Voice of the customer at our 2015 Conference
It was good to be part of a fantastic event last Wednesday with location, presenters and content first class.
Once again thanks for an excellent day .. I came away feeling inspired and pretty much spent two hours on the train back home typing notes from the presentations.
Really enjoyed the session. Lots of discussion and inspiration.
Thanks for inviting me to your sales conference yesterday – which I thought was excellent.
I thought your choice of speakers was excellent and the content they shared was refreshing, pertinent and real.
Customer Success Stories and Testimonials
I have found working with Brian Sellers to be stimulating, thought-provoking and demanding. Brian very quickly understood the core requirements of our business and worked with our senior team to draw together a strategy for growth and development of our business. He was insightful and drew from his varied business experiences to guide us towards solutions. I recommend him to any business looking for new focus on their core strengths and their customers.
Managing Director, Bibliographic Data Services
Since 1992, Gael Ltd has helped organisations manage governance, compliance and risk more effectively and more efficiently. Gael’s founders realised the bureaucracy surrounding compliance was unacceptable, ultimately preventing ‘real’ work getting done, so decided to take appropriate action by developing software tools to automate routine and low value tasks required in managing Quality Management Systems (QMS).
The products and services provided by Gael have evolved enormously over the years, with each iteration designed to encourage organisations to do the ‘right things, right’, and being capable of demonstrating compliance to auditors, customers, regulators and third party organisations as required.
It would be easy to label Gael as a software company. However in reality Gael is a company that continually works with its customers to maximise what can be achieved with effective management of their compliance system – a remit much wider than a set of products. We view ourselves as an organisation that can help customers set the vision of what can be achieved, and then provide appropriate software tools, techniques and professional services to deliver on the objectives set.
Gael has grown turnover and profit in each of its operating years. As it has remained privately owned, Gael is able to re-invest profits, without any external shareholder pressures, for quick returns. This stability has been a major factor in Gael’s success. Sustained, rather than explosive, growth has been their mantra.
In 2010, Gael was awarded a Deloitte Fast 500 award as one of Europe, Middle East & Africa’s fastest growing technology companies over a 5 year qualifying period, having demonstrated growth of 573%. This was the second successive year that Gael was recognised in these awards, highlighting our strategy for continued, sustained growth.
In 2010, Donald Maciver, founder of Gael Limited engaged Koru Consulting. Here are his views:
Why Koru? – Koru sends out a regular newsletter on topics of interest and importance for sales. I’ve been reading them for some years and was impressed with the clarity and simplicity of the comment and advice so when I was looking for help with my sales function I turned to them to see what they could do.
What did we need? – While our sales figures were good and growing, I felt that we could accelerate the business by introducing more consistency and structure into the sales process. Too much time was being spent on low value sales or opportunities which were going nowhere.
What did they deliver? – Koru provided us with a concise and clear analysis of our problems – quality of qualification, sales process, and consistency of forecasting. They assessed the current sales skills of each salesman e.g. call planning, objection handling, questioning, and devised a programme to address these problems.
What benefits did we gain? – We now have a consistent, easily understood set of qualification criteria which help us to qualify quickly and consistently and a clear sales process, both of which have been integrated into our CRM system. Freshening up basic sales skills has been a key part of the programme and a simple, clear approach to forecasting based on a three month rolling forecast by sales opportunity has been introduced.
Koru’s work has supported us in growing the business by 24% in 2011, and we have come to regard Koru as a partner rather than a supplier.
For more information regarding Gael and its solutions for quality, safety, compliance and risk visit www.gaelquality.com
Quostar Solutions is a fast developing IT services company based in Bournemouth. Like many companies in their market sector Quostar faces strong commodity based competitors many of which are more established and have a wider portfolio. The directors of the company decided that a review of their market and sales direction was required in order to develop a sustainable competitive strategy. Koru was engaged to produce a business development plan that would provide the platform for the long term profitable growth of the company. Koru’s initial actions were to:
• Gain an understanding of the business aspirations of the directors
• Undertake an in depth review of the Quostar business through an extensive SWOT analysis
• Identify their key clients, markets and competitors
• Understand their pricing and business model
• Understand their current sales and marketing capability and processes
Following this Koru assimilated the information provided and carried further competitive and market research to identify a market positioning that would allow Quostar to achieve its ambitions. Koru’s extensive knowledge and experience in the IT services sector meant that this could be done quickly thus saving Quostar time and money. The output of the engagement was a business development plan covering:
• Mission, business objectives and strategies
• Target markets and clients
• Services portfolio
• Value proposition and unique selling propositions
• Sales approach and deployment
• Pricing and promotional strategy
• A 5 year financial plan
• Detailed action plan
The benefits that Quostar will see from implementing Koru’s proposals are:
• They have a clear framework in which to develop the company
• There is a financial plan that identifies and triggers investments
• A sales approach that optimises the use of all Quostar’s resources which is increasing sales, and
• A value proposition and pricing strategy that is already delivering improved margins
Koru remain involved with Quostar providing advice and guidance when required, and proactively provide research into business opportunities that supports the business development plan. The relationship between the two companies is best described by Quostar director James Stelfox: “It is refreshing to have someone to speak to who actually has an understanding of our business, where we are trying to get to, and who can help us get there”.
