Resource Management, performance management, Professional Services Automation

The Top 6 Pressures Facing Services Firms Blog Series: Client Expectations of Expedited Delivery

services-firms-project-speed expectations

The services industry is experiencing new types of pressures that are changing businesses around the world. In this blog series, we will examine the six major pressures facing services firms today, their causes, and how you can successfully respond.

Read our previous entries about short-term, project-based work, remote teams, increased competition, and greater transparency.

Pressure #5 - Expectations of Breakneck Speed

Today, clients in the services industry don’t just expect higher quality services, they expect to receive those services even faster.

According to Mavenlink’s 2019 State of the Services Economy report, client expectations continue to rise year after year and the number one area where expectations are increasing the most is in speed of delivery. The result is that service firms are pushing their teams to work at breakneck speeds in order to meet client commitments and compete with competitors in their market. However, businesses are often delivering projects faster by simply working their resources harder, resulting in a model that is unsustainable and not built for growth.

What’s Causing This Pressure?

In addition to the constant pressures of client retention, services businesses are also competing with each other, not just on the breadth of services offered or the quality of work delivered, but how fast they can guarantee work will be delivered. Like all other measures of quality, once a competitor has raised the bar regarding speed of delivery, all others will need to rise to the challenge. As a result, new delivery timelines will become the norm until a competitor speeds up its business processes once again. This creates a cycle of ever-increasing delivery speeds that pushes businesses to potentially change methodologies and commit to deadlines that put too much pressure on team members, leading to burnout, high turnover rates, and dissatisfied clients when due dates are missed.

Alleviating The Pressure

Fast, efficient business processes in the services industry can’t be built on overtime and working employees harder. Eventually, these practices create burnout and higher turnover rates in teams and lead to major mistakes in projects. Instead, weak or outdated areas of business processes need to be discovered and changed. With an effective resource and project management solution, services businesses can see where employee utilization can be easily improved, where lag time between tasks is being created, and how each resource can be most effectively utilized according to his or her skills. Together, these improvements mean that teams will naturally work faster and project workflows will become smoother. Combine these more efficient processes to ensure that your clients receive deliverables in a timely manner, but without project quality slipping as a result of breakneck speeds.

Succeeding in the Modern Services Industry

Services firms that move fast and with confidence will become leaders, but it’s easy to make mistakes and complicate business processes without the right strategy in place. With the right methodology and software solutions, today’s biggest industry pressures can be overcome.

Learn more about today’s greatest industry pressures in our report, The 2019 State of the Services Economy.

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