5 PSA Implementation Mistakes You Must Avoid

A PSA tool can make your business more profitable and efficient, but you need to lay the right groundwork and make the right decisions to reap maximum benefits.

PSA mistakes

Managed services provider (MSP) growth can grind to a halt under the burden of necessary but time-consuming business processes. A professional services automation (PSA) tool can turn that around by automating many day-to-day tasks and allowing your staff to focus more on clients and revenue.

In addition, a PSA tool collects data that lets you track key performance indicators (KPIs) and gain new insights into operations, employee performance, and client-by-client profitability. With just a few clicks, you can access reports and use data in new ways to inform decisions and help your business grow.

However, you must avoid missteps when selecting and deploying professional services automation to maximize these benefits. Here are five common but damaging mistakes MSPs make when it comes to implementing a PSA tool:

1. Choosing the First One You Demo

If you use manual processes for tasks like project management, resource management, time tracking, and invoicing, you may think any PSA tool you demo is the answer you’ve been looking for. Most can demonstrate how they can solve the problem of not having enough hours in the day and prevent billable time and services from falling through the cracks before invoicing.

But you should be choosy. Many PSA tools are on the market, each with different features, user interface designs, integration options, and security levels. Your new PSA tool will require a significant investment of money, resources and time to implement, and it will become an integral part of your operations, so make sure you choose the best option.

2. Not Maximizing ROI

Ideally, your PSA tool should pay for itself relatively quickly. With the time it saves your technicians and other employees, it should help you minimize labor costs and, perhaps, take on more clients without adding new employees. A lower-priced PSA tool with fewer features may not deliver the same results as a full-featured solution that automates more processes. Price isn’t always an indicator of the best system, however. An expensive but complicated PSA tool may require a dedicated employee to manage it full-time, which may not result in an ROI. With any PSA tool, you need to fully understand its costs – and make sure you aren’t paying for things you don’t need, and there aren’t any hidden fees – so you can accurately estimate ROI.

3. Setting an Unrealistic Timeline

You probably provide solutions to your clients that you can set up, configure and use in a day or two. A PSA tool doesn’t fall into that category. Professional services automation will likely impact operations in every area of your business, so you need a strategy for how to implement the solution across your organization, including how to:

  • Best configure the tool to support your business
  • Integrate the PSA tool with other business applications, such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) or quote management tools.
  • Test the system testing to ensure correct alignment and correct issues when necessary
  • Determine transactional, operational and customer data the system needs and plan data migration
  • Consider implementation in phases across your organization
  • Train employees, including tailoring user guides and other materials to your workforce

Set realistic goals for each implementation step, and don’t be tempted to rush through the process.

4. Forgetting the Importance of Employee Buy-In

In addition to the benefits a PSA tool provides your business, it can also mean significant employee benefits. With the right PSA tool, your technicians can focus on clients and not spend time prioritizing work or updating paperwork each day. Your accounting and marketing staff will find auto-populated data in their systems rather than rekeying (and maybe mistyping) information. Managing customer requests through a client portal can mean fewer calls disrupt your employees’ day.

However, to get those benefits, your employees must use the system how you intend them to.

Throughout PSA tool implementation, keep your staff informed, ask for their feedback on what they’d like to change about your current processes, and communicate the advantages of the PSA tool you choose — stressing how it will make their lives easier. Including your staff in the implementation process and listening and responding to their concerns can give you a head start toward buy-in. Back this up with comprehensive training and ongoing support, enabling them to get the most out of the new system.

5. Not Vetting the Vendor

Implementing a PSA tool means entering a long-term relationship with the professional services automation vendor. You will rely on the vendor to keep your PSA tool updated and maintained. You will also turn to the vendor when you need to troubleshoot problems.

Learn what you can about the vendor and their business track record. Talk to other users, if possible, and ask about the vendor’s responsiveness to issues and the resources they dedicate to their customers. Choosing a different PSA tool may be wise if your research raises red flags.

It’s Worth It

Selecting the right PSA tool and carefully and systematically implementing it takes time and effort, but the result will be a more productive and efficient business. Investing time and resources to achieve greater automation and visibility will elevate your business to a new level of competitiveness and profitability.