About the client

Our client is a provider of legal and financial property services for banks, building societies and brokers across the UK. Established in the 1980s, they grew steadily under private ownership for over 30 years before being acquired by private equity with an aim to deliver top and bottom-line growth over the investment period.

The challenge

As part of the acquisition, the CEO inherited long-standing operational leaders who believed the people and processes were as efficient as they could be. This belief was reinforced by the company performing significantly better than competitors and delivering industry-leading sustained growth and profit.  

Unfortunately, this belief meant there was significant resistance to change when challenging the status quo. Certain ways of working were engrained; an operations culture driven by commission alone, a ‘one-size fits all’ organisation design, and poor interpretation of regulations. Efficiency opportunities were being hampered by the narrow view and the bias of the technology team, who relied solely on technology changes to make the difference.

The CEO realised that the internal subject matter expertise was not going to be enough on its own to meet the objectives of the investment thesis. They needed support from a consulting company that would provide a fresh perspective, extra horsepower and specialised skills.

Time Consulting Group was selected to conduct a systematic deep analysis of all operational processes, policies and procedures to ensure the ‘art of the possible’ was laid out for senior leadership team consideration.

Our approach

Discovery and diagnostic

Our first step was to run an eight-week diagnostic to uncover the full detail of what was happening within the business and evidence the opportunity to create profitable change.

This included a series of interviews with stakeholders and subject matter experts, Lean process analysis, observing tasks being performed, assessing existing technology, and considering how new technologies could add value.   

Key findings:

  • Customer onboarding questionnaires were complex with a mix of paper and PDF
  • 5% right-first-time questionnaire completion was leading to downstream rework


  • Opportunity to introduce app-based onboarding solutions was being missed


  • 90% waste identified where 40% related to email communication


  • 80% of case manager tasks could be automated or processed by admin staff


  • Efficiency saving case management system functionality was unused


  • Capacity, output and work sequencing was driven solely by case managers


  • Quality and output issues due to case managers working however they wanted


  • Organisation ‘one size fits all’ design fuelled low productivity


  • Ineffective case manager training for new hires


  • High staff attrition driven by a lack of development and commission-only rewards

  • Missed opportunities to adopt Agile software development approach




  • No evidence of operational management best practice for people based teams
  •  

Design, Implementation and Transformation

For each key finding, we led a number of Kaizen events to identify potential solutions. A series of pilot events were conducted to establish the feasibility of proposed changes and build momentum for new ways of working. Staff feedback created engagement, discussion and open dialogue, which meant reduced resistance to change, allowing further improvement to be made and larger-scale roll-out to be accepted.

With our support, the senior leaders used the learnings and outcomes of pilot studies to design the next generation Target Operating Model (TOM).  Cross-functional workshops enabled the creation of a Transformation Plan that laid out the pathway of improvement projects and workstreams that were sequenced to deliver quick and sustainable results.

Transformation Highlights



  • Onboarding questionnaires were simplified and digitised using app technology to reduce complexity and confusion for customers and significantly lower the volume of downstream rework.


  • Analysis of email content using machine learning and statistical methods allowed non-value-adding time spent on email communications to be reduced by 25%.


  • New procedures and systems for capacity management, work allocation and sequencing were introduced, leading to increased output and quality.


  • 39% of case manager tasks were automated or processed by admin staff.


  • Handoffs and multiple checks were reduced by introducing error-proofing and workflow and using existing system functionality with robotics and automation.


  • The complexity of case manager tasks was reduced by analysing demand, segmenting work and aligning skills to work types.    

  • Staff recruitment and training procedures were revamped to ensure high-quality, capable case managers on appointment.


  • Staff attrition was reduced through 1:1 coaching, work type to skills alignment and increased training.


  • Technology team output and increased trust across the business were underpinned through training and coaching in Agile software development techniques.


  • Operational management best practice – such as daily performance meetings, KPI dashboards, process confirmation runs to standards, staff coaching, performance management, and problem-solving – served to establish continuous improvement routines for sustained gains.
  •  
  •  

The results

Savings
£3.5m

EBITDA increased
by 20%

Capacity increased
by 25-35%

Project ROI
7:1