a) Do the minimum required
b) Just do your best to keep up with client requests
c) Try to keep up while forecasting what is next and moving to get there first
d) Use Technology to bridge the gap
If you answered a –Well I hope you are NOT taking this course of action as it will likely not produce good results over time. Chances are that you will make it out the other side if you have a diverse client base and can you can continue to meet the minimum requirements of your clients. But you will lose clients and volume over time and the more aggressive competitors will eat into your clients as well.
If you answered b –This is what most people are doing from my perspective as a consultant but it is not the best answer. The reason most people are taking this option is to hold onto as much profit as possible as other options may actually require a capital infusion to complete.
To make major improvements in process, staff or technology will usually have a cost to not only the the pocketbook, time but also in process improvements.
If you answered c –This is the best choice as it provides a proactive stance as opposed to a reactive one. But this is also the hardest one as it requires you to evaluate your firm and the industry and make decisions on where there are opportunities to make the firm more consumer friendly and yet profitable and effective. What I find is this choice also leads you to choosing d as an answer.
If you answered d –This is also a great answer as it will require that you review and improve your processes before you try to automate them. As with the people who answer c you will find that c and d rate the real answer as technology is the direction that the industry will go in the future.
There are many opportunities to use technology these days to reduce staffing and automate processes. Many of the technology opportunities will be cost savers in the long run but all require significant investment in time and money upfront.
If you need help with making these decisions give Lighthouse Consulting a call.