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    Professional Services

    Professional Services

    I) Challenges Faced By Professional Services

     

    #1. Social Media Adoption

    For engaging with clients online, marketing services and monitoring competitors, professional services firms have started using social media. For social media marketing campaigns that grow your business practice, SOPs or standard operating procedures are absolutely essential. Enhanced social media presence helps professional services providers to increase the client base, boost customer satisfaction, deepening client relationships and improving brand awareness. Rapidly increasing use of social media makes it imperative for professional services providers to harness the power of these platforms to achieve overall goal and vision.

    #2. The Rise of Virtual Firms & An Omni-Channel Approach

    The accelerating pace of new technologies, increased pressure to lower costs and increase use of smartphones is making omnichannel presence extremely attractive. More professionals are going virtual and have few brick-and-mortar offices. By hiring contract employees, utilizing less physical infrastructure, using cloud services and building a presence online, professional services firms can lower costs and raise revenue. Professional services firms need to adapt to technology challenges. A business management consultant can help your business to maximize growth.

    #3. Value Oriented Revenue Models

    Conventionally, professional services firms have been charging clients on an hourly basis. In line with rapid pressure to bring down costs and increase waging, professional firms are making the transition to value-oriented billing. This type of revenue model is easy to apply in the professional services industry. The value in terms of tax savings (for accountancy clients), damage awards (legal services) or ad placement (marketing consultancies) or other outcomes decides who gets paid how much in such a revenue model.

    More professional services firms shift to value-linked pricing as they work towards providing advisory services. Professional service firms are increasingly shifting to value-based pricing models to boost profitability and revenues. For making the shift, professional services firms need the solutions offered by a premier business process consultant.

    #4. Emergence of Modularization

    Professional services are now being split into individual components and separately sold, rather than being bundled together. A lot of clients prefer to choose and pick service elements that can be executed in-house and allocate the rest to specific service providers. The modular nature of services take place, and single service firms may use this services model to handle large, complex projects. Clients need to break down the project into several components. For specialized firms attempting to meet their needs, an SOP analyst can help.

    #5. Automation of Back-End Services

    Back-end services are becoming increasingly automated as paper-oriented processes are being eliminated. Professional service companies such as legal and accounting experts are automating back-end processes to match front-end services. Companies are shifting to electronic records from paper checks which needed to be scanned and filed. For this reason, SOPs are critical for business success. Automation helps companies to reduce operational costs and time-to-service customer requests. McKinsey found that a bank automated about 900 of its back-end operations to relieve about fifty percent of its full-time employees for back-end tasks. Automation adds to the overall growth of the information technology market forecast to reach 1.2 trillion by 2020. Professional service companies should consider automating back-end operations to reduce customer requests service time and operational costs. Professional services are changing, with the emergence of new technologies for communicating with clients, growing brand awareness, engaging virtual teams and implementing a value-oriented revenue model. In such a scenario, consulting services for a professional can really help

    #6. Increased Competition

    A rapid increase in competition is expected, as fresh players enter market or alternative business models are being used. There’s growing importance of competitors from emerging markets, chiefly in the US and UK firms. Large firms from emerging markets mean business and an increasing trend of deregulation reduces restriction on different aspects of ownership of service providers and the way services are offered. With increased rivalry, customer demands are also changing. Clients now expect better quality, more value and faster delivery of services and solutions. Clients can also ask for accountability and transparency in terms of work delivered. For ensuring effective delivery of services, business process consulting services can help.

    #7. Choosing the Right Workforce

    Every business is competing for quality professionals who can build a strong skill set and fit into company culture. The professional services industry needs to have SOPs in place for effective recruitment and selection. Job postings need to reflect business needs and requirements.

    #8. Aligning Business Goals with Service Objectives

    Projects fail due to lack of clarity and the professional services industry is beset by the increased customer demand for customization. Further, communication breakdowns like implementing the planning without formal goals in place, or lack of clearly defined objectives or milestones is a real problem.

    #9. Low Utilization Rates of Employees

    Maximizing the billable hours can be challenging. One way to meet this issue is to ensure employees are logging activities and time through the day. SOPs for software that effectively manage and analyze data is a must. Project management SOPs can help in understanding employee skills and deploy them across projects efficiently.

    II) How YRC Helps Your Professional Services Firm?

    YRC/ Your Retail Coach remains at the forefront of innovation and cutting-edge SOPs that help your professional services firm to retain its competitive edge. YRC is skilled at creating standard operating procedures that can streamline the way your firm works and utilizes its human capital. Contact YRC specialists today to give your professional services firm the winning edge it needs to thrive and surge ahead of competitors.

    III) About Professional Services

    The professional services market is rapidly growing, according to the Professional Services Market Global Report 2017 by Business Research. The market is forecast to register a growth rate of 5.4% from 2016 to 2021, reaching an impressive target of USD 5 trillion. The key sectors growing are design, research, promotional and consulting services constituting around 71% of the growth. Legal services constituted 17% of the growth while accounting stood at 12%. Though accounting is the smallest segment, it records a high growth rate and is forecast to grow by 6.2% from 2018 to 2020. There is increased demand for tax filings, financial statements audting, payroll processing and other accounting services. In the professional services market, America accounts for 40% of the market. There’s a high demand for services in developed as well as emerging economies though. The industry’s product for sale is expertise and knowledge. To stay competitive and up to date, professionals in the industry need to be aware of key market trends and challenges and, for this, business consulting services for doctors, law firms, CA firms and other professionals, can really help.

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    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.