ILLUMITI INNOVATION BLOG

Better Projects, Happier Customers: Using Business ByDesign to improve the project management process

By: Andrew Howell | Consulting Manager, Illumiti
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It’s a situation we see all too often. A company provides a great managed service—but delivery delays, project complications, budget overrun, billing errors and more end up marring the customer experience.

When you dig into these companies’ processes, it’s easy to see how this situation arises. Even in sophisticated, technologically savvy organizations, project management and delivery processes are often bogged down by inefficient back-office solutions. MS Project for management tasks, Excel for project costing, ACCPAC for finance and billing—with so many manual processes, disconnected systems and process inefficiencies, is it any wonder that errors creep into the system?

If your organization is having issues delivering your projects on time and on budget, SAP Business ByDesign may be the solution. Business ByDesign is a cloud-based, integrated ERP system designed for the unique needs of growing mid-market businesses. Using Business ByDesign results in not only a better, more efficient project management process, but also a better experience for four key stakeholder groups: the sales team, your project managers, your customers, and your contractors.

Improving the sales experience

With an integrated ERP system, disconnects between the sales and delivery teams—and the resulting headaches—become a thing of the past. Business ByDesign creates a seamless transition from sales to delivery, with full process visibility for all stakeholders.

Upon selling a new client engagement, the sales person creates an order within Business ByDesign that contains all relevant project details, from the services promised to negotiation details. The Project Manager gains immediate line-of-sight on requirements, resulting in continuity between Sales and Delivery. Not only does the sales team have a faster, easier hand-off to the delivery team, but they also retain visibility of project progress, enabling them to provide effective ongoing customer support.

Empowering your project managers

Once the Project Manager creates the project budget, identifies necessary resources, and  outlines the project schedule, they use Business ByDesign to create a project baseline. This serves as a reference point for your organization to monitor progress, manage changes, and ultimately measure the success of each engagement.

For example, when employees enter their working hours directly into the system for approval, project managers gain real-time visibility on current performance against the forecasted budget and project milestones. If progress begins to slip, project managers immediately see the variance and adjust their plans by reallocating hours, modifying dates, and more. These changes are then compared to the original baseline and a new snapshot is captured. Not only does this process enable better decision making, but it also provides improved line-of-sight on the root causes of potential project delays and empowers project managers to circumvent serious issues.

Project reporting is also easier than ever. If project data is kept in disparate systems, project managers have to struggle to create consolidated reports. With Business ByDesign, consolidated reporting with rich, granular analytics is available at the click of a button. That means that the project manager spends less time on manual administrative tasks and more time focusing on the real project priorities.

Exceeding customer expectations

It’s a fact: better managed projects result in happier clients. With improved visibility on project details and resource utilization for project managers, costly delays and budget overruns become increasingly less likely. But where the customer experience really starts to shine is through real-time visibility on project progress. Through a client-facing project dashboard, Business ByDesign provides rich project analytics, metrics and reporting that can be fully customized to each customer’s project and needs.

Customers will also see improvements from Business ByDesign’s finance and accounting integration. With Business ByDesign, there’s no need for separate accounting software, reducing billing delays and the risk of human error. Clients get billed on time with accurate numbers according to actual project progress.

Creating happier contractors and consultants

When projects require the support of additional or specialized resources, contracting an external individual is often the best route. Business ByDesign makes the process of engaging, managing and paying contractors easy for all parties. The project manager can easily use the information contained in their project to create a purchase request which is sent to recruiting. After the contract is negotiated, the engaged consultant can subsequently log their time and submit invoices directly through Business ByDesign, and receive real-time updates on payment processing, improving their experience.

In SAP Business ByDesign, information flows seamlessly between internal departments and to the client. The result is a faster, more efficient end-to-end management process, no matter your industry.