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Yesterday I was on the road in Richmond. I was driving around and I was on sales calls and I was talking to people and I checked my email at one point and I got an email from an existing client that said, ‘Hey Erik, where are we on this project that I just signed up for about two weeks ago?’
Hey everybody, this is Erik Olson, CEO of Array Digital and you’re listening to Journey to $100 Million.
So this particular client has been a client of ours for a while and he recently signed a change order, which actually downgraded his services. So for his particular reason, he didn’t need quite as many services now as he did before. He’s kind of in a seasonal business and this is the down season. We’re going to be working on his website going forward for the next couple of months.
So he signed a change order that formalized all that. I sent it over to the team and now our operations team takes over.
Well, he was emailing me because he hadn’t heard from anyone on the operations team for about two weeks or so. And it’s natural, we need to reach out to him and we need to tell him what’s going on. But we hadn’t done that.
Where Did The Process Fall Apart?
So we got together this morning and we asked ourselves, well, what fell apart in the process? Why hadn’t he heard from us?
And what we realized is that we have a very detailed process for how to onboard new clients. And it goes into great detail about all of our team members and who does what and who contacts who. And it’s pretty tight these days. What we don’t have is a process for handling change orders.
So in the past, change orders were the exception. Now, it’s happening more frequently because these clients stay on with us with these recurring services and those services that they need morph over time for each one of those changes.
We create a change order and the scope of work and usually the dollars that go along with it change as well. What we don’t have is that change order onboarding process. So we were winging it. The problem with winging anything is you drop balls.
Don’t Drop the Ball
So we dropped the ball with this client. It was very easy to pick up. Within a couple of minutes we clarified what the schedule was, no damage done, but we hate dropping balls. So what we realized is we have to formalize internally what that process is for change orders. So when it comes to scope of work changes, whether it’s going from nothing to something or from one scope to another, you need a process.
We need a process, we didn’t have one and it was a problem. Now, thankfully it wasn’t a huge problem, but we don’t like problems at all. So every time we come across a problem, we have to resolve it. So I encourage you, whenever you have a problem, come up in your business, figure out what the process was that fell apart, plug that hole.