Synergist

Synergist

7 WAYS TO INCREASE PROFITS OF PROJECT-BASED BUSINESSES

Offices of EDP, Synergist users

1. STAFF UTILISATION

What's it about?

It’s all about time. Synergist users give staff utilisation a top profitability rating because it answers questions at the heart of every agency’s business: How effectively is our time being spent? What’s the ratio of chargeable to non-chargeable work?

How does it increase profits?

It spells out where the issues are hidden. Focusing on the chargeable / non-chargeable ratio lets you steer the direction of one of your agency’s highest costs — your people. Remember: just having a busy team doesn’t guarantee profitability.

“With consultancies like ours you need to be on top of utilisation and profitability. You need to be in control of time and able to manage it. You need to know exactly how busy you are, and that has to be directly linked into the core of the business.” Gary Winder, Managing Director of Resource and Environmental Consultants Ltd (REC)

REC team

2. JOB HEALTH

What's it about?

Full control and total visibility of jobs. Jobs and projects can slip. It’s inevitable. But if you aren’t given any warning about it, you can’t do anything to fix it. Job Health is all about being informed and having the reassurance that there are no big surprises lurking.

How does it increase profits?

It warns you of issues while there’s time to act. In combination with Staff Utilisation, the way to profitability is to ensure jobs come on or under budget. Knowing about delinquent jobs at the moment they miss target gives you a chance to fix them.

“Everything’s in one place now. All the consulting information and all the financial data is combined together. It’s great to have everything organised now. It helps us to stay on top of things. Projects, clients, time, financials.” Andy Yates, Director of Webb Yates Engineers

Client work by Webb Yates Engineers

3. SAVING STAFF TIME

What's it about?

Speeding up processes, releasing time for more productive work. You can’t increase the number of hours in a day. But you can substantially reduce time spent on administrative work or searching for information that’s scattered across the company.

How does it increase profits?

More time, a unified system and better client service. One factor alone — the time saved — more than justifies the ROI. The rest is a bonus: efficiency, everything in one place, better client service. And you can take on more work without adding staff.

“Synergist saves us a lot of time. The previous FD had to spend two and a half days just preparing the WIP, for example. That’s all in the past now. The time taken to complete our invoicing has greatly improved, not to mention reducing the time spent validating the data.” Sara Blannin, Finance Director of ECUS

Photo of long-eared bat by Environmental consultancy ECUS

4. BETTER DECISION-MAKING

What's it about?

Business intelligence. If the decisions you make each day are based mostly on hunches and guesswork, you’re bound to be making some expensive errors from time to time — and it’s not your fault. You just need better data to support you.

How does it increase profits?

It brings clarity to your decisionmaking. A comprehensive system will bring transparency and reason to difficult decisions about clients, recruitment and pricing. And, in any agency, there aren’t many more challenging questions than those.

“It also helps in our decision-making as reporting is easily available. This helps make on-the-spot decisions on many varied issues as well as more strategic ones regarding focusing more on the most profitable areas of our work.” Alexandros Iakovidis, Managing Director of Europe Economics

5. RESOURCE SCHEDULING & CAPACITY PLANNING

What's it about?

Reducing nasty surprises in resourcing. Planning resources is all about trying to even out the load as far as possible. Knowing everything you can know about the days and weeks ahead helps avoid expensive resourcing issues.

How does it increase profits?

It gives you more control. Reducing reliance on last-minute freelancers and other recruitment costs is a big win. Your ability to schedule with confidence also helps client service. And internal comms also win — everybody knows what they should be working on.

‘It means that we are in a better position now to avoid the pain of taking on work that doesn’t deliver. If it turns out that the project isn’t even going to be profitable anyway, it means you can choose to avoid those and focus on the ones that are more productive.” Alexandros Iakovidis, Managing Director of Europe Economics

Client work by Steven A Hunt

6. ACCURATE ESTIMATING & QUOTING

What's it about?

Accuracy, speed, intelligence and presentation. In the enthusiasm of setting out prospective work to clients, it’s so easy to overlook details, make a mistake in the budget or not learn from similar previous jobs. Once a quote’s issued, you’re stuck with it.

How does it increase profits?

It increases focus and rigour in a crucial element of business. Correct pricing is obviously vital for profitability. With the right system, quotations are going to be more accurate, faster and more likely to reflect previous experience.

“Give intelligent estimates. Every company has a lot of experience of past jobs. Your engineers need access to it so all that hard-won experience is reflected in future estimates. You need data, not wishful thinking.” Steve Revell, Managing Director of Maleon

Client work by Maleon

7. NEW BUSINESS

What's it about?

Keeping track of opportunities and helping to smooth the flow of business. It’s important to know, as far as possible, what bumps and hazards are looming in the road ahead. New business planning helps you match resources and initiatives as needed.

How does it increase profits?

It triggers the actions needed to maintain revenue flow. Better management of the flow of business helps avoid the peaks and troughs that lead to under- or over-resourcing. And better tracking of opportunities helps you avoid overlooking new business.

“Synergist helps us throughout our whole process. From monitoring our lead generation, pipeline and new business activity all the way through to setting up client projects and monitoring their health.” Sarah Weller, Managing Director (London), Mubaloo

Client work for The Met Office by Mubaloo

Synergist mobile app

All your jobs are in hand

Our new App is available to download for Android, iPhone and iPad devices.

iPhone / Android App

The Agency Works

Our exclusive UK implementation partner

Providing on-site demonstrations, training, experience and consultation.

 

Synergist are sponsors of BMC The Business Marketing Club