Supply vs. demand: Striking the right balance in professional services with capacity management

Having the right people, in the right place, at the right time. This is the challenge faced by all professional services organizations (PSO).

Insights provided by a forecasted pipeline against staff bandwidth are vital to driving revenue growth. Even so, capacity management is more than a quantity of hours or days sold versus availability of personnel. There are multiple factors that impact the true capacity of a business and it is imperative the supply and demand balance is correct.

Large demand vs. low supply
Having a large pipeline and low availability of time looks good. It shows your sales team is landing deals and the delivery team is nearly maxed. At a glance, revenue appears to be strong and so does the company’s financial position.

Scratch the surface a little and maybe all is not as good as it seems. A large pipeline and low availability can cause resourcing delays, resulting in negative customer perception and the potential for lost deals. Furthermore, this scenario can negatively impact employee motivation by pushing them too much and leaving no time for personal growth.

What at first looked promising can actually be a pitfall.

It’s better to have growth and earnings that are sustained. The simple solution is to hire more people to increase availability and deliver all the work in the pipeline. Still, there are factors to consider when taking this approach:

  • Culture Fit: Hiring candidates that don’t fit your team culture just to fulfil demand can frustrate proven employees, slow down work, set back morale and increase overhead.
  • Timing: Be aware of your recruitment lead times. Can you hire the right people in time to meet customer timelines? You don’t want to over-promise.
  • Readiness: What is your ramp up time with new staff? You may have found the right people onboard, but how long will it be until they are operationally ready to deliver billable work to the standards your company and customer expects?

Hiring the right people is only part of the answer. You need to make sure they’ll be able to perform and meet customer’s deadlines.

Low demand vs high supply
Having a small pipeline and high availability of personnel is never a good situation. Low utilization and highly skilled employees sitting on the shelf usually means costs are high and revenues are low.

You may be confident deals will materialize – that this is only a momentary lull that actually provides personal development time for your employees. You might want to think twice.

An under-utilized employee can quickly turn into an unhappy one. If they are bored and not being challenged, they may seek greener pastures offering more excitement. Then again, they could misinterpret the downtime as their not being as valuable as they thought. This could prompt them to feel insecure in their position and look elsewhere.

The wrong blend
If your company offers a portfolio of products and services, selling a blend that doesn’t match employees skill sets can be disruptive to your business. You’ll have a large pipeline and high availability, which shouldn’t be. The wrong blend masks the operational capabilities of your company and the potential revenue that can be generated.

The downsides of the wrong blend are both sets of issues listed for the high and low scenarios. Unhappy customers, unhappy employees, high utilization for some delivery teams and low utilization for others. You may seem to be doing well financially, you could be doing better and this lack of capacity understanding will eventually cause a crash.

Striking the right balance
A solid pipeline of work and a team of amazing, productive people is “the sweet spot.” Everyone feels valued and they see the value of what they’re doing.

However, even under the best circumstances, there are other considerations to always keep in mind when looking at capacity management:

  • Modern culture: Your talent strategy should include offering a healthy work/life balance. Are your employees’ personal growth and development married with your company’s growth and internal performance metrics (utilisation and billibility rates)?
  • Work fit: When considering work, be sure it’s a fit your company’s strategy and objectives. Profitability is important but so is employee buy-in. Ask yourself is the project exciting? Interesting? Cool? Could it develop further marketable skills or lead to inroads in other segments?
  • Engagement: Always monitor to make sure you have the correct blend of skills and personalities on your team. Also, be sure the customer and your organization are going to be happy working together.

Finally, making the right decisions requires the right insight. Professional services automation (PSA) offers visibility of your capacity in a single source, with real-time data that will improve your overall operations and business planning.

When it comes to capacity management, features can keep you on top of personnel utilization rates and service status. Heat maps offer at-a-glance availability, there’s role and skill matching capabilities – even automated suggestions. You can also analyze the past and anticipate the future to more accurately forecast the pipeline and scope of work.

It’s all part of striking the right balance, and once you do, you’ll be able to deliver strategies, execute and achieve your desired business outcomes.

If you’d like to learn more about using a PSA platform for capacity management, talk to us!


VOGSY launches its partner program

The G Suite is now a major force in global business, presenting a huge market opportunity that’s still growing fast. This year, G Suite surpassed 4 million paying customers and is generating $1 billion of revenue per quarter. Professional services organizations (PSOs) are well represented among the G Suite customer base. A rapidly increasing number of these firms is moving to G Suite to gain a more agile, collaborative approach with less overhead and lower costs, according to Jeanne Urich, managing director at Service Performance Insight (SPI), a global research, consulting and training organization for PSAs.

That’s precisely why VOGSY today launched its Global Partner Program for Google Cloud and G Suite Partners. We will help these partners deepen their relationships with customers and accelerate growth.
How? VOGSY’s professional services automation (PSA) solution is the only one built on Google Cloud, and it acts as a natural extension to the G Suite, with integrations available for other key business apps. From sales and finance, to operations and project management, VOGSY provides PSOs with everything they need to run their entire business in a single, accessible platform.

So with VOGSY, you’re not just providing your customers with productivity tools. You’re providing the very foundation on which their business runs, helping them get free of tedious admin tasks so they can focus on the work that really matters. Forging these kinds of deep relationships with customers increases their “stickiness.” In addition to generating additional revenue, you’ll retain more customers over a longer period of time, which is great news for long-term profitability.

