As tech enthusiasts we thought we knew what we were doing but we were drowning in tech. So many solutions, so many choices. We were using in excess of 50 products. The very thing that was supposed to be saving us time was killing us. Just Add Tech saved us from ourselves. A couple of onsite visits later they had nailed what we could/should be doing and gave us a plan of action to move us forward. Whilst we could do a lot of this ourselves we decided to have them work alongside us to avoid anymore distractions.
– Jon Jenkins, Smart Team – www.yoursmartteam.co.uk
Business Name: Smart Team
Commencement Date: October 2016
Nature of Job: Review existing processes, procedures and systems. Reduce and refine the plethora of systems being used and help the business gain some control.
Systems Used: In excess of 50, far to many to list here
- To many free software products being used which did not fit business needs
- Continual change for staff making their jobs difficult
- Not tackling key business issues but hiding behind software solutions
- Over reliance on one person as they were the only one who truly knew how to use the different systems
- Each party had a lack of understanding around how the others work was completed
- Manual interventions and duplication of data input was created meaning additional workload and possible errors.
- Far to many databases of the same information due to multiple systems used.
- Resistance to change from the team as there was a culture of change for changes sake.
- Knowledge gaps of the different systems being used.
- The Directors assumed everyone loved tech and change as much as they did.
- No one had significant free time to project manage and implement the changes as the workload is very deadline orientated.
Having worked with some of the team at Smart in previous roles we already had a good understanding of how forward thinking they were. When we were approached to help them it was an easy transition for all but only because of their willingness to listen and adapt. Through discussions with the Directors it was clear that they were open to hearing new ideas and that they knew they needed to take more of a hands off approach. It was very clear that the team were very important in this transition and we needed to gain their trust that these final changes would make a difference for all. Finding out what they thought was crucial to us winning this project.
To assist the company in addressing these key issues, we worked alongside the client and their team to understand the key processes, procedures, systems and responsibilities in place. These sessions helped to help identify whether the objectives and systems were aligned. The key outcomes of these sessions were:
- Thorough review of existing work practices documented and checked by managers to establish the differences in work practice.
- Creation of list of software used, review of what they did, costs involved and user access.
- Management of rationalisation of products with the team. What was an absolute must to keep and what could be removed.
- There was a resistance to change from the team as there was a culture of change for changes sake. We had to win back trust.
- Training on core software.
- Work alongside existing team to implement changes around deadlines.
Because of these issues, we then completed thorough research of the options available and worked with the client and team to review these. We then went through a process of educating, review, implementation and training.
- The company has reduced its over reliance on one member of staff
- New practice management software has been implemented meaning staff are more accountable and have better visibility over workload
- Despite moving from a range of free products to paid products the company has reduced its overall spend on software
- All core operational procedures have been documented and being followed by all. Creating consistent service delivery.
- The business is more productive and stable meaning it can continue to grow in a sustainable way. Systems in place will grow with the business and not require an overhaul.
- The Directors have more time to work on the business not in it.