Case Study: Encompass Provides Executive Guidance for the Development of a Strengthened IT Culture and Staffing Model
The company feared they had overspent on technical infrastructure and may need additional staff to support their growing operation
Through several years of significant growth this $52 million tier-two automotive manufacturer also made significant investments in information technology. However, there was no clear consensus amongst management on if those investments were providing an adequate return. And perhaps more importantly, there was a growing rift between management team members sparked by uncertainty of the capability, quality, and time usage of the company’s IT staff.
According to the company Vice President, three questions needed to be answered: (1) Are our systems adequate for our business model? (2) Can our “holes” be covered by third party firms economically? And (3), are our efforts balanced with our abilities?
The company’s management team pondered these questions and needed answers with solid recommendations grounded in the lean operating, competitive realities of today’s manufacturers. They selected enCompass to provide the strategic insight they desired.
enCompass employed the Navigational Assessment framework to discover, analyze, and benchmark the company’s IT function
enCompass completed a hands on discovery process intended to fully comprehend the current state of the company’s IT systems, staffing model, employee behavior, and management decision making.
To fully immerse in the culture and daily activities of the company, enCompass shadowed the IT staff to probe for deeper understanding of the team’s daily activities and time usage. Our systems engineering team worked to understand and document all aspects of the company’s technical environment. A two-part questionnaire and interview process was used to gain insight into the interaction of staff with the company’s IT function, and most importantly if their needs were being met and if improvements could be made to support their role.
After completing the discovery process, enCompass analyzed and benchmarked the findings to industry standards and similarly sized manufacturers to prepare for recommendations.
In this case our analysis of the situation pointed to a set of key underlying issues contributing to management’s instinct. First, the company’s infrastructure environment was rather robust for the size of their operations. Also, significant investment had been made over the past several years on the installation and customization of the company’s accounting and MRP systems with limited functional return. And more, interfacing with IT staff was not always the most pleasant experience.
Most noteworthy though, employee compensation was tied significantly to the profitability of the plant. Employees feared the company was spending carelessly on IT initiatives and that the spending was contributing to decreased compensation. This created a sense of animosity towards IT. Something needed to be done; the company’s IT culture needed strengthened and the staffing model needed a change.
Recommendations focused on the improvement of IT systems and the merits of different staffing model dichotomies
enCompass presented a comprehensive report that included findings with detailed recommendations. The company’s executive team was surprised by some of the project’s findings while other areas of discovery confirmed their assumptions. Recommendations centered around infrastructure optimizations; software improvements; and how the company’s IT staffing model could be improved through the better utilization of existing staff, introduction of new full time hires, part time hires, interns, a third party managed services provider, and different blends of resources.
The full report provided the strategic insight necessary for company executives to confidently move forward with IT decisions effecting their organization.