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Working more effectively and productively is the goal of every company. In the UK, productivity and efficiency have slowed down over the past decade, and we are less productive than some of our European counterparts, even though we work longer hours.
There are multiple factors at play in the country’s productivity levels, and experts are scratching their heads over what they are calling the ‘productivity puzzle’. But when looking at the efficient performance of individual companies, part of the problem often relates to their technology and IT systems, and this is where the ‘magic minute’ comes into play.
In a nutshell, the magic minute is the optimum time to upgrade an ageing system before it falls too far behind and costs more money to keep running than it does to replace it (similar to replacing an old car before the repair bills begin to get too large).
If your staff are using older technology that has begun to slow down, how much time are they losing from waiting even one extra minute every day for an inefficient computer to catch up? One minute does not sound very much at all, but if it happens on a daily basis, one staff member will lose five minutes a week, which equates to four hours every working year. If you multiply that by the number of people in your company, you will begin to realise how much time and money your company is losing on an annual basis. As your technology gets older and less efficient, that lost minute becomes two minutes a day, then three… The tipping point is when it costs your firm less to upgrade your technology than it loses by having staff twiddling their thumbs waiting for their computers to catch up.
As an example, we replaced the hardware and improved the technology for one legal client, which resulted in load times being reduced and the apps running more quickly. A review with fee earners revealed that this had saved each person 5-10 mins a day just on waiting time – 10 minutes a day across all fee earners is hugely significant in terms of billable hours.
While upgrading will solve time inefficiencies (and make your staff happy), the additional solutions that technology offers can reward your firm with a far bigger ROI. We work with many accountancy and law firms and it is not unusual for fee earners to only be able to complete around 2-3 billable hours a day, even with the long hours they usually work.
This doesn’t have to be the case. The good news is that professional services firms can significantly improve fee earners’ productivity with the aid of technological applications.
We work with our clients to get a high-level understanding of company strategy and what their business is trying to achieve. We also look at what people need to accomplish, establish where the bottlenecks are and analyse the fee earners’ jobs. We will then give them the tools that will enable staff, and fee earners in particular, to do more work in less time.
This means your fee earners can spend more of their time with their clients, giving them a better customer experience. The business adage that ‘people buy people’ applies – all professional service firms offer similar services, but it is the ability to give clients a superior ‘white glove service’ that makes you stand out from the competition, at the same time as increasing trust, loyalty and reputation.
In the long run, your company will not just save money, you will also have more time to research revenue creation opportunities which could potentially add even more value to your business.
We have developed a new free tool to help you assess the state of your business’s technology and find out how close you are to the magic minute.
Mindful of the productivity puzzle, we are about to launch a trial of our own. We have shifted our mindset to look at output rather than hours worked and are experimenting with reducing our weekly working hours from 40 to 35. At the same time, we will be introducing shift patterns that will enable our Helpdesk to be open for longer, which will benefit clients and staff alike.
Studies have consistently proven that we are actually less productive the longer hours we work. An experiment by a financial services company in New Zealand found that by reducing the working week to four days, staff became 20% more productive as well as happier. We hope that the change in our own working hours will prove successful too – watch this space!
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories