Startup company, with 30% YoY growth past 5+ years. 60+ employees with 30 open positions. Killer culture and leadership team.
Needs Assessment, Opportunity Prioritization Recommendation, Current and Future State Process Mapping, Project Management Coaching, Execution follow up.
The client had an over doubling in the number of customers onboarding to their online platform over a one-month period, and two months later, their backlog had skyrocketed and their team was overloaded. They engaged with AJC to evaluate the current state and make improvement recommendations in Processes and Operations.
A sudden jump in new customers meant that the client could not step back and re-evaluate their processes for scalability. It was all hands on deck just keeping the ship from sinking. Employees were maxed, and customers were waiting upwards of 30 days to start using their newly purchased system.
“Our employees were a bit nervous about Needs Assessment interviews at first (something about the movie “Office Space” and a red stapler), but were put at ease by Andrea’s approachable style.”
Figuring Out the Solution
In the Define phase of AJC’s structured process, Andrea conducted a thorough Needs Assessment. Small focus group interviews, direct observation, Current State Process mapping, and a team survey quickly illuminated the myriad of opportunities for improvement with the onboarding process, and operational challenges for the team.
The clients customers ran the gambit in regards to being technology savvy. The overarching goal of improving the onboarding process was to streamline the steps in a scalable fashion, while still maintaining strong relationships with clients and catering to those who need additional technical support to guide them through the process.
AJC prioritized specific initiatives to realize the overarching goal. The first was to scrub and streamline the Information Gathering Phase of the overall process. Through a step-by-step Implementation Plan complete with duration, Owners, dates, and methods, the team was able to identify mandatory versus nice-to-have information, improve the online user upload pages, and offer personal assistance when customers got stuck.
Throughout the customer onboarding process, the team was making manual phone calls. The second goal was to Revise Scheduling and Phone Calls. The client had already decided on an application-based solution for scheduling, but had not yet implemented. AJC helped them create the detailed process they would configure in the scheduling application and helped them stay accountable to implementing it.
The third goal was to re-evaluate training capacity. The team identified two training steps in their Onboarding process. The first trained 5 customers at a time, while the second was one-on-one. Needless to say, a significant backlog had accumulated at the second training step. By balancing the customers-to-session ratio, the company opened the floodgates to release this bottleneck.
The fourth goal was to clarify all Roles and Responsibilities in the Customer Onboarding process. This was accomplished by AJC-facilitated cross-functional Future State process mapping. Team members collaborated on a streamlined process that eliminated redundancy, over-processing, rework, and wasted time and effort. Each step had defined ownership, and clear channels for inputs and outputs to the next step and owner.
Finally, managers identified constant interruptions as an anecdotal issue that prevented them from accomplishing their priorities. In order to give objectivity to this complaint, AJC asked the managers to record the number of interruptions and time spent for them over the course of four days, reporting out on the results. On a typical day, managers were being interrupted for 33% of their day, sometimes up to 50% of the day! AJC made recommendations to work in a remote location when especially important “heads-down” work needs to be done, and proactively blocking out calendar time for priority work.
“Andrea helped us understand all aspects of our target process’s current state and prioritized actions with supportive data in a solid work product to which our team has been able to execute. We recommend using AJC for articulating problem areas and bringing insightful and executable actions to the table!”
This client was motivated to execute the recommendations and immediately respond to the coaching AJC provided. AJC is pleased to have helped them achieve a steady-state in this operational process.
Do you have a process that feels outdated and won’t scale well?
Contact AJC today to schedule your Needs Assessment and continue to execute the top priorities that will help you move to the next level in your business growth.