How do Consulting Engineers, or any other Professional Services firms for that matter, approach “Digital Transformation”?  Strategically, firms have understood the importance of technology for eons, but rapid tech advancement over the last twenty years (think Cloud, Big Data, Mobility, AI etc.) have delivered a remarkable toolset for completely transforming the way in which we work and grow.  There is also a very strong school of thought that such technologies should in affect enhance individuals & firms capabilities rather than replace them (no the robots are not taking all of our jobs, just yet). But where do we start? How do you equip your firm to take advantage of this new world?  How does a people and project-centric business use technology to rise above its competitors?

CKR, a 140-man Engineering Consultancy Practice, out of South Africa, are a prime example of how to go about this change, continually investing in their own digital transformation and reaping the benefits daily.  In working closely with the firm over a period of almost ten years, rolling out Deltek solutions in various areas of their technology strategy, we have determined that the following four key ‘pillars’ to their approach has driven success in both technological advancement and market leadership.

1. Technology as the Backbone: Ensure you have integration of your projects, accounting, reporting & workflow.  Go with ‘best of suite’.

You still need to get the basics right. Good ol’ Excel has its purpose, but it is not a management platform.  In the Professional Services environment, how you win and deliver on key projects drives the success and profitability of your firm.  If you do not have the right tools in place to manage your business workflow, then inefficiencies will drive down your capability to sustain your business. CKR has implemented industry-focused technology for the bid to win process, and all of the gears in the background: project management, accounting, billing, reporting and so forth, to ensure they have real-time management information for decision making and serve their clients better.

Best-of-suite solutions offer full integration and visibility into your project lifecycle and it is key that your firm has the right management system in place.  Also ensure sure that your technology partner is on top of digital trends and investing in the future-friendliness of this core component of your business.  Implement an industry-proven financial and project management platform, but that’s just the beginning…

2. Technology as an Enabler: Attract, retain and develop the best talent

In South Africa in particular, Consulting Engineering is near the top of the scarce skills list and other key factors such as political instability tend to drive such skills to search for opportunities offshore, or in other industries.  It is therefore critical to ensure you have the capability to reach the right talent, using the right channels and to be able to respond to them digitally and meaningfully.  Of course, once you have attracted the best talent, you then need to ensure that you develop and retain them over time.  CKR has driven success in Talent Management through:

  • Implementing an integrated recruitment platform and automated careers page, drastically reducing the time and cost involved in traditional recruitment
  • Digitized performance management and continuous feedback, driving more frequent communication
  • Understanding the entire employee lifecycle and their growth with the firm over time through improved reporting and integrated Talent Management
  • Introduced 9 Box Planning to help map out and identify employees who are ready for advancement, need development, or should be transitioned out

Through both a thorough focus on best practice in Talent Management and investment in best of breed technologies to support the process, like CKR, your firm can acquire and retain the very best of their most valuable asset base – your people.

3. Technology for Service Optimization: Digitize your assets, streamline your communication & documentation flow

In the professional space, particularly Consulting Engineering, documentation and communication are a key asset and often the product of your work. It is therefore critical to control and own your information, documentation and data and all interactions thereof with clients, staff and third parties.  CKR has embraced technology to drive success in engineering service delivery through optimising its Project Information Management in the following key areas:

  • Consolidating all documentation and emails into a single, searchable and auditable digital workspace, with a single source of the truth
  • Providing mobile capability to access key documentation, client information and communications at all times, such as being able draw up a snag list on site
  • Integration of production tools such as drawing applications into the overall document management flow of the firm to ensure seamless cost management
  • Having a single overview of all communications on all projects and clients at all times

Utilizing technology to significantly enhance prior manual legacy process such as filing, sharing & collaborating, ensures your firm manages and protects its knowledge, saves time and delivers consistently excellent service to your clients.

4. Technology means change: Understand this and embrace it

Working closely with the key executive team at CKR, you quickly realise the importance they place on the role of ownership and change management in any internal initiatives they undergo.  Throughout such initiatives, their executive committee is thoroughly involved in communicating to the business on the ‘why’ behind the business changes, and the reason for adoption new technologies.

It is natural that change of systems and processes will face resistance, but the leaders of the business maintained, with clarity, the purpose of the investment and intended outcomes.  Throughout technology implementations, whether it is enabling time tracking on a mobile device or enhancing your entire management reporting function, it’s how you engage with the people driving such process that determines success.  If you in turn then select the right technology partner, change can drive efficiency, profitability and business success.

To find out more about CKR’s exciting journey with Silversoft & Deltek watch the video here.

 

 

 

A Modern Way to Growing a 3X Pipeline in Today’s Consulting World

In this webinar, PSMJ’s David Burstein, will present his findings on the current state of the architecture and engineering industries and his thoughts on the future of these industries. This presentation will include rich analysis of a variety of factors impacting the future performance of project based businesses with some of the most comprehensive research that has ever been conducted in the A/E industry!

