Here’s what we’ve been up to
Moving forward with CSSC
We’ve been working closely with the Civil Sports Council (CSSC) on their Digital Service Programme (DSP), so we’re taking a moment to give you an update. Not only are we thrilled to be working on this, but it has generated a lot of excitement and engagement across the CSSC team.
All the working parts
We’ve had three suppliers onboard to deliver a new online events management solution, a new customer relationship management (CRM) tool and a new website and online shop.
Our online events software development has been completed. The next step is to test and update the system with the Head Office staff and volunteers who organise events. The idea is to do this in a ‘live’ environment.
As for the CRM, the initial development work has also been completed. We’re now working with both the supplier and the web supplier. This is to develop the integrations to allow both systems to talk to each other.
Finally, we’ve adopted an Agile approach for the website with sprints for the different parts of the site. We’re progressing the designs and wireframes in advance of build.
Running full speed ahead
The coming months are all about preparing for launches and end-to-end testing with users, so we’re expecting a full-on time. There’s still work to do on this programme, but we’re truly full speed ahead!
2019: Our year of growth
Consolidation was the key word for us in 2018. We built on existing relationships with clients and launched our ‘Academy’ to facilitate staff development. However, after another great year, it’s time to start looking to the next.
What to expect from 2019
So, what’s the word for 2019? For us, it’s growth and by this, we don’t just mean in one area. This includes our internal team as well as our client base.
Our Academy is a great starting place for this. We’re also super excited about our apprenticeship programme, which launches this year. With this in place we hope to drive development through all levels of the company, building on our core values and giving everyone a chance to learn.
2019 sees us invest in our senior team and business practices. Supporting systems and processes and a more strategic recruitment drive will create the basis for sustained growth in the next few years.
By investing in these elements, it will enable us to grow from within. This growth will be the key to our future capability and professional services delivery.
Delivery across industries
When it comes to our clients, the only way is up. We will actively expand our client base across established sectors of local government, airports, and not-for-profit. We also see potential growth in the transport, legal, and health sectors.
The Entec Si way
We are entering the new year with a positive outlook and a very capable delivery team. Our strong blended team approach, consistent client commitment and caring culture will underpin a year of expansion and individual staff development.
Why a data warehouse is crucial for your law firm
Consolidation is a trend within the legal sector that shows no signs of slowing. Indeed mergers and acquisitions (M&As) allow law firms to reap the benefits of economies of scale, expand their areas of expertise and access a larger pool of talent.
However, firms should be wary of unintended consequences. With information spread across various platforms, M&As can reduce the visibility of internal data. This makes it difficult to identify potential risks and opportunities. To avoid this, it is essential that firms implement a consolidated data management approach. At the heart of this sits a centralised ‘data warehouse’, acting as the hub for all internal data and business reporting.
Why is a data warehouse vital?
Using multiple platforms to store off-system data is not just a drain on manual resources. It can also reduce the accuracy of information – which can quickly become outdated or fall foul of GDPR legislation.
A data warehouse can help firms to avoid these pitfalls. Manual processes can be reduced, the data can be made more accessible and a ‘single source of truth’ can be established. What sits behind this is one central platform, which incorporates automated feeds from different business systems.
The ability to build dashboards and reports also supports strategic planning across key sectors. This level of analysis enables decision-makers to thoroughly inspect particular areas.
How to implement it
There are number of questions that need to be considered when choosing the most appropriate IT platform for a data warehouse:
- Who requires access to data?
- Which area of the business do they work in?
- Which systems will they need in order to source the data?
Firms may need to transfer off-system data to new applications or remove redundant systems. Similarly data cleansing or classification may be needed. Assigning responsibility to a member of internal staff to oversee the entire project can also speed up project delivery and boost the chances of success.
Before you begin…
Firstly, it is vital that law firms seek out the right professional advice. This can be sourced both from specialists and by utilising ‘blended teams’ who can assist the firm’s team to increase the efficiency of the project. With support from a variety of advisors, law firms can make sure their data warehouse implementation is a success.
To discuss data centralisation strategies and discover how your business can benefit, please contact Peter Mardsen or another member of our team.
