According to a government study of the professional services industry, firms in the United States generated nearly $2 trillion in combined revenue in 2018, an 11% increase from 2017. How big is the professional services industry? With 9.4+ million jobs spread out over 1.2 million firms, a unique set of challenges emerges as the professional services industry grows.
While working with external clients requires flexibility and agility, it also requires process and structure. Beyond managing multiple projects and clients effectively, today’s professionals need tools to help them make the client experience seamless — including tracking billable hours and translating that time into measurable value. So what is considered a professional service? Lawyers, doctors, engineers — essentially, any role that offers a specialized service to a customer.
In Wrike’s study of the top project management challenges for professional services teams, it was fascinating to discover that there wasn’t just one “top challenge.” In fact, there was a six-way tie for the top three spots.
Tight deadlines, budgets, different processes, manual work, resource management, billing, siloed communication, disconnected tools — the list of challenges of professional services firms is long and deeply interwoven.
Introducing: Wrike for Professional Services
What is professional and business services? Delivering quality work on time and budget is critical for growing professional services companies. But balancing internal processes while staying flexible to meet evolving client expectations is hard. Wrike’s collaborative work management platform designed for professional services teams makes managing resources and automating workflows across multiple projects a breeze.
Better visibility and collaboration
Coordinating external clients and internal teams to produce high-impact deliverables isn’t easy. With Wrike for Professional Services, provide clear work statuses, deadlines, and responsibilities while keeping everyone in the loop with a real-time view of the project portfolio.
Wrike centralizes communication to empower visibility, accountability, and on-time project delivery. Bring teams together in a single workspace designed to break down silos. You’ll be able to easily coordinate your clients and teams to deliver projects on time and within budget.
At the same time, you’ll benefit from real-time visibility into project progress at every stage of a project’s life cycle, and easily adjust resources and tasks to align with client initiatives. This makes it easier to manage your project portfolio. Advanced analytics provide insight into project performance and team utilization, helping you view work scope and dependencies all in one unified workspace.
“We’ve seen an 85 to 90% reduction in the number of emails because everybody is working at the task level in Wrike and communicating with each other through @mentions.” – Matt Andrews, Marketing Campaign Manager
Optimized resources and processes
With so many moving pieces and disjointed tools, it can be difficult to truly see if you’re achieving your goals and optimizing resource allocation. Prioritize work and increase billable utilization with flexible scheduling powered by Wrike. You’ll be able to easily balance workload and simplify time tracking so teams can focus on client relationships.
According to our professional services study, the top reason for client frustration and churn is projects going over budget or deadline. Wrike helps you optimize resource management to improve client experience while also increasing billable hours. Accurately scope projects and deadlines with dynamic requirement intake — enabling you to prioritize work and resources with flexible scheduling.
With Wrike’s intuitive Workload Chart, easily visualize each team member’s capacity. Leverage the tool for role-based project staffing. Drag and drop tasks to balance workloads across team members, maximize productivity, and match the right projects to the right people.
Log time in one unified timesheet that automatically populates assigned work, freeing teams to spend less time tracking hours and more time with clients. You can also lock time entries when you’re ready to export your billable time, preventing changes to past entries and ensuring financial compliance. Added bonus? It’s all available on mobile, empowering your project management on the go.
“The time management and workload overview help with resource management because the team has a clear overview of whether or not a project can be completed within the time parameters provided. This ultimately protects our employees from working beyond their capacity.” – Thomas Mix, Director of Strategy & Business Development
On-time delivery and seamless billing*
Inefficient processes can leave all your team’s hard work in limbo. Clarify project scope, timelines, and expectations from the beginning so your team can hit the ground running with intuitive UI and automated workflows.
One of the biggest areas where automation can help professional services teams preserve significant time and resources is time tracking and billing. In our survey, 1/3 of respondents said it takes them two to three hours each week to track billable hours. About one in 10 respondents say it takes them more than four hours per week. It’s not just lost hours, either: 17% cite confusing billing or activity tracking as the number one cause for customer churn.
Empower your team to focus on revenue-generating activities and increase team performance by monitoring planned effort versus actual time spent on tasks with prebuilt performance analytics. Create and share customized dashboards with stakeholders to improve team accountability and client satisfaction.
“Wrike is phenomenal at making sure people are doing the right activities and spending the right amount of time for each client. It has provided more transparency, which has improved relationships with our clients.” – David Palmer, CEO, Stealth Social Ventures
*Advanced reporting and seamless billing are available in select plans.
Streamlined work with automation
According to a Wrike survey, teams that utilize workflow automation can manage 50% more projects. And in our survey of the professional services industry, three in 10 of respondents said they could achieve 30 to 39% more work if technology were able to automate repetitive, administrative parts of their job. About one in five (22%) said they could achieve 50% or more work.
Scale your output effortlessly by automating workflows. Wrike for Professional Services helps you automate tasks like project creation and task assignment so your team can focus on service delivery and client relationships.
Customize templates for your workflows and automate repeatable processes so teams can take on more impactful billable work. Customizable request forms provide your team the ability to build dynamic projects from your templates that add work items (tasks or projects) based on the requesters’ answers — automatically. You can easily embed the request forms in any web page to make the request to project creation process seamless for internal and external teams.
Workflow automation extends to onboarding with customizable templates for your unique business needs. Prebuilt templates with best practices accelerate your new employees’ onboarding experience and their ability to provide value quickly.
“My favorite thing is that I can set it and reuse the same steps over and over again to create consistency and transparency. Wrike naturally created efficiencies so that we were able to handle 25% more accounts than forecasted, just because we can now handle it faster.” – Kassandra Taggart, President & Owner, Real Property Management
Start scaling your business today with Wrike for Professional Services
Wrike is the collaborative work management platform of choice for 18,000+ leading companies. Professional services teams are growing their business and keeping clients delighted with Wrike.
Effectively plan projects and manage resources, streamline client processes and collaboration, enhance both internal and external visibility, balance security with flexibility, save your team time with automation, and so much more.
Interested to learn more about how Wrike can help your professional services achieve your unique collaborative work management goals?