Consulting Report to Marcus Kingo
Consulting Report to Marcus Kingo -2011 Summary statement Exponential growth in Kingo’s business has resulted in operational complexity and errors, creating an opportunity for improving the strategic management of the day-to-day operations. Since inception less than two years ago the company has grown from one truck to five and sales revenue has increased from $300,000 to $600,000. This additional growth has spanned into new geographical areas and which now includes Kitchener and Hamilton. Ojha consulting recommends the implementation of Platform as a Service (PaaS). Problem identificationHigh business growth demand has increased complexity and quantity of essential information that needs to be shared among staff.
The scope of your problem includes: 1. Inefficiencies in data communication leading to errors 2. Noncompliance with drivers not completing their data templates 3. Ineffective use of time – correcting database errors is taking the data clerk and yourself all day to fix 4. Decreasing service quality – your company’s reputation is suffering because of mistakes and negative customer interactions 5.
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Fixing all these errors and “putting out fires” is distracting you from further growing your business.Kingo your simple virtual-based business model that allowed you to successfully grow to its current state does not meet present demands. To stay “virtual”, company information needs to be easily accessible to all your staff in “real time” so that all employees can log-on to information as it is occurring. The “passing on” of information from one employee to the other is leading to mistakes especially with the increasing number of customers you are taking on. Evaluative criteria An ideal business solution for your company needs an integrated IT solution that includes: Functionality – does it meet your main communication needs or staff and customers in real time? 1. Central database that can be accessible remotely by the users 2.
Elimination of data communication through internal email 3. Automatic e-mails to customers providing confirmation of service request and detailed billing. This will provide the customer with increased transparency and quality. Evaluation of this criterion will be based on whether or not the IT solution can provide the above. Ease of use Your work force does not have “high IT skills” and the company size cannot support an IT professional at this time.
Furthermore your daily operation relies heavily on whatever IT solution you choose.We recommend a solution that matches the simplicity of your business model and is user friendly with all staff. Metrics for evaluation will be staff satisfaction and the tracking of errors with the system upon implementation. Vendor Support In keeping with the skill set within your company any IT solution chosen will require easy to access vendor support. Factors to keep in mind for this include hours available for support and anticipated costs for this service. Evaluation of this criterion will be a comparison of vendor support available for the various IT systems being considered.
FlexibilityDoes the IT solution allow you to respond to clients in a timely and efficient way? This is important, as being flexible to customers’ requests is one of your competitive advantages “yes we do that”. This will be demonstrated by the ability to respond precisely to a “job” request. Furthermore any IT solution must be robust enough to accommodate “evolutionary changes” in the business environment. Metrics for evaluation can include customer satisfaction surveys. Implementation time and cost To minimize the impact to your business, implementation time must be as minimal as possible given the recent downward credibility to your company’s eputation.
However, this will need to be balanced with an analysis of cost versus benefit for both initial implementation and ongoing maintenance of the system as your business evolves. A comparison of the IT systems based on implementation time and costs will be your method of evaluation. Alternatives The following table provides a summary of potential IT solutions that meet your evaluative criteria: | Functionality| Ease of Use| Vendor Support| Flexibility| Implementation time| Cost $| Microsoft Access| * | | | | 2 weeks| +| Custom Application| * | | | | Minimum 4 weeks| +++| Google Docs| * | * | | * | 2 weeks| +|PaaS| * | * | * | * | < 2 weeks| ++| ERP| * | | | | No info| ++++| Microsoft Access database This program can meet your functionality criterion if you purchase the more technically complex and expensive shared server option.
Vendor support is assumed to be similar to that received with Microsoft Works. Custom Application Functionality can be achieved but is it potentially at an unknown expense. Cost for vendor support is also uncertain. While you can customize your program requirements, you will not know if it will meet your needs until it is completed. Google Docs No vendor support makes this an excluded option.Platform as a Service This solution is easy to use and can be remotely accessed by multiple users.
This information system has the ability to adapt to a changing environment and a growing business. In choosing this solution data migration is included so you will free up valuable time to focus on strategic management of your business. Cost of the service support is relatively expensive however the cost can be justified by the favourable trade offs in functionality and implementation time. Furthermore, flexibility in solutions and vendor support give you the ability to remain competitive. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)This solution exceeds your business requirements for your small company and costs are out of budget.
Implementation Our recommendation is to implement Platform as a Service (PaaS). In our assessment (PaaS) meets your business requirements with minimal compromise. This solution allows your company to once again consistently provide a professional service, flexibility, and maintain a competitive price offering. Your role Kingo is to provide leadership for this implementation initiative. This role is critical to the future success of your business! Determine what a successful implementation will means to you.
Establish with the vendor clearly written mutually agreeable goals and objectives. Building your relationship with the vendor is critical and keeping an open mind is important in this long-term relationship. The vendor has a depth of experience with implementation and sustainability of PaaS. Moreover, please put considerable thought and planning into timelines. We know data migration will only take 3 days, however education and engagement of staff must start immediately and in advance of migration. Assessment evaluation and implementation of strategies is an ongoing process.
This “cycle of adaptation” will take time and a strong leadership approach. It is our understanding you have limited experience in the implementation of this type of project. We attached a guide to support your success called “a project management primer or a guide to making projects work. ” Relevant steps to implementation are as follows. 1. Communicate to all employees the critical nature of PaaS information system and stress the company’s future is dependent upon its successful implementation.
Please keep an open mind there is room to make mistakes and learn; you cannot over communicate in these change management situations. . Start educating staff at least 3 weeks prior to data migration. There is built in time here to modify your plan for unforeseen situations. Please budget vendor support at the higher end of $600/month and also plan for a certain amount of customization at $180/hour.
3. Test PaaS often prior to full implementation to learn and refine processes. 4. Contingency action plans must be practiced prior to implementation of PaaS. We suggest keeping Microsoft Works viable on a standalone computer should PaaS fail in anyway.
Having a back up option to maintain business functioning is smart.I would also trial a third manual option for billing and database collection with Excel. This manual option can be trialed for three weeks leading PaaS implementation. Customers who are willing to participate with these contingency action plans should be given a discount or future coupon. 5. Staff roles and responsibilities need to be modified to minimize the number of employees communicating and inputting essential information.
We recommend keeping two Call Center Operators but having 12-hour shifts. This will ensure continuity of information flow and staff accountability.With the new PaaS system a Data Clerk is not required as call center operators and drivers enter information in real-time. Reallocation of resource to hire a Quality Personnel to ensure standards and compliance with information system and operational business process are met would be ideal. It is noteworthy to mention that the lack of face-to-face interaction with your employees reduces insight into your business processes.
This lack of awareness diminishes effective ability to manage and adapt to a growing business environment. Please consider routine in person contact with all staff.