There’s a lot of crossover between people, process and procedure. To a degree, they support each and make each more effective. When you add software systems to that mix you enhance your accountability, transparency and rigour further. It’s a very important part of growing from a small to medium-sized company.
“Take for example our growth,” says Nutbourne’s Marcus Evans. “As we began to get bigger and people were given their own areas of responsibility, they became more accountable for what they were doing. So the good will that we built our company around becomes less relevant.”
So rather than good will where people put in extra hours where they need to, or go the extra mile, or take calls at home, processes and procedures are in place to ensure that those things are dealt with without impinging on one individual while everyone else is leaving the office. The same applies to efficiency too.
“When there are 20 or 30 tickets on the desk, any software programme will be able to show you those – we’re now average between 120 to 130 open tickets at a time. If you have six people in the first line dealing with them, and six people in the second line dealing with them you have a different problem.
“We had to put in a lot of processes so that we didn’t miss tickets. It’s very easy to miss things when people don’t know what they’re responsible for. It’s also easy for tickets to get missed and for clients to get unhappy.”
One of the things Nutbourne did was to get its software to the point where it could run, though it is close to reaching its natural lifespan as the company expands. A more integrated, end-to-end system will replace it and, according to Marcus, will provide the platform for the next level of growth.
“It’s far more efficient and means information isn’t lost. This is part of the growth from small to medium sized company – we have done that in sales, staffing and responsibility – the next step is processes and systems to make sure we have a robust base to grow from.
“You can grow into a system that can have 500 open processes at a time; with one that is limited to 120 you have to tinker with it to make it work. That doesn’t really work.”
“Ultimately, you need a strong base to grow a large pyramid. A five-person company can change into a 20 person company without more than organic growth. A five-person company will struggle to get to a 100 people without radically changing its processes and the way it does things.”