|Corporate Services Directorate|
For some while, we had felt that PA and administrative resources were not working effectively across the Directorate. Over time, a gradual duplication of tasks between PA and administrative support had emerged resulting in a shortage of those resources in some areas and a surplus of effort in others.
In addition, our resources were split between two locations and, in advance of bringing them together in one building in 2013, we asked Koru to help us to establish greater equity in the distribution of PA and Admin support across the Directorate. Our objective was to clearly define the respective roles and create the capacity to meet increasing demand in a period of resource pressure.
Koru interviewed all staff, including chief officers, identifying all current tasks and capabilities, assessing likely future demands and gaps in provision, and benchmarking our establishment against both public and private practice. They handled the project with great tact and discretion at a time when staff were understandably nervous about their future, reinforcing our objective of developing staff capability and capacity rather than simply looking to reduce cost.
Their recommendations resulted in a clear differentiation between administrative and PA roles which have allowed us to quickly improve the quality of support for all chief officers, identify where specialist admin support is required for specific functions, and put the foundations in place for a shared admin service across the directorate once we have moved into a single building. The benefits include identification and removal of non-essential tasks, a 10-20% increase in capacity within the directorate, greater flexibility to respond to changing demand, and a better motivated workforce, committed to the changes we are making.
Director of Corporate Services (Read another case study from Bracknell Forest Council)
National School of Government
Koru Services with our partner SKC won the opportunity to delivery Phase 2 of the School’s Lean Implementation strategy and commenced April 2010 with the objective of rolling out Communication Cells across the Learning and Delivery division. However, with the change of government, the project was reconfigured to include new objectives including Business Process Improvement activities such as customer journey mapping, process mapping and improvement and the transfer of skills to enable the school to do its own rollout of Communication Cells. We instead were being tasked with rolling out T Cards and Production Boards, Resource Plans, Demand/Capacity/Capability Models, Visual Management, Problem Solving Methodologies and Daily Workplace Audit.
The big win came when the customer journey was examined in detail from start to finish. It became apparent that the customer journey was in need of improvement at every stage and by improving it, the cost of processing each customer would drop by around 96%. The reduction will come through the implementation of the identified improvements which in essence will channel all customer contact through the School’s website and the systematic elimination of the causes of failure demand.
At the end of Phase 2, NSG is now in a position where it has a clear plan for improving the customer journey which will deliver more business and growth and where it has documented processes and SOP’s operated within an improved management team and a Continuous Improvement framework where there is clear visibility of what is being done and by whom.
- Better equipped Lean Champions working towards independent implementation of continuous improvement technique
- 30 plus staff using 6 communications cells
- Better understanding of capacity on a daily basis by team
- Improved communications via Communications Cells and visual management
The project will be able to achieve a 4 times return on its investment.
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
“As part of its Shaping Solihull transformation programme, the Council has commissioned Koru Services to put together its very own “Reith Lectures” – a high profile series of forward looking ”think pieces” from highly regarded movers and shakers in the public, private and voluntary sectors. The programme has been put in place to give the organisation’s leadership (at all levels) the opportunity to be exposed to the latest ideas about the change agendas in and beyond the public sector. The first of the lectures, a session from Dr Chris Yapp on Local Governance and Social Innovation, provided a flying start with colleagues from across the Council delighted with – and challenged by – the input. And this is just what the programme has been designed to do: expose the leadership to new ideas; stimulate thinking; and refresh the appetite for tackling the wicked issues”.
Koru’s Senior Executive events for local authority chief executives play a similar role in that the invitation to join other leaders to listen to and engage in debate about reform and change provides an essential opportunity to get out of one’s comfort zone and be intellectually challenged. The benefit is that there is no functional outcome required (you don’t come back with an implementation plan!); rather, the chance to stimulate the little grey cells is the prize – and a most welcome one at that.
Mark Rogers, Chef Executive, Solihull MBC