The central focus of consulting firms is to provide expert guidance to client businesses to improve operational effectiveness, legal compliance, and commercial growth. Sometimes it can feel like you aren't following the same guidance you're providing to clients when it comes to productivity and operational effectiveness. So what can you do to make sure your operational process and branding standards are not taking away from your productivity? Let's break it down into the two most common challenge categories: Legal standardization and brand standardization.
This category covers things like proper copyrights, legal disclaimers, names and dates in contracts, and any information that, if not properly accounted for in a document, could have legal consequences. Standardizing your legal documents and language can do wonders for your company's compliance efforts and for your team's productivity.
This category covers not only overall company branding, but also the smaller day-to-day items like presentations, marketing materials, and communications. It can be tricky to meet branding guidelines for each asset you create, and even more tricky if the guidelines set by your firm are not easily accessible or available.
Now that we've pinpointed the areas that provide the greatest challenges to consulting firm productivity, we can go over some small fixes that will have a huge impact:
1. Go Digital
Instead of distributing hard copies of guidance materials or standards to your team, keep digital files that are easy to refer to, simple to access, easy to update, and automatically backed up. Better yet, turn every document that you can into a reusable template so you minimize any confusion whenever someone needs a document. Your team will thank you.
Using a document automation tool like Woodpecker to automate your Word documents and turn them into reusable templates, will ensure that you are meeting your legal compliance targets. By getting rid of manual processes like searching to find and replace pertinent information in important contracts and documents, you'll effectively increase your team's productivity while also standardizing your most frequently used documents.
3. Keep It In the Cloud
By using a cloud storage system, your team can easily access any guidance materials or standardized templates, and collaborate on projects without creating multiple versions of the same file. Your administrators can also maintain and edit templates as needed, while ensuring that everyone in your firm is using the same version.
Woodpecker is a free Microsoft Word add-in that automates your frequently used documents. Save those newly created templates to the cloud, and you'll instantly save time updating governance documents, writing up contracts, updating marketing materials, and putting together collateral materials, all while staying standardized and legally compliant!
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