Assessing the need to access a limited pool of highly engaged and technically astute private equity professionals, Private Equity Administrators (PEA) is leading its teams with a culture of continuous improvement to transform its entire private equity value stream. Here are our top 10 tips to LEAN.
1. A little knowledge goes a long way – If you don’t already know, pick up your trusted Google and read about LEAN techniques. They have been revolutionising operations for 50 years to innovate and improve upon client service while simultaneously managing risks and decreasing costs. Spend a little time thinking how these techniques can be applied to your own service business and who might be the best person to help implement them.
2. Be holistic – The benefits of LEAN, across all levels of an organisation are transformational, but be aware; those who do not tie in their operating practise to their company’s broader strategic objectives will fall foul to the impacts of inconsistent and stagnant operations resulting in spiralling costs, inefficiencies and regular communication failures. The only losers here are your beloved client and your beloved P&L.
3. Know your costs and out pops your waste – Are your resources aligned to the company’s strategic goals, workload demand, skill, capacity and cost optimised locations? You have a service level document (SLD) with your clients but do you have key performance indicators (KPIs) with your colleagues to instantly address problems as they occur?
4. Identify & eliminate waste – Have you automated everything, even down to the tea? Yes, every private equity firm is different, but apply the 80/20 rule and you will find 80% of the 90-120 different operational workflow processes of any PE fund do the same thing. Standardise your processes by investing in a robust technology platform with a portal, a document management and collaboration system and workflows, oh and buy a teas maid!
5. Stakeholder communication – Be there to add the real value, you are after all, a highly engaging technically astute private equity professional. Otherwise have all stakeholder documents with strict naming conventions and version control, accessible 24/7/365 through dedicated portals. Set up a web ex and take stakeholders through their hands free document repository on a bi-annual basis so they are familiar with where to find everything.
6. Innovate – It never stops, ensure you look at your service offering regularly, don’t guess but engage with your clients to understand what they want, set up an innovation panel and invite your most creative thinkers.
7. Know your product – Subject matter expertise is everything in the private equity service industry, clients need to know that every member of your organisation has specialist product knowledge. Drive leadership support and training from the top and get each and every one of your team to take ownership of a specialist knowledge sector.
8. Implement and share best practise – Combine the collective talents of your company and your clients, they are amazing. This will create an engine for continually eliminating inefficiencies from your operational processes.
9. Six Big Losses – Identify your 6 biggest losses of time in your company and use these to build a framework to attack the primary causes of waste and therefore service erosion.
10. Procedures, Procedure, Procedures – up to date, relevant, reviewed regularly – ENOUGH SAID!
LEAN has an extensive collection of tools and concepts, many of which can be used in isolation, making it very easy for you to get started on redefining your customer service experience. As you progress, the tools compound and reinforce one another so you are able to tie them into your broader strategic objectives.
PEA welcomes our clients and readers to get in touch or if you would like to share ideas on how to develop your firm’s LEAN-based operating model, please call James in Guernsey or Peter in Denmark for any technical help:
+44 1481 730988
+45 70 20 40 61