Centrally located in the heart of St Helier, Jersey Business has a dynamic team of skilled business professionals who are on hand to help navigate and orientate the island’s businesses to success. They boast many years of combined experience of running private sector businesses and use this to help companies of all types and sizes to achieve their goals.
Supported by, but trading totally independently of, the Government of Jersey they are committed to providing a free, confidential advisory service. Working together, the overriding objective is to help ensure that all client individuals and businesses maximise their potential.
Business Improvement Project
June Stead (Business Advisor) and Jayne Low (Start-up Advisor) participated in the Business Improvement Programme focussing their project on the Client onboarding process. This was a particularly brave and exciting challenge for Jersey Business (JB) as they were actively participating in one of their own product offerings, demonstrating a commitment to learn in line with their client base.
As they commenced with the Improvement programme it was recognised that their services had evolved significantly since the team was formed in 2013 but that little had been done to assess and update the underpinning processes. In the early days, most client businesses were Small Start Ups, however the current state highlighted that this is made up of many more established businesses across a whole range of sectors. Nevertheless, the number of Small Start Ups seeking advice continues to rise and SME’s with 1-5 employees makes up more than 80% of all Businesses in Jersey. Currently all new enquiries come directly through to reception and it can get very busy – at times backing up with people waiting to be seen. The team launched into the process mapping with gusto but soon realised it was going to be a much bigger job than first thought. They began to see processes within processes and at times it did feel a bit overwhelming.
Data was collated on the amount of new client meetings both pre-arranged and ad-hoc ‘drop-ins’ along with incoming calls and all email enquiries. It was becoming evident that reception had a heavy workload that wasn’t really understood across the team and as such appropriate resource management was inadequate.
As the Value Stream Map (VSM) was developed and made public across the business more and more data was collated, and measures were made clear as to how much resource was being consumed throughout. Drilling down into data and applying work study techniques the team highlighted that just dealing with phone calls and emails alone added up (time wise) to 35 weeks of resource a year with over 40% of the time spent on Non-Value Add activity. Add the Front Desk meetings and Drop-Ins to that and the reality was that a total of 46 weeks of resource was being consumed with only 29 of those being Value Add.
Ishikawa (cause and effect) diagrams were plotted showing the main process issues and the wastes as seen by the team. Examples included:
- Enquiries When enquiries come in there’s no clear structure or criteria in place for deciding where these should be channelled, meaning who would be the best advisor to see them
- Meeting Request Forms Often rambling or not filled in properly which means that they’re time consuming to read or have to be returned. Often several people read them before they arrive at the chosen advisor.
- Emails Being sent back and forth, long in detail and numerous with excess or unnecessary information.
- Data Data is recorded, duplicated and accessed in many different places and systems. Some data being kept has no real use
- Meetings Everyone is offered a meeting at the moment of between 40 and 60 minutes and this creates a serious bottleneck. The improvement team had collated a good amount of data over a number of weeks and were now ready to take their analysis to the whole JB team and present what they had found. This led to deep cross functional team discussions and brainstorming for change. All suggestions being captured and added to the analysis.
The improvement team were now ready to create a future state process plotting a a new ‘Customer Journey’ realising that this will be and still is a work in progress which will need capital expenditure in utilising digital solutions. Forms are being restructured and duplication is being removed across the process as the analysis has provided the knowledge base to do this. Front end decision making on meetings and processing client requirements is being restructured and will be monitored to view success whilst ensuring that all clients receive optimum levels of customer service. The implementation plan is very much under way with actions being sanctioned.
The expected benefits are being monitored against the following plan:
- Phone calls and emails to drop from 35 weeks of resource to 28 weeks
- Front Desk Meetings from 3 to 1 per week
- Drop ins will decrease from 8 weeks of resource to 5 weeks
In total this will save is 450 hours which equates to 12 working weeks. That’s a 26% time saving on the current processes. All this means that JB will be freeing up precious time to support and work with the businesses that really need them and whom will benefit the most. Clients will be able to access services quicker and many will be able to find the information they’re looking for quicker using the enhanced website. Front Desk resource will be freed up to focus on more productive projects
Team quote / experience:
“I’ve enjoyed being part of this programme. It’s been challenging and thought provoking, pushing many of us outside of our comfort zones but also a lot of fun. I now have some extra tools that I can use to help not only Jersey Business but my Clients and myself personally. For me, the concept of lean seems so rooted in common sense that you end up asking yourself why haven’t we seen or implemented this before.
June Stead, Business Advisor
“On a personal level, working through this whole process has been beneficial to me. It has allowed me to see and believe for myself, that where I thought at times, am I doing something wrong? Am I not performing well enough? Doing the course actually proved to me it wasn’t me after all, but it was more about the process or processes that were failing us, in their existing state.”
Jayne Low, Start Up Advisor
The aim of the business improvement programme is to support established organisations to become more efficient and to deliver sustainable growth that will create market competitiveness and a solid operational platform for the future. It is managed by Jersey Business, funded by the Government of Jersey and delivered by Accelerate.
If you would like to get involved in a future programme contact us at [email protected]