Professional services is a catch-all term that can describe almost any business or individual whose primary output is a service rather than a physical good. Often, these occupations require special education, knowledge, training, or licenses—think a lawyer, accountant, or consultant.
As such, a professional service provider outsources their expertise and time to organizations in order to support specific projects or general operations. However, juggling various projects, timelines, budgets, and business relationships can be incredibly difficult.
Professional services automation (PSA) software was created to help with these precise issues.
So, what is PSA software, and how does it work? Read on to find out more about the ins and outs of PSA solutions.
What Is PSA in Technology?
Professional services automation is an all-in-one digital assistant, organizer, and scheduler that professional services providers can use to automate and optimize their business activities across the entire client lifecycle.
A PSA solution centralizes and streamlines operations by bundling many separate solutions into one product. A PSA tool can be used for:
- Project management
- Resource management
- Customer relationship management
Automated workflows in these areas and others empower professional services firms to operate more efficiently and grow faster while reducing overhead costs.
How can this type of automation help drive revenue?
Consider an integral process like time billing. As Gevorg Karapetyan, Co-Founder of ZERØ, notes:
“Automated solutions, such as time capture, can be effective toward helping these firms see more revenue this year by ensuring that all time worked can be billed for, with minimal effort on the part of the professional.”1
Especially in downtimes, every dollar impacts the bottom line.
Business Analytics in PSA Software
It’s not just the process automation that makes a tangible difference in service delivery and revenue. A PSA system’s built-in business analytics tools can also help identify opportunities to maximize revenue.
- A PSA tool also centralizes project delivery data. It can store, collate and analyze the various service-related data sets.
- You can use PSA solutions to improve visibility over KPIs like revenue, costs, profit margins, and so on.
Doing so enables service providers to take a bird’s-eye view of the entire operation or drill down into the granular aspects of service provision. Armed with that knowledge, professionals have the insights they need to continuously drive operational improvement.
What Does PSA Software Do?
Naturally, the answer to this question depends on the PSA software itself. Some software is meant for universal use, whereas others are expressly designed to accommodate a particular service professional. Similarly, there are different levels of PSA solutions, with more basic models for smaller businesses and enterprise-level capabilities for larger companies.
That said, overarching features that a PSA platform should offer include:
- Customer relationships management (CRM) – Top PSAs also provide CRM capabilities, empowering a business to better meet its customer needs. Ideally, this will include various tools that improve customer communication across every interaction touchpoint, including:
- Integrated ticketing
- Integrated billing – Do you have total control and oversight of your billing cycle from beginning to end? Integrated billing enables you to transform estimates into invoices, accept online payments, automate charges, and offer online credit card payments. The right PSA solution will integrate with best-in-class payment vendors.
- Help desk – Your customer support system could likely use as much help as possible. Professional services automation software can offer a ticketing system that assists with your outreach by organizing tickets and escalating cases that require immediate attention.
- Reporting and analytics – As mentioned, PSA can take data and turn it into actionable intelligence by monitoring, tracking, and analyzing ROI in various categories.
Who Benefits Most from PSA Software?
Some major professional services automation benefits include:
- Improving billing – By lowering the administrative load associated with time billing via process automation, an organization can save countless hours of admin work while also accounting for more billable hours.
- Fostering customer relationships – PSA software empowers service providers to improve communication with customers while providing better, more consistent services. This is the recipe for improving customer retention.
- Driving revenue – Process optimizations and automations are integral for maintaining continued YoY revenue growth.
So, although practically any service provider could benefit from a PSA system, there are a few outlets that are particularly well-suited for this type of solution. These include digital marketing and advertising agencies, legal firms, SaaS and IT service companies, and financial services and accounting operations.
But when’s the right time for PSA implementation?
That answer is contingent on the professional services organization.
Generally speaking, if your business is preparing to grow, then it might be ready for PSA application. But if you want a more quantifiable answer, SPI Research’s Professional Service Benchmark Survey concluded that most service firms began the process once they reached the 20 employee threshold.2
PSA with Syncro
What is PSA software? PSA solutions are tools that leading service providers rely on to excel, making it easier to manage time billing, contracts, invoicing, project management, resource utilization and resource management, customer relationship management, and so much more.
But how do you find a PSA that aligns with your professional services firm’s needs?
You already have. That’s why you’re here, after all. At Syncro, ease meets control. Our full-powered PSA solution provides a seamless experience, offering tools that drive growth and powerful analytics you can leverage to keep improving.
Are you ready to enhance your service provision and improve customer satisfaction and relationships?
Schedule a demo and learn more today!