Category Archives: Uncategorized

Meeting Client Challenges

Meeting client challenges

If you are a business leader in a service industry such as engineering, accounting or legal you realize that your client workload will always vary.  Whether it is a new project, a big audit, or a challenging legal case it is a safe bet that there will be times when you struggle to meet the demands of your client.

Traditionally there were only three ways to get around the workload surge and still meet client expectations:

  1. Hire staff when needed. This works-if you can find quality staff!  Unfortunately, the reality is in today’s modern world having a trained and qualified workforce is a major concern to most industries.  The idea that there is a large pool of qualified employees, just waiting to be hired, is just not realistic.
  1. Work people harder. Many people feel this is the best solution, since you already have existing staff and in theory you can get more hours without increasing costs significantly.  Unfortunately, reality again intrudes on this illusion.  In today’s competitive world most firms are already running lean without much excess capacity.  Further, experience shows that most employees are happy to pitch in to help out, but how many people want to sign up for a couple of months of 70+ hour work weeks?
  1. Beg the client for more time! Obviously working with a client to find a schedule for mutual benefit is a solid strategy, and sometimes it works out.  However, often the clients have their own schedule challenges, and there isn’t much flexibility to be had.  Sometimes you have to figure out a way to meet deadlines that are set in stone!

So what else can a business leader do?  Fortunately, there is a revolutionary new concept: Colergo!  Colergo is the first online marketplace for peer firms to share staff.   Using an easy to use interface, and standard terms and conditions, firms can quickly and easily find available and qualified staff for temporary assignment.  Whether it is one person, or a large group of individuals, Colergo can be used to find individuals to meet your project needs.

Further, because the staff are coming from peer firms there is a higher degree of confidence in the skills, abilities and quality of staff. Staff obtained from a peer firm through Colergo can typically be quickly and easily added to your project teams.  Finally, because Colergo comes with set terms and conditions, and easy payment methods, there is no delay negotiating contracts, agreements or other items between firms, meaning you get staff right away to meet pressing needs.

Using Colergo can be a powerful tool to meet workload demands, and help you successfully meet your client and project demands.  Click here to go to Colergo and see how easy it is to find quality staff and put them to work.

Beating the Utilization Challenge

Beating the Utilization challenge

If you are a business leader in a service industry such as engineering, accounting or legal then utilization is a constant challenge.  Whether it is called utilization, billable ratio, or some other term, the amount of time your staff spends working on client work versus time spent on overhead activities is a major factor in the success of your firm.

Using the Consulting Engineering industry as an example, there are many ways to measure utilization varying from total hours worked to hours paid, to even basing utilization not purely on hours but factored for the salaries of the individuals working.  However, regardless of how you measure it typical firms have a utilization usually between 60 to 64%.  That means that most firms have well over one third of all worked hours on overhead, not generating any revenue for the firm!!

The impact on a firm’s finances is the most obvious result of this phenomena.  Analysis conducted by Colergo staff using standard industry parameters shows that as little as one percent higher utilization could mean 11% more profit for the typical firm, while increasing utilization three percent delivers a whopping 33% increase in profit.

It’s not just profit that is impacted by poor utilization.  Much has been made of the desire by millennials to be challenged, to learn, and to advance their career.  How can that happen when there isn’t enough work to fully utilize their time?  In addition, regardless of your generation you want to have the comfort of being fully utilized, knowing you are adding value to the team and company and securing your future with the firm.

So what can a manager do?  There are many tried and true methods that can help including:

  • Clear communication of expectations. Make sure staff know what their goals are, and help them position themselves to meet them.
  • Staffing coordination. In firms with multiple project/team leaders, make sure that these individuals are regularly communicating and sharing team staff efficiently. Reduce any barriers to staff sharing and even consider internal incentives to share staff.
  • Staff to the work. Painful to make changes in some cases, but make sure that you have the right staff for the workload.
  • Keep overhead down. It is just as easy to increase utilization by trimming overhead as it is to get more billable work done by production staff.  Make sure you are running a smart and frugal business.

Add to these ideas the revolutionary new concept of Colergo!  Colergo is the first online marketplace for peer firms to share staff to increase utilization and profits.  Using an easy to use interface, and standard terms and conditions, firms can quickly and easily make staff available to be used by peer firms on a temporary basis.

Using Colergo, employee overhead/downtime can be converted to productive/billable time.  Every hour changed from overhead to billable time improves utilization!  And every hour sold on Colergo increases the profit of your firm.

Click here to go to Colergo and see how easy it is to improve the profits of your firm.