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Matt Matheson

Systems and Democracy at NixonMcInnes

Over the past few months we’ve been overhauling the way we use our systems here at NixonMcInnes – removing what we don’t need, adding things we do and making them serve us better. We use Salesforce with a number of application plug ins.

I’ve learnt that when trying to implement new systems and processes, it’s important that they fit with the goals, and culture of the business they are servicing.

We are a democratic organisation here at NixonMcInnes and this poses a number of challenges for us – most CRM and business process systems are designed to support a traditional top down hierarchy with a whole heap of approval processes.

We don’t want that here – we want everyone to be able to see everything, but equally we don’t want to bog people down with information they don’t need

I’d like to share some of the things we have put in place to support our culture – these are generally at odds with how a ‘traditional’ business might handle systems – something that is often pointed out by our supplier help desks.

Changes we have made:

  • Open accounting – everyone has access to the revenue reports in the system
  • Reporting console – this is available to everyone to do as they wish with the data in the system
  • Timesheet – removal of approvals – we submit and manage our own time sheets
  • Resourcing – removal of ‘hidden’ views – anyone can see who is doing what, or when, at any time and the contributions we make to the business
  • Projects – removal of management restrictions – anyone can view, edit or manage another project
  • Scheduling – anyone can add, remove and change information in their own calendar, own someone else’s, based on the project needs

This doesn’t seem groundbreaking to us, but these are areas that have come up in conversations with our supplier as ‘strange’ or ‘not in line with basic business practises’. I think it’s good to be different.

I hope you find this interesting – the key now for us here is to continue to evolve these systems to best serve our needs – continuing to ditch what we don’t need, and making what we do need, easier whilst always ensuring they serve both our cultural and commercial needs as a business.

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