Change Management Case
A US leading software as a service (SaaS) company in the food delivery space was experiencing major growth, and was in the process of raising its Series D round of capital along with positioning itself for an initial public offering (IPO).
While working on attaining substantial investments from several leading venture capital groups, they realized there were areas in the company’s operations that would require change in order to ensure they were fully qualified for funding.
The company was outgrowing its existing infrastructure and needed to address critical technology, process, and operational issues which were cost prohibitive and draining financial resources.
Every geographic market division operated independently and they all lacked structure and operational efficiencies. Each division required intensive manager oversight, and manual operational procedures on a day-to-day basis. Their independent work led to disparate training of new personnel, which was done in a one-off style with no formal system or materials to drive uniformity among employees.
There were 50-80 District Managers that were overseen by 6 full time Regional Managers. There were excessive meetings, to drive accountability, assist with work flow and problems, and ensure there was some sense of uniformity and autonomy. Approximately 100 hours of the regional managers’ time was tied up each month in meetings which equated to $18,750 in leadership time. With an additional expense of $75,000-$150,000 when including 50-80 district managers on those calls. It was determined that this substantial human capital expense needed to be reduced.
The software for the food ordering and delivery process had 3 applications that lacked data visibility: 1) Driver 2) Customer & 3) Restaurant. No data on the drivers or the restaurants was being pulled to the CRM for all employees to see. The only group that had access was the customer service team. This lack of data communication made it difficult to resolve problems, to see where drivers were in the process of being onboarded, and to understand the magnitude of activity at any given day or time. Scalability required a process with 360 degree views and the ability to provide agility to manage all the moving parts of the business.
Additionally, there were restaurant partners who were managed by the corporate office. However, there was no view into the applications of the differing restaurants for all employees to see, which was needed to gather key metrics for each of the restaurants. This data was important for bringing understanding across the organization.
The company infrastructure lacked digital automation and strong workflow processes.
Teams of 30 or more were required to work various spreadsheets that tracked and managed daily operations. This was human capital intensive, prone to errors, and lacked visibility to drivers, managers, and customer service. The specific areas that were negatively impacted by the lack of infrastructure were: shipping & receiving, fulfillment, onboarding & training of drivers, customer service, and sales.
The overall solution was a systematic overhaul to implement a company-wide standard operating process across North America, which took into account the high utilization of human capital, lack of systems, and automation to support daily operations and overall growth trajectory.
Divisional Operating Process for Leadership
- The excess of 100+ hours of leadership oversight was revamped from 1:1 calls. We put into place regional team calls instead, where each regional director had their entire team on each call. This drove accountability for all. It also drove collaboration for problem-solving and provided a consistent and uniform approach across the organization. The reduction of 100 hours per month to 10 hours, or $100,000 in leadership resources, freed up management to focus on overall transformation and growth for the organization.
- A new training protocol was implemented with formal training materials for all District Managers. A systemized training approach of 30 drivers at a time was put in place. Previously, only 1-3 drivers were trained in person at their specific city locations by differering trainers with their own unique styles. This labor intensive structure changed to group video training with standardized materials. The consolidation of training provided uniformity, and a more collaborative learning environment for those being trained. The completed training then fed into an automated system to ship out new driver packets and gear to each trained individual further automating part of the onboarding process.
- The driver support function moved from district to regional managers, who then handled the coordination of this effort with the customer service team. The move of this support function gave the regional managers a close view on issues, which was critical for being able to understand the support required across the regions. It also allowed them to own the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the overall market. They owned the success of each market and reported up the corporate management structure.
Technology and Data Management
- The CRM collection of driver and restaurant data was opened up for all CRM users to view. This allowed district and regional managers to understand the activity level of drivers, the demand from restaurants, and any issues that were arising in the overall supply chain of customer to restaurant to driver. Due to this, the customer service team was able to more efficiently assist with problem solving, but this also gave leadership a proper view to ensure the process was operating effectively. It also gave leadership the ability to begin pulling data on delivery timing from restaurant to driver, and finally to the customer. Additionally, they were now well equipped to see if certain restaurants had more issues than others so leadership could manage those accounts appropriately.
- The data management platform (DOMO) was utilized for all company gear provided to independent contractors and employees. The platform provided a form that could be submitted, which then created an internal order that forwarded to a 3rd party logistics company for fulfillment of the gear. This eliminated the previous process of all gear being shipped in bulk to every district office across the country, and then having the district managers of each of those offices managing their own inventory and individual shipments. The cost of this automated system and fulfillment system was a drop in the bucket in comparison to the costs of multiple bulk shipments across the country, and the human capital required to manage each aspect of this inventory and fulfillment process.
The overall organization became strong and efficient. The new meeting cadence dramatically changed operations in such a way that not only drove discipline and accountability but also a revenue time churn savings of $100,000+.
The new training process that was implemented turned the possibility of growth into the reality of scaling the organization at a higher rate without similarly increasing costs. This was an invaluable integration for the organization to build out their teams of drivers at a rate that could meet demand and project substantially increased revenue for the organization, all while bringing uniformity to the process and demonstrating a sustainable model for investors to align with.
The technology integrations also improved the organization’s operations in many other ways. For example, the CRM & gear platform integration that utilized a 3rd party fulfillment partner removed manual and laborious processes, reduced errors, and gave visibility across the organization to KPIs. This and other related integrations, substantially reduced costs, while also streamlining the supply chain for gear, and driving the ability to train drivers at scale.
This increased operational efficiency and effectiveness across the organization, which enabled the company to showcase scalability and a high future return on investment, which enticed investors and contributed to the company’s successful IPO.
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