Reynolds Press Systemisation Case Study
How a Print Company Doubled Sales and Increased Gross Margin by 15%
Reynolds Press are a print management specialist based in Stoneleigh near Leamington Spa. Late in 2019 the company formulated plans to double their turnover and increase profitability within one year. The company recognised the need to work on their processes and systems to provide the foundation for manageable and sustainable business growth whilst at the same time maintaining and improving their current excellent levels of customer service. This short case study outlines their business systemisation journey and how we at Time-Scale supported the Reynolds team.
In the past three months, Reynolds have doubled sales and increased gross margin from 50% to 65%. Below, we describe how this was achieved.
If you would like to hear how it was from the owners perspective, Steve and Jay from Reynolds Press are happy to share their experience. Please contact me on Linkedin for their details.
Step 1 – The Big Picture
At Time-Scale we firmly believe that having the big picture in place before starting the detail is vitally important. We worked with Reynolds Press to first establish:
- A niche, a business model and targets – as Reynolds Press were on Dan Hill’s Property Entrepreneur programme and were applying their learnings to their print business, they were well on their way to developing a clear strategy and niche along with some clear key performance indicators (KPIs). We were able to build on this with the Reynolds team by working on their business model using the Business Model Canvass (Alex Osterwalder), which provided further structure and content and made it clear exactly where the business system fits into the overall business model.
- An end to end process model – we spent a significant amount of time working on creating a comprehensive model of all the activities that the business did or needed to do in order to deliver their value proposition to their customers. We were meticulous to understand each area of work, the inputs, outputs, key activities and the type of tools used. This model aided the understanding of the business, the priority areas for improvement and identified the activities in the business where value is added to the customer. The end to end view framed all the subsequent priorities and detailed activities.
Step 2 – The Details
Once we had a clear understanding of where the company was aiming to be and the work that Reynolds needed to be great at to deliver value to their customer niche, we were able to work on the details. We worked in three areas:
- Processes – using the high-level end to end process model we mapped out exactly how we wanted the work to flow and which roles would perform certain tasks. All of the processes were reviewed and stored in a shared drive so that the team could access the information.
- Team development – we used the processes to define the roles needed to deliver the best customer service possible. We worked on not only describing the role, but also defining the expectations of individuals regarding attitudes and behaviours. The attitude and behaviour of the new team was of paramount importance as this is what shapes the customer experience of the business. All of the processes in the world won’t make a difference unless the team’s behaviours and attitudes are aligned to the aspirations of the business and the level of customer service it wants to deliver.
- IT Requirements – as a team we used the processes to define what we wanted the IT to do in order to make the processes operate as efficiently as possible. Many businesses start with the IT, but at Time-Scale we firmly believe that starting at a high level and then defining the detailed processes is essential before thinking about the IT.
Step 3 – The IT
Using the processes and requirements we were able to compare applications against the requirements. Comparing applications was not just based on price, but on functionality we knew we needed. This meant that we were able to compare applications objectively and select the one that best met the requirements. We picked a work management solution called Scoro that would handle the end to end requirements for the management of projects and connectivity to Xero.
Step 4 – Implementation
Finally, we supported the Reynolds team to roll out the new business system by:
Recruiting and training the team
We worked with the Reynolds to team select the right individuals for each role based on the role descriptions. We also provided process training to the new recruits to make sure that not only did they understand the IT, but they understood the big picture (where the business was going, it’s niche and strategy and the end to end business process model) and the detailed processes. In essence, the team understood both what they were doing and why and how their work feeds into the big picture.
Setting up the IT & creating procedures
Once the processes were complete and the solution selected, we worked together to set up the IT by uploading data, setting up roles, creating statuses and templates and developing procedures. The procedures defined how each of the processes would be undertaken in the application and were an essential part of the process training.
Trialling the processes and IT
We supported Reynolds in using the processes and systems for the first time to test that they were operating as planned. We fixed minor issues and decided when to switch over from the existing systems. At this point we also moved the remaining work in the old system into the new one and turned off the old IT system (it is still accessed for historical information).
The outcome of all this work is simple and powerful. The team knew:
- Why the work was being done as they understood the business niche and strategy and how the work they were doing impacted other parts of the business because of the end to end business process model.
- How the work should be done and as they had training, processes and procedures to support them. Furthermore, the Reynolds Press values, attitudes and behaviours were clearly communicated so that they were evident in every interaction with the customer.
For the Reynolds Press management team, they knew:
- They had a scalable business that would continue to deliver their exacting high standards of customer service.
- They could manage by exception as they had set up and empowered the team to deliver effectively. This meant more time available to the management team to work on business growth e.g. finding more customers, marketing the business etc