Engineering Consulting Firm

From Disparate Band-aid Solutions to a Cohesive Future-Focused IT Strategy – how NOD helped an engineering company achieve unity

Summary

A prominent Engineering Firm were growing exponentially and expanding into multiple locations. They implemented low-cost, short-term solutions to address existing tech issues as they arose. Inevitably, these systems began to fail, causing the loss of crucial data and even the disintegration of critical client relationships. As a result, the company realised that their approach to IT would not be viable in the long-term.  Something had to change!

Here’s how Network Overdrive’s Profit Stacks Framework system stepped in and helped this company create cohesion in their IT systems to nurture and sustain future growth.

Their Story

The engineering firm supplied essential services to clients in various locations around Australia. Unfortunately, because they were under immense pressure to deliver consistently and on-time reports, the technological infrastructure that supported their own people started to fail.

As a tech-based engineering firm, the company had grown on the ingenuity of their staff to fix their own problems. Over time, the number of custom, in-house IT solutions increased, especially in different locations. Consequently, as the organisation continued to expand, the ‘expensive’ engineers invested more time to manage and maintain their custom tools rather than doing their actual jobs. Also, the lack of tech support and standards between offices in different locations (specifically regional and interstate offices) hindered people in their roles. The inability to act as a cohesive team was demotivating for some.

The Director of Innovation knew that their reactive and fragmented approach to IT caused significant issues for their people, data, and business. These issues included discordancy between teams in different locations, the loss of crucial data due to backup system failures, and ultimately, the disintegration of critical client relationships.  He had to make a change.

Our Approach & Solution

When presented with the company’s problems, our solution outlined a 3-step plan.  First, we would address the short-term pain points, then long-term IT strategy, and while working on those two we would also improve the engagement of the staff.

Short-term Pain Points

The old backup approach created gaps and therefore loss of data because of a focus on either a technology solution or a location.  Instead, we took responsibility for protecting all of the data across the whole network.  As the ‘whole of network’ backup rolled out we were also able to free up key engineers from managing custom backup systems.  They appreciated being able to focus on their actual work.

The next action as a single IT support line for all staff in all locations.  Instead of bothering a local, ‘helpful’ engineer for IT advice all staff could call the same service desk and receive consistent and personalised help.  As part of a fixed-price managed IT Service, they felt free to use is as often as they needed.  Productivity increase as staff stopped bothering others to try and fix their problems first before asking service desk for help.

Long-term IT Strategy

The Director of Innovation ran multiple workshops using our Profit Stacks Framework to gain a comprehensive inventory of the business’ IT tools.  The first workshop he defined the processes and activities of the 5 key areas of the business.  He decided that the areas of the business would be Sales, People, Operations, Finance and Strategic. He then evaluated how well each tools performed in that process.  The results were recorded by a colour-coded system that helped quickly pinpoint inefficiencies. This gave the Director of Innovation the insights he needed to identify which custom processes and technology needed replacing.

Staff Engagement

When it was done, the Director of Innovation asked us to work collaboratively with his people. We used this time to increase their understanding of how standardisation of the process would increase their productivity.

By taking the time to understand the business and its immediate needs, we fixed their biggest pain points; tackling current issues that were encumbering progress without disrupting their people and productivity.

The Profit Stacks Framework workshops increased their team’s engagement in a consistent IT strategy.

The Director of Innovation achieved the unity he wanted and now continues to work with us in their tech journey.

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