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  • Writer's pictureDan Beck

Getting past the "you don't know, what you don't know"​ barrier

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

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 time capture 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 start 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 project management systems. We started trying to quantify the issue, identifying over $100,000 of time had not even hit the 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) cost under $4k to analyse and quantify.

Now that we “knew what we didn’t previously know”, 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 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)

The Return on Investment (ROI) on these projects were all less than six months (and some mere weeks), meaning the business improved their profitability quickly and enjoyed the benefits into the future.

Now the crazy thing is, almost every business we have done a data discovery or feasibility study for have found similar issues.

Let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • Does your gut tell you that something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it?

  • 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 ignoring it is not your style, make contact and we’ll do a free scoping session with you or your clients on how to identify AND eliminate waste AND keep it monitored and under control for the future.


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