Automating Project Management

What Professional Services Automation software can help accomplish
By Frank Bennardo, P.E., founder of Engineering Express
April 26, 2016
THE TALK... | Operations
Our industry is excited about automation, and for good reason—it’s enabling businesses to work smarter and faster. A recent post on WindowandDoor.com noted how manufacturers are embracing automated products at ever-faster rates. But automation is as much, if not more effective for processes as it is for products.
 
In particular, Professional Services Automation software can help eliminate frustrating processes. My experience is a testament to this: Engineering Express has achieved significant, measurable growth through automating our project management processes. Specifically for our business, PSA software enables:
  • Better accountability across teams, projects and tasks via a PSA that tracks all interactions,
  • A dedicated system of checks to prevent tasks from falling through the cracks (such as a big red “X” that appears on our dashboard if something is behind schedule),
  • Easier on-the-fly adjustments are possible because project statuses are continuously reviewed, 
  • A better understanding of the time needed for projects (we’ve significantly cut lead times by more than 50 percent and can now track/close more than 10 projects per day),
  • Clear visibility into the profitability of each client so we can match service with resources (i.e., when staff is out of office and an action needs to be taken), and
  • A single data set to represent a project from quote request through the project cycle, plus it can integrate with calculations, drafting, and numerous third-party apps.
Before we integrated a PSA, my team wasted countless hours on manual processes that made it harder to anticipate potential issues and left errors in mistyping duplicate data. Like many of our peers, we were using a number of different systems, which led to a lot of disjointed communications and a lack of project status quality control.
 
Since adopting a more tech-forward strategy around project management, we’ve grown our business by more than 15 percent in a six-month period. The ability to easily upload data from the field and track and utilize it via a central source has revolutionized our business.
 
 

Survey Results for 04/27/2016:

Are you currently looking at automating your project management/enterprise resource planning?

Yes, and we plan to deploy one in the next six to 12 months

  

 

55.56%

 

No, we're comfortable with our existing project management process

  

 

44.44%

 

 

Frank Bennardo PE is a board certified structural engineer licensed in 21 states in the U.S. He is the founder of Engineering Express, a structural engineering firm in South Florida.

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