3 ways to increase billable time usage

| By:
Linda Brotherton

Technology service providers rely on billable time to be profitable. Often, businesses want to figure out ways to optimize the productivity of their staff members to increase profits.

However, many situations arise with billable time that jeopardize profitability and efficiency. These three scenarios highlight how easily billable time can slip through the cracks if you don’t have the right tools for visibility, tracking, and management in place.

Scenario 1: Too many tasks to do

It’s 4:30pm on a Friday night. You’re excited about finally getting the opportunity to go out to dinner with your family, and start your weekend on time. Except, you still have to create a statement of work for a new project, send out a meeting recap memo to the support team, and send out an invoice to a client for extra work. It doesn’t seem likely that you’ll be getting out of the office right at 5:00pm.

Solution: Instead of spending time on repetitive tasks, save time and effort by using company-wide templates and automation solutions to streamline the process.  Many business management solutions allow you to create customized templates, so you can create a process that seamlessly aligns with your business’ needs.

Scenario 2: Billable time isn’t accurate

It’s time to send out client invoices. You look over your company’s billable time report and it’s a lot lower than you expected. You clearly remember working diligently to meet client deadlines, but that time doesn’t seem to be reflected in the invoice.

Solution: In an ideal world, your billing process would capture all of the time you spend working to solve problems for your clients. Billing inaccuracy is inevitable when your colleagues are estimating the number of hours they spent working on a project, instead of their work being documented in real time with business solutions that offer automated time capture features.

Scenario 3: Team lacks momentum to complete tasks in a timely manner

It’s the end of the month and you’re looking at your team’s performance. Upon evaluating your team’s total number of billable hours, you notice a bit of a slump in the total. What gives?

Solution: If you want a top performing team, you have to cultivate it. Find out what motivates your team, and see how that impacts the total number of billable hours for the month. Have regular discussions about goals so everyone is on the same page. Cultivating a competitive and cooperative culture is the best way to improve employee performance.

Losing valuable billable time is a major problem for companies of all sizes. In many cases, depending upon the source of the leak, simple strategies can be used to overcome employee utilization issues and reduce the number of redundant tasks.