Learn from the Best-of-the-Best
For the past five years, Service Performance Insight has conducted in-depth analyses of the top 5 percent of PS Maturity benchmark participants to uncover the reasons for their superlative performance. After a careful audit of their survey responses and in-depth interviews with lead service executives, the top performing organizations have been named “Best-of-the-Best.” The top 5 percent of firms scored 20 or higher on a scale of 25 on the PS Maturity Model.
Introducing the 2014 Best-of-the-Best services organizationsAccording to “The 2014 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark,” out of 238 participating organizations, 13 firms significantly outperformed the benchmark average by excelling in all five service performance dimensions: leadership, client relationships, human capital alignment, service execution and finance and operations. With much higher profits and more satisfied clients, these firms outperformed their peers and the benchmark average.
Meet the 2014 top performers
Campus Management provides enterprise software products and services to colleges, universities, foundations and other organizations worldwide. It has made the Best-of-the-Best list four times.
TOP Step Consulting provides consulting and implementation services for professional services automation software. It has made the Best-of-the-Best list five times and has a female CEO.
Logical Design Solutions, Inc. is a strategy and business solutions consulting firm that envisions and designs emerging business ecosystems. It has made the list five times and has a female CEO.
SmartERP provides configurable solutions and services to business problems on the Oracle PeopleSoft platform. The company has made the list two times and has a female CEO.
E4 Services, LLC is a healthcare information technology consulting firm specializing in clinical, hospital information management and revenue cycle services.
Agencyport Software builds software to help insurance carriers engage with their product distribution channels and technology partners.
Charles River provides a solution to automate front- and middle-office investment management functions across asset classes on a single platform.
EAC Product Development Solutions provides tools and services to help companies get products to market faster.
Varrow provides technology solutions for virtualization, storage, managed services and disaster recovery through consulting and design services.
The New Office implements and integrates business management software from NetSuite.
Informatica Corporation provides data integration software. It has made the Best-of-the-Best list twice.
Trimble creates products and solutions incorporating positioning technologies that help customers streamline workflows and analyze complex information. The PS organization is led by a female executive.
Table 1 compares the 13 Best-of-the-Best performing professional services organizations to the other 225 participants in this year’s survey. The size of the Best-of-the-Best organizations is much smaller than the average firm in the benchmark. Six are embedded PS organizations within software or software as a service companies, five are IT consultancies, and two are management consultancies. Several of the IT consultancies derive a substantial portion of their revenue from the resale of hardware and software products in addition to high-value consulting.
Unlike previous years, only three of the top firms grew revenue more than 25 percent in 2013. One surprising finding shows that three grew annual revenue less than 5 percent, and two actually experienced a decline in PS revenue. Yet all of the top performers delivered high levels of profit and client satisfaction.
Times sure have changed as in past years embedded SaaS PSOs tended to garner top honors. Not this year. Not a single winner this year came from an embedded SaaS PSO. This is because of a cloud service provider business model shift to client adoption where these companies have focused more on generating client stickiness than on PS profit.
While the latest BoBs were smaller in size, they grew their workforces at a much higher rate than the others. They also had a higher percentage of billable employees, and depended much less on third-party resources. These companies prefer to recruit and deploy talented staff without relying on subcontractors. This translated to higher levels of employee and client satisfaction.
One of the more exciting discoveries is that female leaders are at the helm of four of the top performing companies. Female CEOs are disproportionately represented in the Best-of-the-Best compared to the PS industry. Although there are few female PS executives across the industry, they’ve proven they’re capable of turning their companies into high performers.
PS benchmark results summary
Unlike prior years, this year’s best had fewer employees than most firms. Despite their size, they’ve become leaders in specialized markets. Because of their market dominance, they spend less on sales and marketing, and invest more in employees and clients. Their reputations for delivering high-quality results manifest in repeat business and referrals.
One-quarter of this year’s best have female executives, a trend that should continue with more women joining the professional services ranks. Their people-centered leadership styles work well in the PS sector.
As these organizations grow, it will become more difficult to maintain their collaborative and innovative cultures. Focused organizations with solid leadership, engaged employees and a strong information infrastructure can overcome stiffer market competition and most hurdles they face. Congratulations to the 2014 Best-of-the-Best on delivering outstanding performance in 2013!
How does your organization measure up? Get your copy of the 2014 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark now.