Previously we covered how important it is for Technicians to get their timesheet and documentation completed on time (as expected), and to review Internal Time to identify lost profit. Let’s turn our attention to the Company’s Time hidden in the non-billable time column of the Resource Utilization report.
What’s Preventing Your IT MSP from Making More Money?
FYI: We are not talking about Company paperwork, etc. – but actual Managed Service Provider work on the Company’s own network and IT Support for the Employees.
In this instance, we are less concerned with Technician behavior or lost profit, per se. What we are concerned with is our ability to manage the amount of time scheduled for internal projects and service requests.
These are the main things that prevent the IT Service Delivery and Support teams from focusing on Customer facing requests and meeting Company expectations in the form of Billable Hour Goals (and therefore, not making more money for the Company).
What are the Top Priorities in Your IT MSP?
- Internal projects
- Maintaining the Company’s network
- Supporting the Company’s Employees
These are often the highest priorities in the Company. One IT Service Manager explained it this way:
“If a Customer has their network go down, we are there for them; if our network goes down it is an embarrassment and a liability we cannot afford. If our network goes down, it brings into question our ability to build, maintain, and support computer networks, and it raises doubt in our Customers minds whether we are the right service provider for them”
-Bob L 2011.
I agree with this statement and would like to add: if your Employees are complaining in front of Customers about the Company’s ability to support the internal Employee, it sends the same message that it would if the network goes down.
Now that we have a clear understanding in the value of providing Managed Service to the Company, the flip side is too much time working on our own Company Network prevents us from engaging in Customer facing service requests and therefore, meeting their needs or making more money for the Company.
4 Keys to Managing Company Time Efficiently
Managing Company time is a balancing act and needs to be micro-managed in these four different areas.
- Unlike for our Customers, Internal Projects need to be throttled into the technician’s schedules. I suggest limiting the amount of time scheduled for internal projects to less than 10% of the available time either on a per Technician, team, or Company basis – depending on the size and immediacy of the project. In other words, if it is a big project with an EOL date that needs to be met, it might be better to let one Engineer focus full-time (80% Utilization) on the internal project. But, you should limit the other resources to be very minimal, so the overall budget is met.
2. Incident Response:
- Knowing the level of remediation effort needed to support the internal network and employees is a critical data point. Neither favors the Employees running amok, limiting support to where the network receives little attention, or Employees complaining. Those all add up to bad Customer service. Determining and staffing for a little more than a reasonable level of support is in order.
3. Preventive Maintenance:
- This is an area where looking at yourself as a Customer works well. Evaluate your network and Employee needs as you would a new Customer and determine what your recommendation would be. Then, increase that recommendation by 10% and implement ASAP. Remember: we need to maintain our own network better than we do our Customers. They have budget restraints, but we have liability mitigation constraints. Annually revisit the staffing levels by doing a full network assessment of the Company’s network and Employee’s needs.
4. New Technologies:
- I remember the day we were told we were moving to Off 365 because we sold it, and it was now time for us to drink our own Kool-Aid. There comes a time when the Company needs to invest in both its own experience and expertise. Experience, so the Customers pain can be felt by the Company, motivating them to embrace lessons learned and improve the implementation process for the next Customer. Expertise, by using the new technology every day, knowing the SaaS provider changed something. Being the first to experience what is good or bad gives the Managed Service Provider a competitive edge.
IT Managed Service Providers – Avoid Embarrassing Moments
Monitoring Company time is about management. This involves managing the workforce to make sure they have an opportunity to succeed and meet Billable Hour Goals. It also consists of maintaining and supporting the network and employees, so the Managed Service Provider will never have an embarrassing moment.
Takeaway Tech Tip: If you are unaware of the Company’s Resource Utilization level, run the standard Resource Utilization report as soon as you can.
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