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Education Industry

Education Industry

Education Industry Consulting

When we were kids, we used to have maximum 3-4 sections for each standard named as section A, B, C, and D. But it seems that the 26 alphabets will soon fall short. The change is not only in terms of an increasing number of students who enrol in different educational institutions from kindergarten to colleges and universities every year. There is also increased pressure on the educational institutions from authorities, parents, students and the society on matters like fees structures, infrastructural standards, quality of education and teaching methodologies, quality of teachers, board affiliations, healthy student to teacher ratio, facilities, co-curricular activities, etc.

In light of the new and dynamic standards and expectations from schools and other educational institutions, the need has come for these entities to level up their managerial and operational capabilities. The responsibilities are immense. However, there are problems and challenges which make it difficult for the schools and other educational institutions to act on the lines of professionally-managed organizations.

Struggling areas for today’s Educational Institutions

Change in Perspective

The schools and other educational institutions can no longer be run by ordinary managerial and operational capabilities and systems. These institutions need to be managed as professional organizations now. And if anything has to change first, it has to be the perspective of the trusts and managing bodies who run these institutions.

Weaker Hiring Systems

Gone are the days when qualifications and references played the make-or-break in staff recruitment decisions. If you want good teachers in your school, you must go beyond their qualifications and also assess their interpersonal skills and abilities and their passion for the subjects and teaching. The same diligence is applicable in the recruitment of the administrative and operations staff. All the critical requirements and criteria must be included in the job analysis report and then made a part of the hiring process.

If you want to hire the best staff, you will have to look beyond the local boundaries and invite candidates from all over the country who are willing to relocate. Salaries and benefits also should not be a barrier for the right candidates.

Insufficient Training and Development

Without training, even the best recruits are not 100% fit to the roles they are hired for. And from time to time, teachers and other staff also need to upgrade their knowledge and expertise to keep up with the developments made in their respective fields. It is rare to see educational institutions putting the requisite efforts towards staff training and development.

Reporting, Performance Management and Audits

We show interest in how a student fared in his or her tests and examinations. What about assessing the performance of the teachers and the institution itself? The entire back-end machinery of an educational institution works with inputs from many entities – teachers, administrative and operations staff, and the institution as a whole. So, there is a perfect case of evaluating the performance of not only the students but also of all the other actors. Whether your school canteen is maintaining the standards or not, how will you know? Whether your teachers are impartial to students in their classes or not, how will you know? Most educational institutions do not even have timely, effective and active reporting mechanisms. There is a critical requirement to have strong reporting systems, PMS for employees, and robust periodical audits.

Inadequate use of Technology in Operations

With increasing numbers of students and locational presence, the task of managing an educational institution keeps on getting complex and bulkier. There will be corresponding increases in the strength of teaching and non-teaching staff, more classrooms, more buildings and infrastructure to manage, a higher number of school buses, more housekeeping and security requirements, more administrative tasks, etc. And then there is the need for maintaining consistency in the standards of service across locations. Without the aid of technology, managing the operations of an educational institution is a daunting task. Having the requisite IT-systems and system integration has become quintessential.

Inadequate Efforts to Reflect their Position

Increasing smartphone and internet penetration, social media, and the internet now keep people glued to their smartphones. The world of business realized this long time back and the field of digital marketing grew leaps and bounds. If educational institutions are to reach out to parents and students irrespective of geography, they cannot afford to ignore digital marketing and strengthen their online presence.

How YRC can help: a glimpse

Human Resource Management

– Performance Management System

Our PMS solutions are customized keeping in mind the clients’ requirements. Different sets of job profiles have different performance-related requirements and thus, they need to be assessed through unique lenses. For instance, the performance of a college professor cannot be judged on the same scale used to evaluate the performance of a kindergarten teacher because their job descriptions and job specifications are different. They will be having different KRAs and KPIs. However, designing and carrying out PMS for an entire organization can be a huge task. We resolve this issue with SOPs. Our PMS solutions are designed to map the entire range of PMS operations from A-Z for all the job profiles in all the departments in definite terms of implementation standards towards achieving the correct and intended performance assessments. If you do not map the PMS process in a systematic and comprehensive manner using SOPs, it will be chaotic for your HR staff to smoothly carry out this important organizational activity.

– Payroll Processing

If you are running a large educational institution, you will know what your HR department or your HR/Admin and Accounts personnel go through at the end of the month completing the salary disbursal process. If you are still working with physical attendance registers and manual checking and calculations, you just might not be utilizing your HR resources for the organizational advancement of your institution. This is the same reason why so many companies that could easily get its payroll done in-house opt to outsource it. We offer payroll processing services with the goal of delivering error-free payroll calculations, disbursal and reporting to clients’ specifications. We define this process using robust SOPs clearly outlining the sequence of activities, the stakeholders involved, details of the tasks and the expected standards of output, and timing and deliverables. Without SOPs or a well-defined operational roadmap, your salary disbursement process is likely to be more time-consuming, hectic for HR, and prone to errors.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

If you seek to transform your educational institution as a professionally-managed organization, you will need to focus on becoming a process-driven enterprise through extensive use of SOPs not only for the Human Resource Management but for all the functions and processes. SOP is a powerful tool of management that is rigorously used by business and non-business organizations. The processes in your institution will become definite and clearer. There will be a better fix for accountability and responsibility. The workflow will be smoother and it will also lend the element of operational continuity. Monitoring and supervision will also become easier.

IT-System Integration

Defining the processes using SOPs is the task only half done. The policies, processes and procedures with which you intend to run your institutions must also be integrated with the IT systems and software in place. Otherwise, the SOPs will only remain on the papers and never see the light of the day when it comes to how the operational activities are actually carried out in your institution. Our process experts shall assess the IT requirements and analyze the existing software systems in bringing forth upgradation requirements.

Digital Marketing Strategy

It is blatantly apparent that people around the world now spend more time on the internet. They are getting more things done online than ever before and the trend is only going up. With that, it becomes important that your institution has a strong online presence. This game now has a label and it is called digital marketing. Our experts will ensure that you have a strong and effective digital marketing strategy in place to reach out to your online audience via SEO, social media, content marketing, email marketing, etc. With the use of analytics, our team will keep improvising the efficacies of your digital marketing efforts.

Franchising

Another essential strategy for growth and expansion where YRC can help you is franchising. We formulate franchise expansion and marketing strategies, prepare franchise business plans, help in franchise search and selection, develop process manuals, and assist in drafting franchise agreements.

What is different with schools and other educational institutions is that they shoulder the responsibility of building the next generation. So, they have a big moral responsibility of ensuring that their institutions stand up and deliver to the expectations of the stakeholders involved meeting the modern requirements of the education industry. And if they are to achieve this, it is not only their intent but also the organizational systems they build to manage their institutions that will determine their legacies and the imprints they leave.

To know more about our services or if you have any query, drop us a message and we shall get back to you.

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PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.