The biggest problem as a business owner in today’s market is knowing what every aspect of your business is doing at all times. You know what products you are selling, you know your costs, you know there is more that can be done, but it can be difficult to know where to start!
The solution? Data discovery!
In a recent example, a multi-office project management firm knew they had issues - they knew it was a timesheet issue, but they didn’t know where or how it was happening, let alone how to get it under control.
We got access to the systems and started analysing what the data was telling us to see if it correlated to what the owners were feeling. The data was telling us the first issue was a disconnect between payroll and project time - the time getting captured in payroll systems was not linking through to other systems accurately. Next we had to quantify the impact, we identified over $100,000 of time had not even hit the timesheet clock over a six month period. Let me say that again - there was $100,000 of time just missing, never captured, never assessed, in just a six month period.
This data discovery, which identified this issue (and quite a few others) took only a couple of days to analyse and quantify.
Now that we had discovered the problem, we had to get a process in place to fix, monitor and maintain.
We developed an automatic reporting package analysed daily across the entire team (and across multiple systems):
- Where time leakage was happening between projects and payroll
- Which division, team and team member were having issues
- What the leakage was costing the team and business for that period
But we didn’t stop there! We then started analysing and reporting in real-time:
- Efficiencies between divisions and teams - where time was all being captured but the productivity was outside of norms
- Where individual tasks were taking longer than expected, leading to write-offs
- Where tasks were being completed too quickly and could lead to quality issues (and would actually let the quality team know before projects were completed)
A business does not need a $100,000 hole burning in its pocket to reap the rewards of data discovery review.
Another example is a business that avoided this sort of scenario with some vigorous reporting, which required exporting several reports from the business’ software and consolidating them. This took a day out of an owner’s time each month. From the data discovery we found that we could automate that report, so the owner could do something more productive on the first Monday of every month – like work on a client or play 18 holes of golf.
The Return on Investment (ROI) on these projects were all less than six months (and some mere weeks), meaning the businesses improved their profitability quickly and enjoyed the benefits into the future.
Could you benefit from a data discovery? Let me ask you a couple of questions:
- Does your gut tell you something is wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it?
- Does finding out take too much time?
- Do want to fix it, rather than just ignore it?
- Do you want to improve profitability now, rather than wait until you have time?
If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, please reach out to us!