We were onsite daily for a month, given an office and even a few projects to manage. This immersion approach is appropriate when creating systems where few existed before.
In this case, project managers were responsible for every aspect of their projects, from initial job order and estimating through proofreading and press checks. This model has served many organizations quite well for years.
But when the number and complexity of projects expand and schedules compress from weeks to days, you either need an army of project managers or a new model.
So project managers became account executives, primarily focused on client relations. A production manager was hired to take on all traffic, estimating and print production functions. Other duties were delegated to existing clerical personnel.
The old job logbook was replaced with a modern job-tracking database shared by the entire agency. Biweekly production meetings were established. A process manual was developed to ensure that existing as well as new employees would use and perpetuate the system.
Employees were asked to literally sign off on the plan, and it was up and running in thirty days. We attended the weekly production meetings in the month following our immersion to address issues that inevitably emerge in the radical evolution of an enterprise.
Its our most significant accomplishment to date. Typically, were called in to improve existing systems, or parts of them. In this case, systems were developed from the ground up, and the agencys in a position to confidently expand their client roster and workforce.
Well be adding a change order module to the system and facilitating Macintosh access to the database when their new network server is installed.
We realize that hiring consultants always requires a leap of faith, and we appreciate our clients confidence in our abilities.
Growing Up by the
Our prospect looks forward to migrating to electronic storage of patients records because theyre running out of room. But they maintain six growth charts for each patient, and Filemaker Pro doesnt have charting capabilities.
So weve developed an Excel spreadsheet to chart each patients growth. Instead of manually plotting height, weight and other statistics on paper charts provided by the pharmaceutical companies, data is entered into a color-coded Excel spreadsheet that instantly generates the required charts.
Growth data from the Centers for Disease Control is part of the template, so its easy to determine whether a patient is within the averages. Charts are printed on an as-needed basis only.
The charting spreadsheet will reside on each database record in a Filemaker Pro container, essentially a link to the Excel document unique to each patient.
Growth charts have proven to be a significant diagnostic tool for pediatricians. Well let you know how our solution works in the real world in a future newsletter.
It happens that our particular enterprise began in the midst of this alleged economic crisis.
Yet we have several terrific clients, learned a great deal, paid some taxes and showed more profit than at least one Fortune 500 company is likely to report for the entire year. Go figure.
And thanks for your support.