I am a member of EY’s Human Capital Practice where I specialise in process improvement and HR transaction advisory topics, which include Payroll/HRIS implementation, HR due diligence, vendor sourcing and selection, project management, HR service delivery and employee benefits.
Operations, Strategy, Human Resources – my experience comes from a variety of transaction projects, which have focused on HR broadly as well as within specific HR and Payroll sub-areas. In addition, I have academic and work experience in technical areas of business analytics and continuous improvement.
I wanted to use my consulting experience at EY to give back to a good cause.
The first couple calls were difficult for both Lydia and I as we experienced communication issues and last-minute scheduling conflicts. But as we progressed with the project, we adjusted and moved more towards email communications.
To identify Lydia’s business problems, I relied on our phone conversations to gather information and prioritise issues.
For the project, I used a SWOT analysis, project phases/approach outlined by Grow and internet research.
In total, we had around 8 calls with email correspondence supplementing a few of our calls.
Our sessions were typically around 30 minutes each.
Prior to each session, I would look over my notes from the prior calls, write down ideas or questions for Lydia and do internet research when applicable.
Towards the second phase of the project, much of our communications were email-focused due to phone connectivity issues.
For the project, I focused on the following areas: Developing a company brand and marketing materials for Lydia’s company; Securing local government funding to expand the business general management tips (tracking expenses, creating customer lists, etc). Because of time constraints from Lydia, we had to narrow down the project scope.
As a consultant, I tried to treat Lydia the way I would as business client. As the client, I listened to Lydia’s business challenges and gathered extensive feedback/information before making recommendations.
The project definitely has its cultural challenges for me in the beginning, but after the a few sessions, Lydia and I both adjusted to each other.
For me, the hardest part of the project was the inconsistent phone connectivity from each of our ends.
With the project, I was able to work on my time management skills and gained experience within small business consulting/entrepreneurship.
I was able to expand my cultural exposure with the project.
Since the start of the project, Lydia was able to hire two new employees and increase profits by 60%. As an entrepreneur, the business growth comes from Lydia’s proactiveness and management, but hopefully this project provided her some ideas to incorporate into her business.
There will likely be a learning curve in the beginning of the project, but stick with it and be patient, because you will be making a difference for someone else.
Unique opportunity for positive change