At one level this is a relatively simple tool, requiring the management of a professional servicing firm to select a key area of business activity and to audit performance in that area, comparing to previous performance levels and, ideally, benchmarking against known best practice and performance levels. The information generated by these audits will then be used to identify unsatisfactory performance and enable measures to be introduced to bring about improvements.
The business areas that should be regularly audited, in any business, whether public, private, or not-for-profit, include: External Environment: well established tools and techniques are available and used to scan the external environment for information on issues, events, and trends that will impact on the strategies and performance capabilities of the organisation. The quality of this information and the interpretations of it is critical, as it is the foundation stone of the strategic planning activity that follows. An audit of processes, tools, and techniques and the quality of output is essential in ensuring that the strategic planning process is provided with high quality, relevant, valid information.
The professional servicing business should also consider below points
Leadership: Separate from the Strategy audit, the quality of leadership should be audited regularly. A set of competencies for leadership, at all levels in the organisation, should be drawn up, and the leadership performance measured against these. Development activity should also be based on these competencies, and on eliminating or reducing weaknesses identified by the audit.
Culture: the existing culture that blend of beliefs, values, perceptions, behaviour, that makes up the culture of the organisation should be regularly audited and compared to the culture that is desired by, the objective of, the organisation's leaders. Particularly at times when the organisation is planning or undergoing a major change, information gathered from these audits will be invaluable.
Other important factors are
Financial: where, although there is usually a framework of management and financial accounting processes, there is a need to rigorously and regularly audit the effectiveness of these, to ensure that the budgeting and accounting activity is as productive as possible.
Suppliers: one of the most critical areas of any organization's activity, the start of the supply chain, supplier performance, including the performance of those in the organization who audit supplier performance, must be audited, rigorously and regularly. Now accepted, in parallel with research & design and strategic planning, as one of the foundation stones of quality assurance, any weakness in supplier performance can damage the organization, sometimes irreparably. Auditing ensures that optimum performance levels are maintained.
Physical Resources: the quality of and use of physical resources, such as raw materials, operational equipment, technological equipment and systems, furniture, fittings, and buildings, all need regular auditing to ensure that the most appropriate resources are purchased, installed, maintained, and used effectively.
Human Resources: this entails auditing the quality of human resources employed by the organization, the way in which they are deployed, how well they are trained and developed, as well as what opportunities and channels exist for progression. Every aspect of human resources activity should be audited at all levels, from operational up to and including executive level.
Equality: encompassing diversity, discrimination, and equality of opportunity which are all key areas that if not audited regularly to ensure high levels of performance not only abiding by legislative requirements but also contributing positively to the culture of the organisation will lead to conflict, dissatisfaction, lower morale, lower motivation, and ultimately lower levels of performance.
Internal Customers: often ignored, the level of satisfaction of internal customers the next department, individual, or team, that handles the next stage of production or service creation is critical. Overwhelming evidence shows that dissatisfaction of internal customers, leading to breakdowns in communication and cooperation, is one of the major causes of poor overall performance.
Please also consider these points:-
Distribution: of the products and-or services provided by the organization is an essential element in making the organization successful. Auditing this process will ensure that logistics best practices are in place, and that distribution activity is contributing positively, in terms of financial costs and corporate identity, to marketing, sales, and customer service efforts.
External Customers: auditing the satisfaction levels of external customers is a critical activity that should be carried out on a frequent basis. Customers here include all those at separate points in the distribution chain, through to buyers and end users. Information drawn from these audits will ensure that the organization is in tune with and can respond appropriately to the needs of its most important stakeholders its external customers.
We recommend clients look at their entire list of capabilities and then score them based upon the firms performance
Stakeholder Relationships: stakeholders are any individual, team, external organization, that has a legitimate interest in the performance of the organization. This could include, depending on the sector and specific organization: employees, unions, parents, relatives, local or national media, local authorities, emergency services, shareholders, financial institutions, funding bodies, governors, national or international governments, strategic partners, and of course, a variety of external customers. Relationships with each of these, in their own way, are critical and should be audited regularly to ensure that they are as healthy as possible.
High performing professional service firms set up balanced scorecards that focus on Financial, Employee, Customer, and other factors
Competitor analysis and reputation management is best activity for branding.