The Hungarian project partner, Prompt-H Kft. tested the Business Intervention Approaches developed within the AISAB project. Their coach contracted an SME from the IT sector. The results of the cooperation are summarized below.
SRS Informatika Kft. is a limited company in Budapest, Hungary, employing 29 people, providing IT solutions for the retail sector.
Formerly they were a division of a Hungarian plc, and in 2007 they became a separate company. They have local and multinational companies as well among their customers, and they offer a wide range of services/products, such as POS (point of sale) systems, IT systems for petrol stations, IT solutions for restaurants, self-service systems, card readers, barcode readers and printers, as well as EDI (electronic data interchange) systems and EDI services and more. They carry out the comprehensive administration of the tax-related approval for cash registers, system planning, implementation and operation, with individual developments if needed. They offer countrywide servicing and 24-hour call center.
7 people – the General Manager, representatives from Sales, Services management and Project management – participated. They attended a workshop led by the AISAB coach, which was very successful. Afterwards the GM and the coach put together an Action plan based on the idea generation session. Actions were prioritized, and grouped, sorted according to functional areas (e.g. HR, customer services, product development, etc.) and it was shared with the workshop participants.
The company management committed to implement these actions, which they already started. The Action plan is regularly reviewed and status updates are added to the actions.
The GM personally communicated to all staff about the Innovation workshop, and committed to the implementation of an idea generation scheme across the company.
Some of the most important ideas that have been included in the action plan were:
- review and re-design customer service procedures (think about an integrated system of handling customer request, further train people who talk to customers, systematically analyze information coming from customers and use that information for making improvements)
- organizational changes are needed to support further business growth (there is an articulated need for a dedicated Marketing person)
- consider usage of new applications for more effective, collaborative project management
- implementation of a suggestion scheme
The most important discovery of the workshop was the fact, that the company misses a Marketing Strategy. Many ideas came up related to Marketing: the webpage needs to be updated, the language used there is too difficult to understand, search engines do not find it, there are too many services/products without a clear structure.
They started to explore this area – it turned out that the related tasks are divided to several people who do not feel that their own, and most often do not even have the expertise. Although they do their best, it is not professional (e.g. the text and images of brochures, or the website content).
When creating the business model canvas for a new product, they also realized, that for a new product launch they would need strong Marketing support, so just updating old brochures will not do.
The plan was prepared, and since then they contracted a Marketing company who is specialized for SMEs, and as a first phase they will deliver some major tasks, such as the website re-design, the product/service information update, SEO for the website, etc.
The company specified some indicators by which the impact of this development can be measured, and they are dedicated to further improve their Marketing based on the assessment of this first step already taken.
The people attending the workshop gave positive feedback about it, they said it is good to spend time on such activities, and they gained inspiration from it.
The most important thing is that the company management is dedicated to integrate the lean business intervention approach and some of the tools offered into their regular operations.
The commitment of the management – what is crucial for success – was apparent, as the General manager attended the whole workshop, and he already dedicated budget to the most important actions identified by workshop participants.
Due to the fact that the company works with IT technology (hardware and software), they wish to focus on sustainability innovation and new product development. They are also dedicated to look for new Marketing approaches, and internationalization.
After the intervention it is foreseen that the company will further encourage creative thinking and introduce new tools and processes that support innovation. New competencies related to innovation management will be introduced through training/coaching, and these competencies will become part of the recruitment process and the annual performance evaluation/appraisal as well.