'In my firm, no one worked overtime, nights or weekends, including me, even during busy season.'

So how was this achieved…

…in an industry where the working lifestyle, especially within big brand partnerships servicing major companies is the norm?

The headline is a condensed quote from Ryan Lazanis (Futurefirm .co).

While there’s a big delta between small firms and Tier 2/ Big 4 Partners, principles remain relevant when adjusted for environment.

For Partners servicing major clients over 3 to 5 years, one of Ryan’s principles could be modified to:

'Sufficiently prior to client engagement determine the systems and processes to implement, so service delivery runs smoothly over the life of the contract, leveraging efficiencies to maximise profits yet deliver above client expectations, in an effort to re-sign the client for the next contract period.'

Workforce Capacity or Resource Planning lies at the heart of service fulfilment.

Its job is to manage a path between the extremes of 'Excess Capacity' (wasting profits) and 'Bottleneck Failures' (Client/Revenue losses).

There are predictable (busy season) and unpredictable events impacting employees, clients and businesses to various degrees.

The ability to steer a path, maximise profits and retain client satisfaction, is what makes business less stressful for clients, business owners and staff.

But this only works by implementing systems well in advance of when they are needed.

Expect lag times between identifying what’s needed, implementation and it becoming an efficient working process.

I can see merit in the claims that excess capacity is better than not enough.

Major clients are difficult to win and harder to retain when expectations are damaged.

Retaining excess capacity for all to run smoothly also needs a method for doing so cost effectively.

Yet, the ability to ramp-up human capacity no longer seems to be a quick, simple and inexpensive process in this Covid era.

Repetitive lower-level tasks are the outsource specialty of low-cost countries like India and The Philippines.

However, rampant security and data theft issues, public sentiment towards corporates exporting local jobs, and Covid curtailing outsourcers’ ability to deliver, has caused some of their shine to rub off.

An alternate path for consideration is to leverage greater efficiencies into your existing team.

To extend their higher-level capacities by reducing and/or automating low-level repetitive tasks.

On face value this appears to provide multiple longer-term benefits for all.

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