At VOGSY, we like to make things simple, so our partners can expect an uncomplicated, flexible approach with benefits that include exclusive discounts and rewards, marketing materials and support, sales and product training, and early access to new product enhancements. Partners also can benefit from using VOGSY for their own business at a discounted rate.

To find out more about the VOGSY Global Partner Program, visit our partner page!

Case Studies

Preparing For Growth


SS Branch is a management consulting firm experienced in successful transformations in healthcare, banking, education and even nuclear power companies. The founder, Yvette Branch, has been an industry thought leader for over 20 years, focusing on continuous improvement which strengthens and expands organizations. She builds infrastructures that include strategy, a technology platform, data, analysis, metrics, processes, organizational structure and learning, which feeds back into the strategy for continuous improvement.

SS Branch uses the Lean Six Sigma methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation. It combines lean manufacturing and Six Sigma to remove “waste” from a process. Waste is any activity within a process that isn’t required to manufacture a product or provide a service. This methodology has differentiated her company by solving problems up, down and across organizations. According to Yvette, “ there isn’t a problem in an enterprise that we cannot solve using this methodology”.




5 Ways to Make Your PSO Run More Smoothly

Want to know how top professional services organizations run more smoothly? Learn these 5 ways.

We are all finding that the professional services industry has become more competitive than ever. So how well are you competing for new business and retaining existing clients?

It’s not that difficult with the proper PSA platform and remembering that your people are your most valuable asset.

Here are 5 things you can do to improve the health and profitability of your business while freeing your teams to make better decisions and deliver more value to their clients.

  1. Break down barriers
  2. Remove the admin burden
  3. Eliminate unnecessary things
  4. Connect sales and delivery
  5. Empower your people to make decisions

Learn more about each of the 5 ways you can make your PSO run more smoothly so you can drive the outcomes you need to grow your business: better margins, lower overheads, higher utilization and more revenue.

Check out our new infographic!


Why ecosystems matter for professional services organizations

Selecting the right cloud platform and ecosystem improves transparency, performance and profit for professional services organizations.

Professional services organizations (PSOs) have added more technology solutions to support their clients and projects, with some managing tens if not hundreds of disparate cloud applications. In many businesses, each function built out its own tech stack with a variety of applications – making it complex, and sometimes near impossible, for data to be standardized and shared transparently across the organization. PSOs now have begun to shift their strategies to center and standardize their tech around one cloud platform for a cohesive and easy-to-manage ecosystem.  

Here’s why: Real-time information has taken center stage as PSOs look to increase productivity, grow more rapidly and achieve higher levels of profitability. Increased visibility helps leadership determine improvement priorities, all while balancing the needs of clients and employees. Leaders are more dependent than ever on real-time, accurate and cross-functional data to provide insights for competitive advantage.

Service Performance Insight Research recently analyzed how PSOs, with their need for greater mobility and real-time information, have turned to the Google platform and VOGSY PSA to optimize their organizations in its white paper, “Why ecosystems matter for professional services organizations.”

“The net effect of PSA is a more productive and profitable business, as well as improved levels of predictability and client satisfaction,” reports SPI.

Here are some of the highlights:

KPIs matter.

All PSOs are being asked to quantify the benefits of their work. The primary mode of work for PSOs is now based on virtual project teams who rapidly come together to produce measurable business outcomes. If businesses can standardize their approach to resource management and project delivery, they can reduce overruns and improve quality, enhancing the value realized.

Breaking silos matters.

Silos within businesses can bring a business down – and that’s what happens when businesses use a variety of applications that can’t speak to each other. The new name of the game is to choose one cloud platform to standardize an organization’s tech stack. Leading platforms, such as Amazon, Microsoft Azure and Google, each have their own partner ecosystems of apps. Businesses can access all the tools they need with less worry about management and integration support. Leading PSOs are turning to Google in particular for its global market dominance, scale, security and low cost.

Expertise matters.

Platforms enable app developers to focus on their core areas of expertise, rather than building the underlying architecture to support their work. It is much easier for developers to build on top of an existing, standardized infrastructure. They can focus on building functionality to support specific industries and domains, which benefits users.

Transparency matters.

Growth, globalization, competition and regulatory pressure have been a catalyst to force PSOs to make better use of technology. At the same time, many PSOs have shifted how they approach project management, transitioning from a waterfall to agile approach. This requires instantaneous communication and collaboration between team members. Many firms are drawn to the tangible benefits of PSA solutions: improvements in billable utilization, decreased revenue leakage and the like. In truth, though, SPI found it’s the increased visibility that lets teams better analyze their business and make smarter decisions for better outcomes.

Fortunately for PSO executives, the tools available today are better than ever. All you need is the education and understanding to choose the best-fitting solutions for your team.
Interested in learning more about how you can improve business outcomes across your organization? Download our white paper, “Why ecosystems matter for professional services organizations,” today, or watch the webinar.


How to Create an Innovative and Disruptive (Kick-Ass) PSO

Want to find out what the most innovative Professional Services Organizations are doing? Learn the winning approach.

In Professional Services real-time information has taken center stage as firms look to increase productivity, grow more rapidly and achieve higher level of profitability.

Today, innovative PSO’s are taking a new approach, combined with a fully-integrated quote-to-cash Professional Services Automation platform to become more competitive.

The winning approach includes:

  • Relevance – – to be able to deal with rapid change
  • Transparency – – to see what’s coming and act decisively
  • Ownership – – by giving your teams insights to make decisions and take action
  • Engagement – – share knowledge within teams, across the company and with clients

Learn more about this winning approach, the PSA platform that is changing the game and how you can disrupt your competition.

Check out our new Infographic!

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