Highlights include:

  • Important trends in the Economy
  • PSMJ’s outlook on the AEC industry in 2018 and beyond
  • Which markets will be up? Which ones will be down?
  • When will the good times end?

Download Webinar here

 

“A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow.” George Patton 

 

Tackling succession planning and career mapping can be a mammoth task. Often, we find ourselves needing to get the basics right such as a performance management in the business, training initiatives and to a certain extent hope that will be enough.

Sadly, it is not. Succession Planning and Career Mapping are vital for retention strategies of a business and can no longer be the ‘cousin’ we leave outside in the dark.

Join Kathryn Gordon on Thursday the 5th April @ 10h00 where she will give us insight into a Career Development & Succession Planning software tool that encompasses all aspects of career mapping for employees and succession planning for HR and executives.

Some highlights include: 

• Demonstration of a Development Management software tool with 9 box matrix and domino lists
• Metrics and ROI offered by such a solution
• Points to consider when selecting a Development Management solution
• Implementation timeframes and methodologies
• Sneak peek as to pricing models used by vendors.

Register below to receive the Webinar recording

Learn how Deltek CRM can help your Business Development team with:

  • Monitoring their pipeline
  • Finding and nurturing client relationships
  • How to position for winning
  • Project estimates (profitable projects)
  • Collaboration

Download this 20 minutes Webcast here

 

“Why companies who are winning the war for talent are embracing technology to help them be competitive”

 

“Compensation is key to positive all-round experience for our employees”

Employee compensation can be a significant expense for most companies. Optimising your compensation spend with the confidence that the right people have been paid the right pay and communicated to accurately is vital to establish both loyalty and engagement from your employees.

Join Gerry O’Neill, MD of Curo Compensation on Thursday the 15th March @ 10h00 where he will give us insight into a comprehensive Compensation Management software tool that encompasses all aspects of awarding compensation including internal communications.

Some highlights include:

• Demonstration of a Compensation Management software tool from budget allocation to sign off
• Metrics and ROI offered by such a solution
• Points to consider when selecting a Compensation Management solution
• Implementation timeframes and methodologies
• Sneak peek as to pricing models used by vendors.

Download the Recording below

 

Every project carries risk.  And simply maintaining a list of identified risks doesn’t give you true insight into the impact those risks will have on your project.

To achieve that level of understanding, project teams must have access to a robust tool for risk analysis. But which tool offers the most sophisticated analysis and reporting, all while still being easy to use? In this week’s White Board Wednesday we’re diving deep into what makes Acumen Risk different, and why you should consider making the switch from the competition.

Download the Webcast Below

 

“Why companies who are winning the war for talent are embracing technology to help them be competitive”

 

The secret behind an organisation achieving a greater level of success is its robust performance management. The key to your organisation outperforming your competitors is to improve the morale of your employees, increase their overall productivity and create a sense of loyalty amongst them through performance management.

After countless hours of research, you’ve finally come to the conclusion that your organisation needs to implement a performance management system. Now, you might be tempted to stick with your HRIS’s performance management module, but with a clunky user interface and often bad user experience this option could prevent you from optimising user adoption moving performance away from compensation conversations.

Join Kathryn Gordon on this On Demand Webinar where she will give us insight into a Performance Management software tool that encompasses all aspects of Performance and incorporates both continuous feedback and personal development plans.

Some highlights include: 

• Demonstration of a Performance Management software tool from initial goal setting to closing
• Metrics and ROI offered by such a solution
• Points to consider when selecting a Performance Management solution
• Implementation timeframes and methodologies
• Sneak peek as to pricing models used by vendors.

 

 Request the recording of this webcast below

 

What are you going to do about it?

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We all know consulting, like pretty much every industry, is being disrupted. But how much disruption are we really talking about… dramatic? drastic? draconian? All of the above. There’s no doubt that the consulting profession, like many other industries, is changing right before our eyes. Will there be a dramatic shift in how consulting services are delivered and how consulting firms are managed? We sure think so.

There are several factors accelerating the disruption, for sure—outdated business models, new entrants, consolidation, and more savvy buyers, among others. But the bigger question is this: What are you going to do about it? The change imperative is upon us all.

Hosted by Consulting Editor-in-Chief Joe Kornik, this webinar promises a 360-degree view of the topic. Featuring insights on digital disruption and the change imperative, attendees will gain valuable strategies to help navigate the future of consulting in this informative and interactive session.

Download this Webinar—at no cost—and uncover answers to such critical questions as:

  • Is your firm prepared for the disruption in consulting?
  • Are you agile enough to adjust to this rapidly changing environment?
  • How will you navigate the change imperative in consulting?
  • Have we reached the technological tipping point?
  • What steps should your firm be taking right now to run your business more profitably?

Register below to Download the webinar recording