Vionq is a young company (founded in May 2013), that started with one consultant, who got caught by the added value you can deliver by getting totally involved in the business processes and starting the automation from there.
The demand was that great that the company extended to eight men in two years, all of them content oriented consultants. At that moment in time I came on board as non- content oriented director, with the mission to bring the company into the next phase. Typical questions I encountered:
- The projects of colleagues come from three directions: 1. New customers, 2. Own customers/follow-up orders, 3. A colleague asks for your support.
- How is the distribution over these three directions and what do we really think of it? How is the order distribution ideally?
- How are we capable to make the different expertise’s available for different customers or projects, and how do you know the exact disciplines of your colleagues?
- On what do we spend our time and how is this split between simply making billable hours in a project versus structurally building customer relations?
- We have a lot of customers. A compliment for such a small company, but how do we take care that we can deliver real business consultancy and maintain the trust with all these customers?
Convolo, in the person of Martin Waaijer, has been asked to help us with this. We started with a workshop in which we reflected extensively on the problems and the underlying theory. Then there were feedback moments in the monthly office days, where we reflected on the progress and the results so far. A very important contribution that Martin made was to discriminate between the results on content level and the results on process level. Especially the latter is extremely difficult to do on your own. We therefore needed external support for this. By nature, the colleagues at Vionq are very result oriented, so that part is well anchored. To reflect, however, on our learnings and to let improvements go in a structured way instead of in a “lonely cowboy style” way, that is far less our nature. In my mind, this is the turning point for a company to make real progress.
The results of this are clearly measurable. Some of the results:
- Projects have become smaller and are being closed before starting new ones
- A much better problem definition is made before starting to work on solutions
- Projects are initiated around specific problems
- Before starting to work on something, clear priorities are set, so that we know how big the problem really is that we are going to solve
- Just the awareness of the time spent by each colleague resulted in an increase of billable hours of four percent and a significant decrease of service hours.
In short, I am very glad about the results. In the approach, Martin combined a very solid theoretical frame with practical experience. I experienced this as very pleasant. Because of this, topics become more recognizable for everybody and there is a much more openness to tackle them, than I have experienced before. I am very delighted about it!
Author: Joep Thewissen, general director of Vionq.