Written by by Andreas Steven COO/CTO
Integrating the right piece of technology into your current operation is critical for any business to have the edge over its competitors. Your preparation is evident now more than ever while we were in one of three stages: pre-COVID, current-COVID, or post-COVID.
Pre-COVID – Imagine, Plan, Strategize and Implement
In addition to a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan, I created The Strategic Operational Plan (TSOP). Ten years ago, TSOP or its equivalent, may not have been as prevalent or necessary as it is now. It took years of observation to find the root of our companies’ challenges and creating a specification to match it. From that specification came the research phase to see if current existing technology can address all of our specific challenges. We found supplementing our current structures with tools from other technology companies, created an improved system, workflow, and efficiencies.
Each organization’s TSOP will be specific to their needs and industry; however, one of the significant components of any TSOP is to address workplace mobility and the younger workforce. We were fortunate to implement that foundational component pre-COVID. Barring anything that is still in physical form, we are genuinely remote and working seamlessly from our homes.
Current-COVID – Step back and adjust as necessary
As I reflect on March 13, 2020, news of COVID was intensifying, and offices across the Portland area started to shut down. I spent that day confirming our remote operation capabilities. I confirmed our staff could immediately fully service our clients from their homes.
My conversation with our CEO communicated that when he was ready to make the decision, we were ready to convert our operations from in-person to remote. By Sunday, March 15, 2020, our CEO made the call to immediately transition to remote operations for the safety of all. An email went out that night, alerting all employees and the initiation of remote operations began. We had our first virtual staff meeting that Monday morning. Ever since, it has been mostly business as usual as we serve our clients’ needs remotely.
We made course corrections if any issues arose. We continue to hold daily virtual meetings to discuss logistics, client’s needs, and check-in with one another. Client-focused activities include a campaign to have our staff reach out to clients via phone and the ever popular virtual calls on platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. All these technologies exist, and yet a human touch is still important to us. Communication, even remote, is the human touch we can continue to provide.
Had we not been executing our TSOP, we would have been marooned for at least a couple of weeks trying to figure things out and would not have been able to reach out to clients and protect our employees with remote workplace capabilities.
Post-COVID – Continuous improvement will create a new plan
We continue to execute our current TSOP. Internally, we will be able to work with increasing efficiency. Externally, we have new tools to help our clients holistically manage their finances while providing excellent communication tools to connect with them. For the company, it will allow us to compete effectively with our most significant competitors and allow us to scale as needed. I call it the triple win: for clients, employees, and the companies.
Continuous improvement is the name of the game. Create a plan, implement, course correct, repeat. Crises reveal what is working well, what needs to be done to improve operations in real-time and provide opportunities for growth and greater job satisfaction. It might seem daunting, but I challenge you to focus on the operations of your company as carefully as you do your clients and your team. I wish you tremendous success.
Andreas Steven, COO, CTO
A trusted advisor who understands the right balance of Operation & Technology with the ability to see the big picture and dive into the smallest of details when necessary.
Experienced in leading a company and mentoring teams in the fields of technology, marketing, finance, compliance, custodian/vendor management, facility management, and change management in the RIA and Trust industry.
I value structure and repeatable processes that make a company firing on all cylinders. Play smart, not hard.
Connect with Andreas Here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreas-steven/