Way back in October 2017 when we re-wrote our three-year business plan, the strategic planning team decided to implement the philosophy of ‘Better, Not Bigger’. We simply wanted to do what we already do, but better. Here are a few examples of how we have tried to achieve this strategic focus and the results we have had.
To kick start this new goal/focus we made the bold decision to assess our back-office system, which we had operated with for a number of years already and see what else the market had to offer. The management team did their own individual research, talked to other professionals and weighed up all options. After many demos and presentations from back-office providers, we eventually decided to sign up to the multi award winning organisation, Intelligent Office, who are the UK’s leading provider of support services to the financial and legal sector. This system gave us the opportunity to collect and collate a lot more data than we had previously been able to and use it in a more interactive, productive and efficient way. One of the benefits of the system is it allows us to build in workflows for the majority of our in-house processes. It also permits us to update these at any given time and because these are live workflows any changes are immediate, resulting in less process errors and providing better step by step guides to all members of staff.
The summer of 2017 was a busy one, with the relocation into our snazzy new building, a new three-year focus and a total revamp of the management team. With Kevin Ferriby (our MD) along with Practice Manager, Anjeanette Kemp, the management team was born, consisting of Jessica Crawford – Marketing & Events Manager, Sarah Williams – Accounts Manager and Sam Sharp – Administration Manager. The idea was to relieve the pressure from Anjeanette and Kevin, create teams of staff and have a line manager for all employees to report to. We wanted greater support for staff, have more thorough personal development plans for employees and improve communication between support staff and management on a day to day basis which was becoming increasingly difficult with the growing workforce of the organisation.
Over the past two years, this has evolved even more with Jessica transitioning into the role of Business Development Manager and managing the adviser team. Sam has become Deputy Practice Manager, working closely with Anjeanette on the day to day running of the firm, opening up to role of Client Services Manager, which was filled by Suzan Zaidky who manages the PAs, Admin Apprentice and Ongoing Strategy Administrator.
If you are a client of the business, you will more than likely be aware that each adviser now has a Personal Assistant. Initially our PAs assisted two advisers but as time went on and the business grew, it was evident that we needed to expand the team and have a more one on one role. Therefore, in January 2019 each PA was given their own individual adviser to look after. The hope of implementing this decision was to create a more personalised service for our clients, staff who deal with cases from start to finish and clients liaising with the same person on a continuous basis who’s voice will more than likely become more recognisable over time.
Still to come from ‘Better, Not Bigger’…
Personal Finance Portal
An element to the new back office system is an interactive Personal Financial Portal available for all clients. This allows clients to view their investment products as often as they wish from a device of their choice, update their personal information, upload documentation and liaise with their assigned adviser / PA at the press of a button. This will be a service we roll out gradually over a period of time, making sure support is available for all of our clients where necessary.
New Style Ongoing Strategy Reports
Our new back-office system gives us the ability to produce Ongoing Strategy Reports with the information and data we hold, and which is passed over to us on a daily basis by product providers. We are currently in the process of redesigning our current report which will allow us to collate up to date and accurate data, include a few added extras, as well as including the same useful information we have always provided to our clients as part of our ongoing service. We have recently recruited a new member of staff to overlook this area, making sure it is implemented and produced at the highest of standards. So, make sure you look out for it at your future Ongoing Strategy Meetings.
Next year, we will have a new focus for the future of our business, but rest assured no matter how much better we have already become, we will always strive to be better still…
If you would like to work with us as strive towards improving our clients financial situation as much as we can, you can get in touch here.