The start of the new year is always a great reflection period combined with aspirations for the upcoming year. You want to build on your successes from the previous year and set new goals and objectives for the next.
Advisors are very good at conducting this type of work for their clients. They build a financial plan to meet the client’s financial goals, then measure on a consistent basis how the plan is doing. How well do you employ the same process for measuring the efficiency of your firm? Consider measuring the following areas to evaluate your firm’s overall efficiency.
Of the tasks that affect your firm’s efficiency, some of the most challenging to measure may be the various operational requests processed by your office. This would include processing address changes, check requests, required minimum distributions and updating beneficiary information. Some of these items can be very time consuming and unfortunately might fall in the “just get it done” category without much attention to evaluating the process and identifying efficiency opportunities. Measuring the time spent on operational requests can be the first step in evaluating and identifying efficiency opportunities.
How long does it take to convert a prospect to a client? I’m not talking about the sales process, but the actual time it takes to prepare the forms and documents. This might involve a client questionnaire, account forms or statements. How is your firm leveraging technology through this process? Perhaps you use form-filling software, an imaging system for sharing and storing documents and then manage the overall workflow using your CRM system. This can be a very labor intensive process, but there are efficiency opportunities that can be realized, and the total time required to complete the task should decrease as you utilize technology to streamline the process.
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How long does it take to produce your client reports? Advisors who have outsourced this task should be a little ahead of the game with meeting this requirement, but may still need to verify their quality and accuracy. Measure the time required to complete this task during each reporting period to show if you are truly realizing the benefits of a scalable process. Sometimes the reporting process can entail several distinct tasks. If this is the case with your firm, track and measure the time required for each task. Many times it becomes very clear which area is slowing up the process.