Management Consulting in Action: A Case Study
Preparing organisations to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment is no easy task. Market realities change quickly – and so do company strategies, employee expectations, and the technology that enables efficient and accurate work. Adding to the challenge are time and budgetary constraints, which limit many attempts at organisational change.
Our previous article outlined several key priorities that businesses should embrace as they adapt to a post-COVID environment. We also identified five areas of focus that allows our consulting specialists to deliver the greatest benefit for our clients: Strategy & business model, human capital management, process optimisation, system and technology, and business continuity management.
Yet it is worth examining how these areas of improvement are addressed in practice, to give the clearest possible picture of how management consulting delivers its benefits. For that reason, we decided to explore the particular issues faced by a client – and how our team offered sound guidance to help them move forward successfully.
Assessment and analysis
Following a merger, one client asked Grant Thornton in Thailand to assess its sales and commission operations – with a particular eye toward comparing its current operations with industry standards and best practices.
We analysed their process workflow, commission and compensation procedures, and issues surrounding regulatory compliance. In order to provide practical recommendations in support of good governance, transparency, and efficiency, our business consulting team worked alongside our own legal experts.
This integrated approach allowed us to deliver a comprehensive assessment based on interviews with the client, hands-on system tests, and process walkthroughs. Rather than providing a complete audit, our mandate was to identify loopholes in their existing system and recommend clear corrective courses of action to fix them.
We divided our findings into 5 main areas: Lack of a PDPA policy, practices that were non-compliant with regulations, obsolete systems, out-of-date policies & procedures, and personnel requiring key skills training.
Every problem has a solution
Though the client had a range of issues needing attention, our combined consulting and legal teams were able to point the way forward for every main administrative aspect of its sales and commission operations. We made the following recommendations:
- Lack of a PDPA policy – We advised the client on their PDPA obligations, discussing the components of a compliant PDPA framework. We met with the client’s management team to explain the regulatory procedures made mandatory by this incoming law, as well as how the client could best adhere to government requirements and avoid penalty. (The enforcement period of this new law has since been delayed, and we informed the client of this change.)
- Non-compliant practices – We identified several areas of their operations which were in danger of violating existing laws and regulations. We highlighted the gap between their internal policy and the relevant laws, as well as the potential penalties they may face if these discrepancies were not addressed. We proposed clear and actionable recommendations to facilitate compliance with the relevant laws, helping them conform to industry expectations and avoid risk.
- Obsolete systems – We discovered ongoing practices within the department which had not yet been modernised to reflect improvements in technology. Some of them required excessive manual effort, resulting in occasional human error. After understanding our client’s specific needs, as well as their strategic direction, we advised them on expected system requirements for helping to automate these processes while also improving the quality of output. These system requirements would serve as a guideline for the company when selecting a new and more suitable solution.
- Out-of-date policies & procedures – The lack of updated policies in some areas had caused errors and confusion, because client staff had no relevant reference material to review when they were unsure of how to proceed with a given task. We advised the client to establish new procedures and announce them to employees.
- Personnel requiring key skills training – We noted that the skillsets of some personnel were incomplete, given their roles in the organisation. We also observed that motivation among some team members was sub-optimal, and recommended implementing a comprehensive personnel development plan to train their people and fix these outstanding issues. Furthermore, our analysis showed that the company’s strategy and key performance indicators were not fully aligned with the tasks assigned to their personnel. We advised their management team to address these issues to improve employee performance and morale.
A partner for implementation
The client was satisfied with these recommendations and implemented them. They also asked us to serve as their project management office to assist them with a separate rebranding .
This rebranding involved a variety of activities, such as:
- Following all legal requirements for registration
- Notifying customers, agents, vendors, financial institutes, and other parties
- Designing new artwork, stationery, office furnishings, signage, and other elements
- Changing the look and feel of the website
- Updating all visual communications templates
- Delivering new communication guidelines for internal staff, partners, agents, and others
- Updating internal systems to reflect the new brand
- Redirecting social media activity toward the new brand
Our consulting team created a viable project plan, based on interviews we conducted with client management. We coordinated activities between action groups at all levels, while monitoring the project timeline to ensure that each task was completed on schedule. We also supervised progress, to identify any issues needing attention and then implement solutions where appropriate. Throughout the project, we provided progress updates to key people within the client’s organisation.
This effort helped our client complete its rebranding within predetermined limits of budget, resources, and schedule. By helping to manage progress, and keeping everyone informed throughout the project via weekly updates, we ensured that project members always knew what they should be doing, knew how their work would fit in with the larger goal, and could contribute productively with confidence.
Both the sales and commission project, and the company-wide rebranding effort, were successful. Our integrated team effectively provided ‘one stop service’ for a variety of client needs, simplifying their overall experience and allowing for greater efficiency throughout the business improvement process.
To find out how Grant Thornton’s consulting team can help your organisation meet its potential, contact us today.