Project-Based Companies Love Microsoft Dynamics SL

Since the recession, economic factors have created a host of new business challenges for project based businesses. Slower revenue growth, lower billing rates and smaller margins, fewer projects, shifting client expectations – these are the topics being discussed by many executives running creative agencies, construction firms, auditing and accounting firms.  One thing we try to stress to our clients: if your business is going to survive the tough times when others fail, you must start with monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and leveraging the knowledge gleaned from your business data.

Which KPIs are important for your business planning?  Here’s a short list:

  • Billable resource utilization and schedules.  If you have multiple offices, you should be tracking this across all your locations.
  • Revenue and profit margin. This should be tracked at the project level so you can determine the profitability of each project.
  • Lifetime value and profitability of each client.Microsoft Dynamics SL for Project Centric Businesses
  • Forecast and pipeline.
  • Project close rates and project portfolio risk.
  • Project history and progress.
  • Outstanding client issues.

The problem for many companies is that they have no way to gather and collate the required information.  Where data is stored in silos, or systems are poorly designed or do not communicate with other systems, getting meaningful data can be difficult or even impossible.  Trying to import/export and manually manipulate data is a route many small businesses tend to take, but then you have human error to add to the list of potential problems.  Even if you manage to consolidate all our business data, how can you trust that it’s correct?

Many project-based companies we work with are still using old legacy systems, some very heavily customized for their specific need, and are now scrambling to make these systems work with newer technologies.  In this economic climate, it is more critical than even to be able to effectively manage resource scheduling, materials purchasing, billing and customer service, and all the related activities required to run your project-based business.  Microsoft Dynamics SL is a single tool that offers job costing, materials management, service call tracking, billing and receivables – the real-time information for making informed business decisions. Using MS Dynamics SL can help lower operating costs, reduce production delays, and maximize customer service by streamlining your project and financial management processes.

MS Dynamics SL allows for sharing centralized information between all the players: project managers, designers, architects, engineers, subcontractors, accounting and purchasing department. Business owners can provide specific KPIs that can be accessed at any time by the different players, depending on their role. MS Dynamics SL is also a robust financial analysis tool, and because it looks and works similarly to Microsoft Office, it is relatively quick to train staff on how to use it.

Accountnet is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partners and expert in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics.  If you are a project-based business that needs help with consolidating and reporting on business operations, contact us.