Unlocking Success: New 2023 Study Unveils The Impact of PSA Systems on Consulting Firm Performance


EFFICIENCY and productivity are critical for success in the fast-paced world of consulting. Consulting businesses are increasingly resorting to Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools to optimise their operations. 

These innovative tools streamline critical business processes ranging from project management to resource allocation, and a recent 2023 BenchPress and CMap study revealed some surprising findings, including the fact that over 80% of consulting firms are still run with spreadsheets and only 17% use Professional Services Automation (PSA) system to run their firm. 

Enhancing Project Management

One of the study’s primary conclusions is the tremendous improvement in project management gained via the use of PSA systems. These solutions provide complete functionality for project planning, monitoring, and management, helping businesses to stick to deadlines and budgets. 

PSA systems provide real-time visibility into project progress, resource utilisation, and key performance metrics by centralising project data. This increased openness enables consulting businesses to make data-driven choices, reduce risks, and optimise project outcomes.

When implementing a PSA, 51% of consulting businesses increased revenue by 26% or more. In comparison, 33% of organisations that used no tools increased their sales, 47% used mostly spreadsheets, and 49% used standalone solutions. 

Optimising Resource Allocation

Effective resource management is a key component for consulting businesses looking to maximise operational efficiency. The capacity to distribute the appropriate people to the right projects at the right time is made possible by PSA systems, which offer a comprehensive picture of resource availability, skills, and utilisation. 

This clever resource management boosts output, reduces bottlenecks, and assures the best use of the resources at hand, eventually boosting revenue and customer happiness.

“It’s time to stop using spreadsheets for project and resource management, consulting companies are quickly realising, and start integrating these activities into a Professional Services Automation (PSA) system instead. With convincing proof that PSA users create 7% greater utilisation compared to spreadsheets, it is not surprising that PSA adoption is expected to quadruple in the next three years. Optimising utilisation is the consultants’ single largest lever for boosting profit.” commented Chief Strategy Officer of CMap, Jon Stead. 

Driving Business Intelligence

Another key finding from the research is the transformative impact of PSA systems on business intelligence. By capturing and consolidating data across projects, clients, and resources, these systems provide valuable insights for consulting firms. 

The study emphasises how PSA systems help businesses analyse data, spot patterns, and discover useful information about their processes, client preferences, and market dynamics. With this information, consulting businesses may modify their plans, improve their service offerings, and beat out the competitors in a market that is changing quickly.

This improves internal communication, breaks down information silos, and promotes knowledge exchange. Real-time collaboration enhances coordination, gets rid of duplication of effort, and speeds up decision-making, which boosts productivity and customer satisfaction.

The results showed that employing a PSA resulted in an average non-partner role utilisation rate of 73% as opposed to 48% when using no tools. 


The results of the study prove beyond a shadow of a doubt how much PSA systems affect consulting companies’ performance. These solutions enable businesses to function to their maximum capacity by strengthening project management, optimising resource allocation, simplifying time and cost monitoring, promoting collaboration and communication, and fostering business intelligence. 

Adopting a PSA system becomes a strategic need for consulting organisations looking to increase efficiency, profitability, and client happiness in a highly competitive market. Leveraging the potential of PSA systems will surely be a significant difference in success in the consulting environment of tomorrow as the expectations of consulting businesses continue to change.

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