Strategic Connections Group - Part 1


For Strategic Connections Group, a digital transformation is not just tinkering around the edges; it is a necessary, whole-of-business transformation to improve business flow, knowledge and project management.

Strategic Connections Group - Part 2

In the initial stages of its digital transformation, Strategic Connections Group identified the benefits of investing in a sophisticated cloud productivity suite that could integrate with a project management system. A staff survey identified a common element and desire among staff to improve efficiencies of workflows. With this in mind, they shifted priorities and implemented an all-in-one project management system that would streamline existing processes and automate a lot of manual data entry.

Angelo Pachioli (Project Manager) and Andrew Paterson (Manager, Finance & Projects) of Strategic Connections Group, highlight the benefits of digital transformation and how automated processes have changed the way they manage their business operations.

Project Management Software

By implementing WorkFlow Max, a customisable all-in-one project management system designed to manage workflows and streamline existing processes, Strategic Connections Group gained more visibility over the business and its projects, while increasing collaboration between staff.

The most significant changes to their business since implementing WorkFlow Max are:

Consistent and accurate recording of timesheets

One workflow that needed improvement was timesheet recording as staff were not following a consistent process.

“Timesheets and timekeeping were previously done in excel, some staff were using excel and some were not and the accounts team were then trying to pull all of that together. The biggest change that we have seen, is the streamlining of the process and efficiencies. Each person now does their timesheet online or using the Xero interface and that all flows through,” says Andrew.

Increased visibility of staff workloads

The Strategic Connections Group staff are now entering their tasks and hours into the one system. This has allowed management to have increased visibility of staff workloads and hours worked.

“We no longer have to chase staff to enter their time and there’s transparency with the hours at a management level. We have everything on one page ie. The current workload and what everyone is working on. The program provides insights; if there aren’t enough tasks listed in the upcoming weeks, planning shortfalls - you can address that. It’s a prompt on how many hours you’re doing and all the tasks you have scheduled,” says Angelo.

Automated client invoicing

Strategic Connections Group have also benefited from transitioning from manual processes to an automated system for its accounting and invoicing of clients.

“We now see reduced errors and simplified invoicing as invoices are automatically generated once everyone has entered their timesheets. At a management level, we know exactly how much is being spent which really helps,” says Andrew.

Increased visibility of project funding

The budgeting feature in Workflow Max increases visibility of project funds. Time and expenses are recorded against each project and the system automatically generates the balance of funds.

“We can now see what the total approved amount or allowance is and then it counts down from the budget when time is recorded - we didn’t have that easy visibility before. There are now alerts being sent to people, and the project managers are aware if they’re running short on project funds,” says Andrew.

Saved time in data collation

Management have saved time in collating data for their weekly reporting. This has allowed them to prepare for meetings within half an hour as opposed to half a day prior to implementing WorkFlow Max.

“There’s no more duplication of efforts and management reporting is now simplified and much easier. There is visibility and anything outstanding management can address,” says Andrew. “Automation behind the scenes has really helped a number of us.”

Collaboration of digital tools

As part of their ongoing digital transformation, Strategic Connections Group introduced additional digital tools to complement the initiatives undertaken through the project. By incorporating a 3D software package into their digital capabilities they have the confidence to reach out to industry with more professional offerings.

“We have definitely grown in the digital space with new digital tools around design and admin in project planning. The quality of presentations that staff have been creating from the marketing push that we have been doing and what’s targeted for specific customers is great.

We look like a professional organisation using drafting packages to show customers the workflow for a proposed facility layout – all done electronically with 3D drafting. A significant step change from a digital point of view,” they conclude.

As part of their project initiatives, digital marketing was identified as a key area of digital transformation for their business. However with the effects of COVID-19, and competing priorities within the business, this initiative has been a ‘slow burn’ process. A digital marketing plan is in place, and their next step will be to increase their LinkedIn profile output through sharing case studies as well as collaborating with the team so they are all connected - using their profiles as a marketing algorithm to link back to the staff and the business.

“Our managing director, Alan, was proud of the changes made within the business and he couldn’t believe how far we had come in the last three months. It’s been a great opportunity, and if we didn’t go on this digital transformation, we would have tried to find manual processes to improve the workflow,” says Angelo.

Their advice to other small businesses considering a digital transformation is to be conscious of the time and resources involved to make the change.

There should be transparency about deadlines and lead times with certain tools and avenues to take. We didn’t know what was involved and didn’t understand the extent of implementation, so appreciate the time it takes by having hard dates and deadlines.

Andrew Paterson, Manager, Finance & Projects at Strategic Connections Group

Find out more about Strategic Connections Group.