Service Companies: Optimize Resource Allocation With 2019 Release 2 Project and Billing Management Enhancements
Adam Mayo, Master Industry Principal Services, Oracle NetSuite
Services organizations depend heavily on their largest asset: their people. The bigger the business, the more critical it is to manage staff time with precision and accuracy.
This is a huge challenge for service-oriented companies: According to the Harvard Business Reviewâ€™s â€œThe Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right,â€� a robust employee management process is right up there with a companyâ€™s product offering, funding mechanism and customer management system.
In order to run a successful, profitable company, managers must have access to tools that allow them to efficiently and effectively allocate their skilled workersâ€™ time. Without the proper tools, they risk poor budgeting and scheduling decisions, loss of additional revenue opportunities and reduced access to talent pools.
NetSuite 2019 Release 2 offers a series of project management enhancements that increase visibility, control and efficiency for services companies.
Plan Project Budgets With Confidence
Knowing which kind of resources (both people and funds) to put toward any given project is absolutely critical to the health of a services business, and itâ€™s the most difficult kind of visibility to achieve. Project managers constantly question whether they have the correct resources, enough time and the appropriate profit margin for the business.
NetSuite 2019 Release 2 includes major enhancements to Advanced Project Budgets, a single-source project budget management tool. Enhancements include:
- A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that displays costs and revenue in customizable time periods for profitability monitoring.
- Activity Codes associated with Project Tasks for performance visibility.
These improvements enable users to more easily understand all the factors that go into project budgets, so they can make informed decisions that improve project outcomes.
Schedule Complex Projects With Ease
Project managers frequently plan their projects starting with a due date, allowing them to schedule project phases from the end date backwards. That means they must determine when each task has to be completed in order to meet the final deadline – an arduous process even with the simplest of projects.
NetSuite 2019 Release 2 introduces the Project Workback Schedule, which offers automatic calculation of project start dates based on scheduled end dates and hours required. Work Forward scheduling is available as well, with project end dates determined based on start date and hours scheduled.
Enhancements to the Project Workback Schedule allow project managers to fully plan and schedule deadlines, removing any dependency on spreadsheets or other third-party tools.
A new Project Resource Utilization Target feature enables services businesses to improve utilization reporting to better staff projects.
Enhancements to the Resource Allocation Chart Grid support custom segments to optimize resource management, and a Lock Timesheet Period feature improves security and better enforces control over timesheet data.
Simplify Intricate Billing Arrangements
Billing terms for service-based businesses are frequently difficult to wrangle. Multiple price arrangements may be in place for each project, and different customers will likely have unique negotiated rates. If billing processes are too simplistic, errors can occur that impact cash flow, client service and ultimately revenue.
NetSuite 2019 Release 2 provides improvements on the existing Billing Rate Card functionality, including:
- A customer drop-down menu per rate card.
- Suggested default project billing based on the customer.
- Hierarchy for Project Billing Rate that originates with a parent project.
- Override capability on all rate card functions.
- Default billing rate availability on the customer record.
These new functions make complex billing arrangements easier to automate, administer and view anywhere in the billing process.
Learn More About NetSuite 2019 Release 2
There’s much more for services companies in the updated NetSuite than can be covered in a single blog post, so be sure to check out the release notes for a full list of benefits that NetSuite’s latest release can bring to your services organization and the blog highlighting new functionality for all organizations.
Finally, for a hands-on primer, be sure to access your included preview account as soon as it’s available. There, you’ll be able to see how the new features will work with your own data and get a jumpstart on maximizing the impact of NetSuite 2019 Release 2.