Added: (Fri Nov 17 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - LONDON, 16 NOVEMBER 2000: Around 30% of large professional service organisations continue to process and manage administrative tasks manually, resulting in millions of pounds worth of lost productivity according to a new study commissioned by Lawson Software. The study revealed that only 23% of the UK's largest professional service organisations have fully computerised systems for time sheets; only 10% for claiming and payment of expenses; and only 7% for other general administrative tasks. The figures are little better for management support tasks, with only 23% having fully computerised systems for project time and profit analysis; only 13% for project budgeting and costing; and only 7% for other general management tasks.

Lawson believes that many professional service organisations are missing out on millions of pounds worth of lost revenue by not taking advantage of self-service software accessible via the Web at any time from anywhere. The study identified that consultants could potentially save around 10% of their time by automating administrative tasks, with senior consultants able to save a further 12% of their time by automating management tasks. These figures equate to £88 million and £33 million of lost fee-earning potential for 'typical' large management and engineering firms, respectively.

Commenting on the potential for dramatic productivity gains and other business benefits for professional service firms, Syed Rizvi, Lawson Software's Director of Service Industries, Europe, says: "At best, the majority of large professional service organisations are only partly computerised; and, at worst, many continue to use manual methods. This is despite the fact that size and complexity of projects is increasing all the time and many have an international dimension. As a result, not only is the potential for productivity gains enormous, but also much of the information on which decisions are being made will rarely be up-to-date. The repercussions of decisions that are based on incorrect or inaccurate information could be major."

The type of administrative tasks typically carried out by all consultants include activities such as time-recording, expenses, etc. The more senior the consultant, the greater the management and administrative burden that falls upon them, including project time analysis, income and profitability. While there are typically fewer consultants at senior levels, this is more than balanced by the fact that their salaries and fee-earning potential are commensurately higher.

The study was conducted by Metrica Research on behalf of Lawson Software during late October/early November, 2000. It involved 30 interviews with ten each of the largest professional service organisations in management consultancy, recruitment (staffing agencies) and engineering consultancy in the UK.

The study determined the average number of fee-earning consultants in a typical firm, broken down by levels of seniority. It also addressed the amount of time that could be saved through the use of fully computerised systems for a variety of administrative and management tasks. This data was then used to calculate productivity gains in terms of cost savings and fee-earning potential.

More details on the study can be obtained free of charge by emailing Andrea Dunderi at andrea.dunderi@lawson.com or by calling Lawson on 020 8560 0826 ext 5328.

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Note to Editors:

Lawson Software is a leading provider of integrated e-business solutions. Lawson offers role-based Self-Evident Applications™ (SEA), transaction engines and e-business extensions powering financial, human resources, supply chain, analytic, enterprise relationship management and e-commerce solutions. IDC states that Lawson is "...primed for the next generation of enterprise-applications utility." According to the Aberdeen Group, "Lawson's commitment to Internet application standards and the delivery of e-business-enabling enterprise applications...should propel it to the forefront of this market space." Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. and London, Lawson has offices and affiliates serving North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Additional information about Lawson Software is available on the Web at http://www.lawson.com, or by calling +44 (0) 20 8560 0825 in the UK.

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Lawson, Lawson Software, LawsonTone, lawson.insight, lawson.community, lawson.consulting and Self-Evident Applications are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lawson Software.
Other company and product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.

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