• More than what is needed. An excess of something beyond what is required or suitable for a given purpose.
Is your PSA managing you? There is no argument that using software correctly brings efficiency to almost any business. However, when the effort expended in maintaining and using the software exceeds the efficiency gains, it can negatively impact the business. The application this affects most for managed services providers (MSPs) is usually their PSA software. This is for a couple of reasons.
Many MSPs are technicians first and business owners second. This translates into some MSPs ignoring the importance of getting their PSA setup correctly from the start. As technicians first, they also tend toward not properly maintaining their PSA or using it to its potential. For a PSA solution to truly be helpful it must do one thing well: it must transform time, materials, and contracts into revenue.
This is first and foremost the most critical output for a PSA tool. If the solution is not configured properly to produce that output, it can cost time and money by not billing correctly or not billing on time. If you are currently looking for a PSA tool or about to implement one, make sure to utilize any onboarding or business training materials offered by the vendor. This can be essential to getting started both correctly and quickly. One of the biggest reasons that PSA implementation efforts fail is because business owners are not prepared for what it takes to get it running properly.
Another important decision MSPs need to make when choosing a PSA solution is to make sure it meets their needs without having excess features that will take additional time to configure and maintain. Many software applications in this space try to be “all things to all people,” but excess features or options can greatly increase the implementation time as well as the opportunity for misconfiguration. They can also make a product harder to use.
As mentioned above, the critical purpose of a PSA is to translate activity performed by techs and agreements sold by salespeople into revenue. If the system does not make it easy for technicians to enter time and materials, or for sales people to create contracts, there will be things left undone and not captured for billing. This is sometimes referred to as “friction in business processes.” The ultimate goal of any PSA implementation should be to reduce the friction between the employees and the creation of invoices.
Many PSA solutions also help you to make sure that your service delivery and documentation are standardized. This is secondary to revenue, but the efficiencies gained by everyone following the same processes and having access to customer information can drive higher productivity, which either translates into higher bottom line revenue for break/fix or higher profits for managed services.
Configured properly, your PSA solution can increase revenue, speed up cash flow, and make your MSP business run much more efficiently. It does take planning and work to get it started right. It also takes effort to maintain and use the tool properly over time. If you invest well in your PSA it can pay for itself easily and help your business grow.
Eric Anthony is principal of customer experience at SolarWinds MSP. Before joining SolarWinds, Eric ran his own managed services provider business for over six years.
You can follow Eric on Twitter at @EricAnthonyMSP
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