"From the start Hydra EXM took the business plan and did a fantastic job of taking that plan, which was a huge piece of work, very extensive. We had a consultancy work on it for three months so by no means was it a small piece of work, it was a massive piece of work. They managed to overlay that really well, so when we opened up EXM initially it looked identical to the plan."
"The great thing is that they work with us to tailor it, so initially the plan was on there, but we want to see some different outputs or maybe things have slightly changed. The great thing about the relationship is that they’ve been flexible and can tweak things for us. So, we’ve made a few fundamental tweaks along the way and we’re getting to the point where we’re 100% happy and things change anyway so it’s been really flexible to enable us to change when we need to."
How BSO transformed the execution and delivery of its business plan
As opposed to having a plan and not having EXM, EXM allows us to adapt the plan quite quickly and it affects all the other drivers so if you got a plan which basically all the drivers sit in silos separately. What EXM manages to do is pull those drivers together and see what effect it has on the overall value plan. So, at any point we can see that any new, things that we actually want to do, how that affects both the value of the plan, the value of the drivers, and basically kneads it all together, which we wouldn’t see from a purely documentative point of view so, its been really good in that if we want to do something or the plans change slightly we know its flexible, we know we can add it into EXM and we can also see the output in terms of what it looks like and how that affects the value of the business.
The relationship with the investor improves immensely in terms of they understand where we are in the grand plan at any one point which means we don’t have to feed into them as much as we would do if we didn’t have EXM because otherwise they’re not too sure on the progress. With EXM we’ve created a method of communication which doesn’t involve them helicoptering over us every single week or day. When they can see the trajectory and the direction of travel any one point they feel more comfortable with where we’re going and how we’re doing so it really gives transparency to not only the business but the investors as well so gives us confidence and gives them confidence of what we’re doing.
After we completed the transaction with Cairngorm Capital we employed a consultancy to create a Blueprint for us, a plan to see us over the next three or five years and that involved how we go about penetrating different markets. It’s a really comprehensive plan, the problem we found with that was how we actually monitor and get a clear overview of it, other than a document it was quite difficult. So, we came across EXM and what they did was overlay our business plan on to their system for us. It enables us to see key value drivers and make sure we’re hitting those KPI’s within that. Otherwise we’re left with a suite of documents that we can’t really pull together that well and people involved in the business both outside and in struggled to track where we are so once we got a plan on EXM we really found that it helped us visualise and keep track and report on where we were with our key value drivers. I think going forward if we use EXM to make sure we’re on target, and you can adapt it, and we’ve changed it slightly from the initial plan but fundamentally it is our Blueprint on a system which we can track both individual KPI’s and business KPI’s on.
The great thing about EXM is that basically the communication channels are made so much easier because someone is alerted to when something changes, so everyone can be assigned certain tasks or objectives in the programme and the communications channels. We don’t find ourselves having to do as many phone calls, as many emails because everything’s there for anyone to dial into at any one point so I think as the plan gets bigger, as it will do and evolves, the scalability of it is much easier to manage. communication-wise because literally we don’t need to increase our communication or create a cottage industry out of mini reports about these things, so it really helps in that aspect.
The good thing about EXM is unlike some things we may have implemented in the past is that the learning curve is very, very short, so it’s very steep and short, so once people start using it within a few days its really straight forward. The functionality in terms of searching and assigning yourself tasks and objectives is very straightforward so there isn’t a great deal of training that’s needed for someone to get on-board with EXM and now the staff can see the value from it, especially when they’re involved in tracking their own KPI’s, we’ve managed to overlay some key staff members that are fiscally targeted onto EXM so instead of creating separate reports for them, again they can dial into to their own logins to see where they are with their own KPI’s, which as a motivating factor is a great thing, it involves less work our end as well so once you’ve set it up it really does flow through quite nicely and most of the team are now really comfortable with it and it didn’t take very long to get on board with it.