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How Accurate Is Your Actual vs. Planned Time and Costs?

How Accurate Is Your Actual vs. Planned Time and Costs?
By Peter Collins

With cost and efficiency dominating the corporate agenda in today’s constrained operating environment, the ability to compare and contrast planned versus actual time and costs provides professional services firms with greater visibility and tighter control of performance in billable markets where time is money.
By Peter Collins, director, Retain International

The ability to plan effectively is crucial for professional services firms operating in billable markets such as accounting, consultancy and law. But being able to allocate time and cost (of resources) with absolute confidence that financial and project targets will be met is difficult if resource planning tools and timesheet systems are being used in isolation, as they typically are today.

Timesheets provide an accurate view of the hours being billed at the end of each week or month, making it relatively straightforward to calculate the actual cost of resourcing a project and the revenue generated as a result. Read the Complete Article

Coping with the Peaks and Troughs of Consultancy

Coping with the Peaks and Troughs of Consultancy
By Peter Collins

Responding to ebbs and flows in market demand presents a continuous challenge for consulting firms tasked with creating bespoke solutions for project delivery. Client extensions, change requests and other project ‘peaks and troughs’ also make managing resources across multiple bids and engagements a complex task.

In this article, I will examine how consultancies can improve customer satisfaction, project delivery and profitability using resource planning software.

Having the right people in the right place at the right time is critical in a people-focused business such as consultancy. Demand for professional services is tied to the shape of the economy and ongoing market development, making it extremely challenging for consulting firms to be able to plan with any kind of certainty in the face of an unpredictable new business pipeline and given the fact that few processes can be made routine since bespoke solutions are being developed and delivered. Read the Complete Article

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