ACTUAL CASE STUDIES
ASSESS. FIX. GROW.
01. PROBLEM | Business Overhead Expenses Too High
The owner of a learning center in Saratoga Springs admitted her costs of doing business were very high.
The entrepreneur expressed concerns about rising expenses, including the impact of New York’s new minimum
wage law that may result in her having to lay off some employees, raise prices, or just
close her business.
Shave a Little Here, Shave a Little There, Everywhere a Shave Shave…
The client accepted ADDENDA’s offer to carefully review each of the company’s expenses, including utilities, contracted services, phone plans, insurance policies, mileage allocation, supplies, payroll, and employee benefits. We found ways that reduced her business expenses by $1,800 per month, all without cutting services and without laying off staff. A major improvement was the reduction of payroll costs, while enhancing her employee benefits package!
02. PROBLEM | All the Eggs In One Flimsy Basket
A small Buffalo, NY law firm of 3 attorneys and 3 paralegals had their business manager take a
sudden medical leave. It was certain that she would not be returning to work. The business manager was
a 20 year employee and very protective of her position as she maintained sole control
of the entire administrative operation, including passwords, keys, checking accounts, employee
files, and more.
No one else knew her procedures or the location of passwords, keys and important files. Checks needed to
be deposited, bills needed to be paid, payroll needed to be processed; the entire office was in a state of disorganization. To top it off, staff members were panicking, as they were preparing for a big trial.
Update Job Descriptions, Train, Update Office Practices, Policies/Procedures
In a state of business emergency, ADDENDA was called in to take control and immediately assume the role of the business manager. We assessed administrative strengths and weaknesses, introduced new policies and procedures, which included the implementation of new security procedures. We cross-trained staff, modernized and streamlined their outdated, 1980’s office practices and procedures. This included updating and securing the firm’s in-house server, which was highly vulnerable to internal and external hacking!
In the meantime, the law firm focused on winning the case… and, they did!
03. PROBLEM | A Bad Apple Ruins It For All
The President of a growing Rochester, NY company with about 40 employees asked us to help address the cause of rising complaints by employees about nasty in-fighting among her two other partners. Their conflict was pitting departments against each other. The company was severely divided, and her two partners were threatening to sue one another. Employees disapproved being in the middle and were threatening to leave.
ADDENDA’s team interviewed every employee, manager and partner, collected perspectives, submitted a report of our findings and recommended corrective actions, which included a mediation between the partners. One of the partners agreed to be bought out and to resign as a department manager.
The two remaining partners renegotiated their partnership agreement, and arranged an off-site, day-long company retreat to boost staff morale and jump start another chapter of the company’s history. Although some staff left, many more new employees were hired. A year later, the company received a highly esteemed award and the woman-owned business procured a significant government contract!
04. PROBLEM | There’s No 2nd Chance For a 1st Impression
A salesman was under pressure by the president of his company in Syracuse, NY to submit a sales development plan showing what his annual sales projections would be for the coming year. The process of preparing his written plan included his objectives, strategies and very specific details of how he would meet his quarterly goals. The salesman privately hired ADDENDA to help him create his plan so that he could submit a professional presentation to the company president.
We got your back
ADDENDA conducted industry research and trends, identified credible reviews regarding concerns about the product, and investigated product reviews. We gathered information about his assigned territory, competitors and prospective customers. We worked in tandem with the client to co-create a detailed plan, designed for successful results and to impress the company president. We even coached him on his presentation skills and smooth, impressive delivery of his pitch.
Today, the salesman is a regional sales manager for the company!
05. PROBLEM | Growing Pain
The owner of a growing manufacturer in Albion, NY needed to apply for a bank loan to purchase new equipment and build an addition to his facility, which was a very old building with structural issues. He came to ADDENDA for a business plan. During the business planning process, however, he was unable to envision his company 5 years or 10 years into the future.
A Turbo Shot
Since we asked him the right questions, he began articulating his vision, defining his goals, anticipating his needs and identifying the steps required to realize his ambition of being #1 among his much older, yet well-established competitors. We incorporated the specific details of his vision into the business plan, prepared his pro forma (P&L Statement, Balance Sheet, 3 year projections). He received his loan within 48 hours. Then… the unexpected happened!
His building was built in the late 1800’s as a factory that employed hundreds of local people during the early and mid 1900’s. A couple weeks after the business plan was completed and the bank loan was awarded, unexpectedly, and to his great surprise, the town’s Mayor presented to our client a grant application for his historical building, which was approved. Our client applied the grant monies toward much needed building improvements.
As a result, this freed up his bank loan proceeds to purchase product production equipment and open a second location in Central New York.
06. PROBLEM | The Case of Jackyl vs. Hyde
The partners of an engineering firm in Upstate New York was frustrated with their business manager’s sporadic, unreliable attendance, gross bookkeeping mistakes, late bill paying habits and sloppy recording of transactions. Moreover, there was tension among staff about the employee’s attitude toward them. In addition, the employee was perceived as highly emotional, and even accused the owner and other staff of not liking her. As a result of the dynamics, everyone in the office walked on egg shells, trying to avoid the employee. Upon the partners approaching the employee of their concerns, the employee stated that during the past 3 years of employment, the employee was unaware of any complaints of specific concerns about her job performance. They wanted to avoid being sued and/or getting into trouble with the New York Labor Department.
Built a Bridge for Transformation
ADDENDA was hired to address the problem and prevent recurrence. A Company Policy and Procedures Manual, Employee Handbook were created and distributed and detailed job descriptions were created for every employment position in the company. Performance review forms were created, distributed and processed along with the implementation of a semi-annual performance review policy. The partners were coached on how to conduct a performance review. In particular, with this employee, a list of corrective actions within a 90 day grace period was created and discussed.
The business manager’s employment was terminated after the grace period, due to her continued negative attitude and inability/unwillingness to show improvement within said grace period.
The partners and other staff were relieved, and the business partners now have a more effective HR management process.
07. PROBLEM | Abel and Cain
An attorney in Rochester, NY referred two business partners to ACCORD Mediation Services, a sister company of ADDENDA Solutions. Carolyn Bryson was the mediator.
The parties’ objective was to reach a mutual agreement as to what value was to be used, since one partner was buying out the other partner’s 50% interest in the business. Each party brought appraisals and their respective evidence supporting their positions. The dispute was about the value of the business.
Once the agreement was reached, Carolyn wrote a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a comprehensive document that stipulates the terms and conditions of agreements. They submitted the MOU to their respective lawyers. The parties and their lawyers all stated that they were satisfied with their mediated outcome.
Their matter was resolved in less than 4 hours and the parties avoided costly litigation. As they walked out of the mediation room, they shook hands and then began talking about their grandchildren.
08. PROBLEM | Time is Money
A mortgage company in Buffalo, NY was receiving complaints from mortgage applicants and Realtors about slow processing time. We were hired to slash the average 51 day processing time down to 40 days. The focus was to change culture, staff attitudes and duplication of specific tasks, as well as streamline the processing and underwriting operation.
Creating a Well-oiled Machine
ADDENDA’s process began by assessing existing procedures and policies, interviewing employees about their role, duties, and soliciting their suggestions. An operational flow chart was created, the department was restructured, job descriptions were updated, operations and sales staff were trained in the new process and customer relations.
Within 5 weeks, the company’s average turn-around-time (TAT) was reduced to under 30 days!
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