Mangement For Design

Business Journal 103

Improve Project Success and Profitability

Measuring Success

Architecture and Engineering firms use various measures for success. There are numerous Key Performance Indicators that can be managed, tracked and reported on but the aim of every project is to ensure the client is satisfied with
the outcome and that we are satisfied with the outcome.

For client satisfaction it is necessary to ensure that the project has been completed according to the contractual agreement, on time and within budget. For business success the project will meet your design aspirations, have been completed on time, has been profitable and will deliver on-going work with the client.


Improve Project Efficiency and Success

In order to achieve project success and maximise profitability it is important to deliver the project as efficiently as possible – project managers need to be up-to-date with project progress; they can spot potential problems early on; can invoice for all the work involved; and the invoices are correct the first time.

Clients of design businesses greatly value prompt communication and responsiveness. This is particularly true in tight economic conditions where clients are diligent about expenditure.It is crucial to highlight any potential problems to projects immediately so that timely action can be taken to avoid bigger problems later on.

A key way to enable success for current and future projects is to look at previous project data. This allows the business to identify those projects that were successful (and profitable) and those that were not. Once identified, the project data can be analysed and conclusions drawn as to why they were (or were not) a success. Before analysing the data ensure that you know your specific measurements for success. It can be profit, revenue, staff utilisation or repeat work etc.


Today’s challenging business environment highlights the absolute necessity of accurate and up to date project and business data. Firms that automate and streamline their business processes are the ones with a significant competitive advantage.


Improve Project Profitability

Automating your business processes can lead to a significant increase in project profitability. Eliminating manual processes such as re-entering project data from one system into the next leads to time savings, eliminates the risk of errors and also reduces the amount of time spent on administration by your project (billable) resources, meaning they can now spend more time on client work.

Automating your business processes improves the information flow within your organisation. Information can now be shared more easily and quickly between departments, thereby increasing efficiency throughout the company and reducing the amount of time wasted on searching for information (for some design firms up to 10% of staff time is spent looking for information).

By automating the process between project set-up and invoicing, you can be confident that all time spent on projects will be captured. If you are working on a fixed fee project this information allows you to track project performance to date: it allows you to view how much time is needed to complete a project, if you have over-serviced clients and, ultimately, it will allow you to view which projects are most profitable (revenue vs. expenditure).


In order to make effective, mission critical project decisions we need to be able to access up-to-the-minute project data that can be accessed via reporting with drill-down capabilities—allowing us to view the underlying business data within moments.



Using Multiple Applications

Design firms that do not use ‘sophisticated’ integrated systems to automate their process and capture various project related information are at risk of inaccurate data and ineffective processes and thereby not achieving full and efficient performance.

When using multiple systems, as opposed to one fully integrated platform, businesses are at risk of using data that may be out-of-date. Transferring data from one system into the next there is also the risk of inaccuracy due to systems not working together efficiently.

Design businesses that are still working with multiple applications may want to review the total costs of ownership and the risk of doing so. With the design and delivery of “cloud” solutions now mature implementation is now more much more cost effective. “Sophisticated” systems are no longer as expensive or extensive as once they were and implementation and maintenance costs have reduced substantially. Not only that, but businesses now have the ability to more easily tap into a more dynamic and skilled support network of people and systems.


Automate Your Business Processes With One Fully Integrated System

It can greatly improve efficiency, reduce risk, decrease cost and increase profit. An integrated solution will allow you to efficiently automate your business processes, leading to improved resource utilisation through proactive resource management, and increasing company-wide visibility of projects and resources whilst reducing overall costs.


A fully integrated business management system (BMS) can meet the needs of the entire project lifecycle within a design firm.


Benefits of Automating Your Business Processes With an Integrated Solution:
  • One point of data entry; one Client, Company, Contact and Supplier record, shared on a ‘need to know’ basis throughout the company
  • Instant updates an activity record entry on a client project entered in Melbourne is instantaneously available for viewing by a manager in Singapore through the project or client record
  • Real time reporting — immediate access to up-to-date and accurate reporting for financial performance, invoices, revenue, time and expenses against projects
  • Fully web optimised and enabled — reducing the need for expensive dedicated links between offices
  • Fast deployment – standard industry best practice business processes built in, the ability to amend screen layout and add new fields with no programming and business critical reports provided as standard
  • Lower total cost of ownership — fast ROI achievement with ability for firms to “own” the solution rather than relying on consultants


Adopting a fully integrated system provides the greatest opportunity for efficient business process automation and the tools design businesses need to reduce overall costs, lower project related risks and improve project success and profitability.


There are significant savings to be made by professional services firms when automating business processes and improving internal efficiency. The majority of these savings will directly impact a company’s bottom line.
In addition, automation will allow for more effective and efficient project progress leading to more projects coming in on time and within budget. Investing in a system to automate business processes will improve project success and, ultimately, increase a company’s revenue and profitability.

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Arrange your complimentary consultation with the aim of assisting you to make the most effective decisions for maximising your business performance.