Although larger firms have to be efficient by nature of their size and complexity, all A/E firms can look at ways to improve their processes. With the competitive environment of today, improved processes can get a better top and bottom line. Improving processes and obtaining staff compliance takes discipline, but the upside is significant. Here are some ways to streamline your processes:
- Standardize contracts and billing process. The more consistent the process the quicker the bills go out and the cash come in. Consider the following steps:
- Create a consistent work process. Utilize workflows to alert staff on their required input and review. Ensure the contracts, billing terms, and other required information is determined during the contract negotiation. This eliminates wheel spinning due to improper invoice formats or remitting to the wrong contact in the client organization.
- Centralize information for marketing, accounting and project managers. Make it easy to access information for all interested parties.
- Reduce administrative burden for accounting and project managers by standardizing formats and requirements as much as possible.
- Facilitate automation and firm-wide understanding. Eliminate manual steps or duplicate processes.
- Standardized project control report:
- Provide baseline information across the firm. Use a standard set of key performance metrics that staff understand.
- Simplify training and creation of project management manual.
- Develop a report dashboard that presents key performance indicators in easy to understand graphical formats.
- Strict adherence to information processing schedule:
- Require timely job setup with necessary information.
- Require timely transaction processing and reporting.
- Reduce wheel spinning by administrative staff by making information accessible to managers and creating alerts when mangers are not in compliance.
By adopting these best practice approach, you will provide more timely and accurate information to your managers so that they can make better decisions.