Part 3: Let’s Examine A Few PSA Solutions on Salesforce App Exchange
Through a network of certified of partners, Salesforce offers a variety of PSA solutions that can be found on the Salesforce App Exchange. Additional licenses are typically required for full use of these solutions but free trials may also be available if you are not ready to make a decision just yet. When you find yourself evaluating which PSA solution is the best fit for you here are some questions you should ask?
- What project or service planning tools are available through the solution?
- Does the solution support creation of a project plan with corresponding deliverables and what does that look like?
- Does the solution also offer a way to track costs?
- The solution should feature visibility to both direct and indirect costs.
- How can we maximize resource allocation?
- Can I see which resources are overallocated for the week and quickly identify when additional resources are needed?
- What risk prevention triggers are in place to let me know if a project is in jeopardy of going over budget or missing a deadline?
- What flags are in place that would call this out?
- How well does the out of the box functionality work with my type of industry?
- What additional configurations or custom development is required for the system to work for my industry or related processes.
- How does the system automate invoicing?
- Does the solution provide an option for invoice generation and automatic billing?
Now that you know the right questions to ask when selecting a PSA solution let’s discuss a few of the options that are available on the App Exchange.
Arrow PSA is a Salesforce-native solution created by and for Project Managers, Executives, and Developers. Arrow provides a single solution to support your administrative and service-related processes. Out of the box, Arrow supports administrative processes by:
- Providing a platform for Executives, Managers, and Knowledge workers to collaborate and work towards project related goals while having visibility to key project related metrics.
- Empowering anyone working directly with clients by providing a single place to organize requirements and track deliverables to ensure deadlines are met.
- Offering a time entry solution that gives your team the ability to enter time and relate it to a specific project and related task.
- Providing Project Managers with a single system designed for planning projects, assigning resources, monitoring time, tracking deliverables, reporting, and viewing other projected related KPIs.
- Enabling Service Managers, a way to visualize resource utilization and better manage project portfolios to ensure customer satisfaction.
- Offering robust invoicing features that can be configured to support your billing processes.
Additional Arrow Features
- Built natively on Salesforce with the ability to configure and customize objects as you would with Sales or Service cloud but also the ability to customize utilizing Apex classes.
- Real-time visibility into all aspects of your project including, Performance, Utilization, Profitability and Schedule
- Ability to manually create project templates via lightning component or ability to automatically create projects using Apex methods and flows.
- Enterprise grade billing engine that supports a variety of contract types such as Fixed Fee, Time and Materials and Retainers or a combination of these types.
Financial Force offers a single solution that is also built natively on Salesforce. According to their website they offer a single source of truth that is centered around the life’s blood of any business. “The Account.” The platform offers options for Accounting, ERP, Project Management, Revenue Recognition, and Customer Success. Here are some of those features.
- Accounting Cloud
- Cloud based software making it easier to access data without having to be on a specific physical machine
- Financial reporting and data analytical insights in real-time
- Less maintenance than traditional software while eliminating expensive equipment
- Ability to create sales orders or invoices directly from Salesforce opportunities, quotes or custom objects
- Cloud ERP
- Connect your front office or customer facing team with the back office for accurate reporting and financial visibility
- Ability to update services and subscriptions that meet your changing business model
- Full enterprise-wide visibility to all aspects of your business all from your CRM.
- Project Management
- Manage project related tasks and collaborate with customers via customer portal
- Ability to generate and customize status update reports
- Crate custom projects with ability to update required fields
- Manage task assignments and verify resources through planning features
- Create Gant Charts and Project Planners
- Customer Experience
- Encourages clear and transparent communication with project and customer service teams
- Provides a place to track future requirements or potential deals and relate them to current accounts
- Central location to store any data related to the customer
Kimble provides another solution that offers features that can help your organization maximize efficiency and create a seamless process from sales to delivery. Kimble prides itself in helping organizations achieve success by offering a solution that provides, Alignment, Guidance and Adaptability when facing complex services challenges.
- Alignment– Aligns all resources and stakeholders by providing a wholistic view of key project metrics in real-time for absolute transparency.
- Guidance– Provides a proactive solution for identifying risks before they surface and a way to gauge the impact of exposure.
- Adaptability– Built to be customized out of the box to meet a variety of business processes and project types.
Kimble offers products that can help streamline sales to delivery similar to the other solutions we have examined. Here are some of the ways that is achieved.
- Resource Management
- Provides insights in skills required for a specific task
- Allows you to drag and drop resources to a specific task
- Customize roles based on skilled sets that allow tasks to automatically get assigned to a specific group
- Visualize where resources are needed
- Enables decision making based on real-time data
- Reporting based on standard or custom KPIs depending on what is important to your business
- Identify bottlenecks quickly and act sooner
- Project Management
- Creates a comprehensive view of all projects related details including, timelines, tasks, billing, retainers, approvals, estimates
- Visualize how changes made to a project plan can impact budget and other financial metrics
- Collaborate with Sales team to create customer value and ensure that projects are scalable based on future projects
As you can see Salesforce does a great job in solving for service-related bottlenecks by offering a variety of PSA solutions that can meet your business needs. If your organization could benefit from the power of PSA and you would like to learn more about achieving service efficiency through PSA, please reach out to us here at SMBHD and we can show you how to make this possible.
– Jerry Kirby, Consultant and Project Lead