set up in whatever system is used to control projects;
- If that system is not also the timesheet system, the client, project and tasks will need to be established there as well;
- If the project generates billable expenses, it will need to be set up there as well;
- The support contract will need to be entered into a contract management system - often a spreadsheet to control billing;
- The support terms will also need to be established in your service desk software so you can track tickets raised; and
- The customer will have to be created in the accounting system (and as it’s a new customer, it will have to be set up in the other five as well)
So, after all the data population that’s gone into the CRM system, you may still need to manually populate another six systems to successfully deliver this order. These systems are unlikely to be administered by the same person, so 3-4 other people could become involved in reading, understanding, checking and delivering their part in populating data across the organisation to enable this order to be delivered.
All this needs to be coordinated and data entry checked before the order is ready for delivery. That’s before you even start the work!
If you are receiving a lot of new business, this process is prone to error. It may get stuck in people’s inboxes or simply missed, spelling or data entry mistakes are likely and billing opportunities missed or delayed.
Even if it’s done perfectly and everything gets set up before work begins and there are no change orders to confuse a perfect set up, you are unlikely ever to be able to determine the profitability on the whole order as data sits in various systems, with more or less attention being paid to ongoing data maintenance and subtleties such as work-in-progress accounting on fixed-price work. Still, in general, the work will get done and the client will get billed.
Now imagine a world where this whole problem goes away.
Imagine a world where business flows naturally from a signed order, to auto-creation of a project in a management system that also records time and expenses (and purchase orders); to the switching on of a support agreement, modelled directly with reference in your support desk software to tickets (and their costs); with billing events pre-created from the order and ready to be released.
All this without a single wasted keystroke, no one needing to remember to set things up, no “administration” as such at all. Just people doing what they need to in a single flowing business solution.
You’ve just imagined Harmony.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter