Last year at Actualize Consulting, our UK expansion increased project responsibilities tasking individuals to work on multiple projects, making our staffing decisions more complicated.
We decided to bring on another person internally to support our growth rate. When that person suddenly quit, we immediately hired another person ignoring the signs. Losing this person was a red flag that made us realize that Instead of looking at adding people we needed to shift our focus to our operational efficiencies. We paused and pivoted our energies to address the firm’s needs for an updated process to report on key metrics.
When our Manager of Finance and Accounting went out of the country for vacation and the second hire did not work out, I found myself accountable for the key items to keep the business running smoothly which specifically was payroll and setting up new projects as we won work.
At that moment, I had a moment of panic. I had to instill my Culture Infusion teachings of pausing to pivot to a positive and utilize self-talk as I told myself, “I got this.”
Through the storm of having to tangle through the weeds of our operations, I realized we did not need another person. We needed to automate and bring our internal systems to a new level. Just as we assess and recommend systems improvements and overhauls to our clients, we needed to look at our internal systems with the same eye.
I started my career at Accenture and worked at other consulting firms before moving into operations at Actualize in business process redesign, vendor evaluation, and system implementations. I even have my MBA in Information Systems. As you can imagine, I was beating myself up for not seeing the answer sooner. Yes, I am human and was caught in the tangle of weeds. I had an “aha” moment and had to laugh at myself as I also needed a reminder of the importance of reviewing your processes, procedures, and systems on a regular basis. Geez, we do this all the time for our clients, so I put on my consulting hat and dug in.
We are currently evaluating new systems to support our internal operations using the same Actualize developed vendor selection process we use with our clients.
When was the last time you reviewed your processes, procedures, and systems to create and maintain efficiencies to support your firm’s growth?
I know it can be a daunting thought to review all, so I suggest starting with asking yourself the following questions to determine where you can start.
1. Are there manual processes that are hindering operational efficiencies? For example, our manual process of tracking resources was not meeting our needs, so automation of data is necessary.
2. Can you identify a person or team that is overworked? In our case, our entire internal team was overburdened with manual processes, again a sign to automate.
3. Is there data you need but do not have easy access to run your business? We see this all the time with our clients of needing more access to their Treasury or Mortgage data. Internally, the manual spreadsheets were not robust.
Bottom line, with ever-changing technology and innovation it is imperative that you take the time to review your processes, procedures, and systems regularly.
At Actualize, we use this methodology with our clients and utilize internally as well. We stay on the forefront of the industry innovations.