If you are like many managed services providers (MSPs), you use your professional services automation PSA software primarily as a ticketing system. You might use your customer relationship management (CRM) program and a little bit of project management, but that is probably all. It's a common struggle that many MSPs share, as they grow from a smaller MSP or break-fix business, into a larger managed services practice: how to better utilize the PSA systems they pay for each month.
While PSA easily can handle most of the basic blocking and tackling functions such as service desk, project management, and CRM, it can also provide valuable reporting data to manage your business and measure its operational efficiencies and performance.
Depending on the PSA you use, some reports may be standard, and already present in a report library, while others may need to be custom built, using the reporting engine. Listed below are five key reports that all MSPs should be using to measure their businesses each month:
SLA reports: It's important to run these to see how often you are meeting your customer service level agreements. Are you delivering the response times you promise or do you fall short?
Actual vs. projected time: Are you completing those projects in the amount of time you estimated when quoting the project? Are you keeping track of how long it actually takes to complete a repeatable project type to ensure accuracy in quoting?
Contract profitability: Are you making the expected profit margin on a contract or is that client draining your resources? Do you need to increase fees?
Resource productivity by line of business: Where are your engineers spending most of their time? Supporting managed services clients? Project work? Break-fix? Use this data to help determine your profitability by line of business.
Service desk ticket by issue type: Has one client had people call in regard to a virtual private network issue this month? How many issues have we had with that exchange server in the last 90 days?
There are many other reports that may be critical to your business operations, but these five are a good starting point if you’re doing nothing presently. Using the reporting capabilities of your PSA software is a key ingredient to taking your MSP forward.
By Vince Tinnirello, CEO, Anchor Network Solutions, Inc., ASCII Group member since 2008