Engaging with stakeholders
Meet the stakeholders
Stakeholders play a crucial role within a programme or project and have a vested interest in its success. Therefore it’s essential that programme and project managers build positive relationships with them to ensure a well delivered series of outputs. This is done through good communication, collaboration and an enthusiastic approach to delivery.
Three of the senior stakeholders that we work closely with are Glenn Hammons and Michelle Drewery of East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) and Karen Denton of the Borough Council of Wellingborough (BCW). As senior stakeholders of a shared IT service, they’re all committed to the successful delivery of a programme of change.
As with any large-scale change, IT transformation will impact a number of key areas. These include workflow, business rules, what gets automated and perhaps most importantly, corporate culture. Subsequently, by maintaining strong relationships with senior stakeholders we ensure that all key messages are shared collaboratively.
This relationship is created and maintained through a series of weekly calls and meetings. As a result we’re able to sustain a solid understanding of our clients’ needs. By producing detailed plans we understand how and when we should engage. These also play an important role in continuing communications with stakeholders.
Searching for stars: our first recruitment event
Earlier this month we were joined by budding business change professionals from across the UK for a first-of-its-kind recruitment networking event. The evening provided attendees with a great introduction to our business. Equally it enabled us to meet some fantastic new talent!
A warm welcome
On arrival, attendees networked with other candidates and members of our team over nibbles. At this point they were treated to a series of videos showcasing some of our greatest client achievements.
It was then over to our directors Eman Al-Hillawi and Peter Marsden for a presentation about the company. They talked about how we were formed, what sets us apart from the crowd and our exciting plans for future growth. Following the presentation, the mic was passed over to attendees, who were given the opportunity to quiz our team.
Getting to know us
We’re proud to break the mould. Here are the top 5 things that make us different from a traditional consultancy:
- We’ve made our mark on the Birmingham skyline – Looking out across Birmingham, you’ll see several iconic landmarks where we’ve delivered successful projects – from Birmingham Airport to the city’s impressive library.
- We’re dedicated to developing our team – Our recently-launched Entec Si Academy has been designed to help new talent achieve personal career and development goals.
- We’re a great bunch of people! – We pride ourselves on being a tight-knit and supportive team. Without doubt our quarterly away days are one of the highlights of our year! We really care about our people and what we do for our clients.
- Working across a huge range of areas – From programme and project management through to strategy and business planning for a number of industries who are putting business change at the top of their agenda. We’re also lucky enough to find our work genuinely interesting, rewarding and almost always good fun.
- Sometimes we do chocolate runs! – We’re committed to giving back to local communities and organisations. We even recently completed a charity chocolate run!
We hope that attendees found the evening to be as insightful and enjoyable as we did. It goes without saying that we look forward to getting to know many more brilliant business change stars at our future events!
M&A: How to achieve a successful culture integration
UK merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is fast becoming known as the go-to method for achieving diversification, market growth and increased profit margins. However, in an effort to focus on these areas, the integration of the two separate company cultures can be forgotten. This can lead to significant problems in the future. So, what can businesses do to ensure that culture is protected?
Identify a target culture and plan to achieve it
In the wake of M&A activity, organisations should identify their ideal company culture. They should then decide the actions that need to be taken to achieve it. This starts with an initial evaluation of the current culture as well as a business health-check of key markers such as employee motivation. Once an assessment has been made, it is then possible to determine how the planned changes will affect the business’ four key areas:
Satisfy the workforce
Failing to consider company culture during M&A activity can leave employees feeling alienated from the organisation. As a result it can have a direct impact on performance and wellbeing. With this in mind, HR teams must ensure that employees are engaged in the process of change and understand its trajectory. A happy team will ensure that strategic targets are met, and employee turnover doesn’t skyrocket.
Manage the project
Culture change, like any other project, requires clear and decisive management. The support of a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) can provide stakeholders with increased visibility across initiatives. It can enable them to quickly address any potential HR issues that may arise. Furthermore, it can also help to drive effective communication. This means that everyone is aware of any developments or changes to working practices.
It will take time
Organisations need to appreciate that it can take it can take up to 12 months to fully integrate a new company culture. Getting the process right the first time is critical. In order to prepare for this, organisations should provide an appropriate buffer period and seek external advice at the earliest opportunity.
To discuss how to make the most of any M&As that your company may be planning, please contact Peter Marsden, Debora Marras or another member of our team.
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