A frequent question with potential clients recently is the ability to deliver value in a virtual environment. While we are providing targeted value for all our current clients virtually today, we will explore some of the most demanded services with the current economic environment in this 3-part series.
Assessments – are typically quick hitting engagements where we are asked to provide an assessment of a business or business process and develop recommendations for improvements that can be effectively implemented.
In these cases, we have a well-defined process we use to execute the project that is typically composed of:
- Information requests – we identify the information we need to come up to speed quickly for the engagement. This information is transmitted via email and we set up a secure server where documents can be provided by client team members in an effective way. We request different information types that can be provided in various formats such as MS Word, MS Excel, PDF, Visio, MS Project and the like.
- Interviews of key stakeholders – this can be accomplished via secure phone and video calls using Teams, Webex and other methods. The agenda for the call is sent prior so that that client team members can efficiently use their time.
- Site surveys – where it is helpful to walk around and observe an operation – we can use pictures and videos provide by the client. Or we can use our “consultant cam” – trained dogs with Go Pro cameras attached. Well maybe not trained dogs…
- Application demonstrations – we use secure video and screen share technology to watch an application to understand a workflow process.
- Research and comparison to leading practices –this us where we review our past client files and experiences, review applicable third-party data sources and other techniques depending on the engagement scope. We develop our recommendations via internal team reviews that can be accomplished via conference calls and information sharing techniques. These actions are typically completed off site from our clients anyway.
- Presentation of results – presentations to stakeholders via secure video conference calls that typically includes document sharing technology as well.
- Prioritization of recommendations – after the results are presented, the next step is to prioritize the recommendations for improvements in lite of the current business situation. These are typically facilitated sessions with the stakeholders that uses a standard way of coming up with the top priorities. These can be conducted by secure conferencing as required and can be more effective since there is a mute button that can be employed by the facilitator!
All of this is enabled by tools and work processes that have been put in place and perfected years ago. Each of our consultants operates in world of ‘have laptop, will travel’ and is accustomed to working remotely or at the client site. The common denominator is that our team is focused on the goals of the project regardless of how the work is delivered day to day. Our reputation is built on successful delivery of projects and a high level of trust with our clients. We take that trust extremely seriously.
Hopefully this demonstrates with examples how our consulting projects can be delivered in today’s changing business environment. Please don’t just ask us though, ask our many clients for their views on the work our team does, how we do it and the business results we help to drive.
Stay tuned for Cash Management & Forecasting Services segment in Part 2 with other examples of providing remote Consulting Services.
– Jim Wadella, Managing Member