The technique of redesigning a process to improve performance is well established and when done properly can have long term sustainable impacts on an organisation. Processes can always be improved and on a day to day basis this is what staff and management should be aiming to do. However, at some point it becomes apparent that a small daily improvement is not going to be enough typically when:
- New statutory demands arise
- New or additional Customer requirements are realised
- There is an urgent need to reduce cost
- Structural changes are proposed such as sharing services, merging with another organisation or in the event of an acquisition
- Opportunities for long term investment are taken such as the introduction of new IT, enterprise wide solutions or call centres
We support organisations through the redesign of processes, providing an external challenge to the status quo and bringing fresh ideas to help your teams focus on the needs of your customers.
Activity Based Costing (ABC) helps organisations understand the true profitability of dealing with individual customers or of selling specific products and services. As such it supplies information rather than solutions. However, the real benefit of using ABC is that it enables any organisation to identify quickly the cost of any process or product, any course of action or function and can, if appropriate take 90% of the organisation's overheads and drive them down to these levels. Because everything is reconciled back to the general ledger it fully answers the question, "what is the true cost of...?"
Activity Based Costing is as relevant in the public sector as it is in commercial businesses and can be used alongside conventional costing systems, either as a standalone management tool, or as part of a continuous improvement culture, or a positive programme of business process redesign.
We support organisations by building financial models to answer questions of strategy and tactics, helping them make decisions about costs and prices, investment or cost reduction.
Many organisations enforce change through the implementation of new IT systems, often unaware of the scale of change that new software is bringing with it.
We frequently come across situations where a new software suite has been installed and staff immediately identify the frailties of it, the functionality that is missing and the problems that it is giving them in doing their job.
To prevent these problems, we support organisations undertaking IT led change by providing expert business analysts who will properly define requirements, focus on customers’ needs and then describe functionality accordingly. The working style may include workshops with staff, process mapping exercises, end to end customer work flow definition and functional requirement documents, all drawn up to help the IT department or the external supplier with the immediate configuration of the system.
Our knowledge of the requirements often leads to requests for us to project manage software implementations.
Developing a sustainable commercial strategy requires that organisations gather and use information about their own operations and understand how their services or products are received by their customers or others in the market place.
This information can be like that obtained through Activity Based Costing or Zero Based Budgeting exercises and links forecasts of demand with resource plans.
We provide consultancy support or training both for organisations and staff who might be working on commercial strategies for the first time and are looking for direction and for those who are experienced and need an external perspective to support their decision making.
For change to be successful people must want to change. They need to understand that the future will be better than the present and believe that getting to the future is achievable. If the way things are now is comfortable for them and the future doesn’t hold any benefits for them, any inclination that change is required may not be welcome.
The onus is on management for making change successful. Management know more than employees about the general conditions of a business, what the forecasts are, how the market looks, what the competition is doing, or in the public sector, how the latest spending review affects them.
Managing change is challenging but the key is in the word "managing". When done well it can make the difference between success and failure or in more extreme cases between triumph and catastrophe. Managers really are the "X factor” in a changing environment.
We provide Project and Programme Management support for organisations going through change at all levels. We help managers understand their role and the impact of change on people. We also work with appointed Change Champions (whatever their title) to ensure that change is delivered with and support the people who will make change a success and sustainable.