Sam Orgill of www.proactpartnership.com looks at how improving technology improves the client experience.
It is remarkable the cost savings ProACT has been able to make over the last year to cope with the recession. It has enabled us to reduce prices and offer service improvements. Whilst it has been a brutal and demanding period of change the outcome is that ProACT as a business gets more done for less cost.
Now that is better value – and we are still in business and going strong.
A simple concept of value is more product for your money or a lower price.
We are all in the midst of an information technology revolution which still has a way to go. It is this technology that allows ProACT to examine how they do things quicker, easier and with less paper; keeping better records and clearer communication. The exciting thing for me is that new technology already available will allow us to make bigger advances. Already ProACT have staff in three countries with instant on-line access to real-time data updates, internet, video and telephone calls.
The reduced cost gives more income to the business and hence more value. But ProACT pass this on to our clients with lower charges for making Wills and doing tax returns. For example Sterling Euro rate has fallen by up to 40% - by pricing in Sterling clients have received up to 40% discount on Euro prices – lower cost – same service – greater value.
This is how a recession works. The recession is driven by information technology and the leaner, fitter, stronger businesses that emerge are those that embrace the information technology to cut costs while retaining core skills and people.
I look at client files from 2005 stuffed with paper. We now use 5% of the paper and printing. We haven’t bought a new filing cabinet for over 2 years. Secure, electronic filing.
Today as customers expats are faced with two choices;
“Stuck in the Past” businesses with high charges for the same service. “This is the price we’ve always charged” they say; or choose businesses using “New Economy Thinking” have reviewed their use of technology and methods of doing business to offer more for less. Better value for more product or at lower prices.
Gradually all customers adapt to the use of new technology. Very few expatriates use facsimiles any more with the advent of email, Skype, web blog forums and the internet. Expatriates have a choice – spend their credit crunched Euros on “stuck in the past” prices or seek out and demand “new economy thinking” businesses offering better value services.
Investment companies need to use new technology to reduce high commission and management charges from the stuck in the past 2/3/4% or more charging structures that have sapped the investment performance of managed funds.
In Cyprus with paper and people intensive practices resulting in high professional charges for property conveyancing, making a Will, obtaining Probate remaining high. If you appoint a Cypriot solicitor as your executor then they are entitled to charge by law a fixed formula that can be in excess of 10% of the estate or more!
By appointing a family member as executor this fixed expense can be avoided and you gain control of your family property and assets on death. You then get the chance to demand a “new economy” executor and at lower cost.
Change is constant and accelerating. Make sure that you protect your assets by putting yourself in control and demanding better value for money when making Wills and tax returns. Pay attention to how much you are being asked to pay and ensure you get value.
ProACT Partnership offer professional expatriate advice services to family and business living and working abroad. ProACT offer free reviews in Cyprus, at our Paphos Cyprus office for all expat Will & Tax issues. For a FREE review contact ProACT
Tel: (+357 26 819 424