Boosting Performance with Digital Solutions in Horticulture

Boosting Performance with Digital Solutions in Horticulture

Background

Carawah Nursery is a wholesale distributor of Australian native tube stock plants, that currently employs multiple software applications to manage the propagation, sale and delivery of plants to customers across Australia.


Carawah requires an integrated system to enable business processes and support rapid business growth with minimal overheads.

Opportunity

With existing technology hindering Carawah’s ability to scale rapidly, Carawah management reached out to Alchemy Solutions to assist in reviewing the existing business operations and designing an updated solution that is simple and integrated for tracking plant propagation.

Solution

Alchemy Solutions helped Carawah develop an innovation mobile application that simplifies, integrates and automates the production process.


The new system allows the Carawah team the ability to:

  • Track production movements and status with QR Code tracking against each tray
  • Automatic generation of propagation cards and batch labels
  • Reduce double handling by integrating sales and operation systems

Results

Alchemy provided Carawah with a digital solution that streamlines business operations for its staff.

As a result, Carawah saw:

  • Significant overhead reduction, with automation allowing the nursery to run at minimal staff
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities, with Carawah management able to monitor all inventory in real time
  • Reduced plant mortality rate through propagation standards provided via the mobile application

The Future Of Utilities

The Future of Utilities

The Future of Utilities:
What's missing for utilities, is it customers?

About this report

The Utilities sector is undergoing incredible technology transformation as generators, distributors and retailers strive to improve cost efficiencies and enhance the customer experience.

Utilities businesses are under significant pressure to evolve and adapt their operational and service models as they work to support the future of our planet.

Data and insights in the utilities sector is enabling disruptive business improvement in the interests of affordability, sustainability, reliability and security.

Recently we, The Reboot Show, joined forces with Salesforce Industries, formerly Vlocity, and Capgemini to explore The Future of Utilities during an exclusive panel discussion.

This report summarises the most crucial aspects of the discussion and is positioned to serve as a reliable and credible reference for leaders, service providers and practitioners in the energy utilities sector.

Process Insights & Case Studies

Process Insights & Case Studies

Process Insights &
Case Studies

Case Study No.1

  • Process automation and Salesforce optimisation
  • Design, build and implementation of a car configurator

Case Study No.2

  • Process automation, change of tenancy
  • Design, build and implementation of digitised processes to streamline automation

Optimising SalesForce

Optinmising Saleforce

Optimising Salesforce

"The meaning of digital transformation has changed in this new world."

Alchemy’s 2021 Optimising Salesforce Report provides a detailed analysis, key observations and recommendations to optimise Salesforce by using our Salesforce practice knowledge and experience.

2020 was an incredible “change event” that will forever shape the way in which we engage and connect with each other in every facet of our life. Customer and employee expectations have shifted quickly, radically and permanently in demanding digital, automated and frictionless touch points and engagement.

Empathy, trust and understanding have emerged as the key human elements to low touch, highly engaged and meaningful customer and employee experiences for both B2B and B2C businesses.

The meaning of digital transformation has changed in this new world. Business transformation is now a constant change involving all business stakeholders in iterative cycles. To ignore this change is to risk obsolesce.

We start with a basic premise that it is one thing to have implemented Salesforce however quite another to optimise the use and power of Salesforce to gain the necessary transformational desired change and business benefits.

Most Salesforce implementations are technology focused implementations driven by large solution integrators who implement a technology solution only without due process, data or, most importantly, human consideration to the initial business problems being solved.

Salesforce, as a business enabler, has a plethora of amazing features and powerful tools which can be hard to unlock if just considered another IT department job to sort out. This approach will never yield the results customers and employees demand.

It is our intention in this report to share our experience and knowledge to explain the pathway required for all businesses who strive for an optimised business Salesforce capability for customers, employees and business prosperity.

Automated Data Collection

Automated Data Collection

Automated Data Collection





Our IIoT and 5G Knowledge

Alchemy Solutions is a future focused, innovative professional services firm that creates sustained IIoT and5G change for our corporate, government and small to medium enterprise customers.

We’re certified experts in IIoT and 5G enablement, advisory, people centric change, process improvement, technology planning, service design, solution integration and implementation.

Our extensive reach into the partner community of IIoT and 5G provide our clients with mindshare of thelatest and best purpose designed and built IIoT solutions.


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Latest Insights

Building a high performing technology function with SAFe

22 December 2021

Automation of buying a car

20 October 2020

Creating and operationalising an Agile PMO

9 September 2020

Case Study: Strategy and Planning

19 May 2020

A new way of working for a digital era

16 April 2020

Building a high performing technology function with SAFe

Building a high performing technology function with SAFe

The client situation

Our client is an Australian icon in the finance industry and with nimble more Agile competitors changing the market dynamics it’s business and technology functions were constantly looking for new ways to go faster and to simplify software development. 

As part of its digital technology roadmap, the organisation wanted to adopt better Agile software development practices as a way to replace bimonthly software releases with continuous delivery of new features to market.

With the investment the organisation was making in terms of the resources to develop software to benefit clients, customers and employees waiting for a bimonthly software release was no longer an optimal business model.

The challenge

Our large finance client faced a unique challenge.

They had undergone several transformations attempts without success of making change stick within their business processes and were now under significant public and shareholder scrutiny.

There were also now additional pressures from new market entrants who had developed business models for a complete digital customer and employee experience.

Given the complexity of the marketplace challenge adopting agility that could scale was the only workable solution to remain competitive.

The group CIO was the champion for the complete shift to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methods and was determined to embed the change once and for all.

Having already completed several scrum-based Agile training programs as part of previous technology led transformation work, our client and their people were under a fair amount of training fatigue.

The solution

Our client sought to rapidly upskill its workforce in SAFe principles and techniques via an accredited program and recognised certification. We tailored the program, support and our coaching to their needs, training over 180 people to date.

Alchemy provided hands on practitioner experience and capability in utilising SAFe and technology function management to ensure our client felt safe in its rapid change ambition.

We started the engagement with a practical and open workshop, which we used to understand the lessons from part transformational change both positive and negative.

In discussion with our client, we adapted their SAFe program content to cover specific areas of concern; for example, we introduced some additional content to explain how a Program Increment (PI) workshops would work in a complete SAFe setting. 

We also augmented the existing team with Product Owners and Scrum Masters and revised the standard use case and roles to reflect a typical PI Planning event aligned to one that our client might run. This helped to facilitate learning and promote understanding by making the training more relevant to our clients people and their day job.

We also introduced a new post-training and certification steps to build on and consolidate the training, working with our client to devise content to develop story-writing skills and a workshop to explore how the stories could be broken down into smaller more manageable items.

We provided on the ground coaching and mentoring to those progressing through the program so that they could build confidence and gain practical hands on experience when it mattered most during their day to day work.

Lastly, we co-created a set of measurements that will truly drive the performance of all Agile teams and roles to continually improve and understand where blockers are impacting overall software delivery performance.

The results

Alchemy Solutions resources worked with our clients leadership and team to maximise the outcomes of the SAFe training and certification.

Alchemy successfully designed and continues to deliver the SAFe program content, and coaching.

As a result we have helped our client to effectively:

  • Ensure the SAFe program that was developed for our client was purpose fit and leveraged off the previous Agile investments and Agile change efforts.
  • Provide the practical and real life practitioner experience to foster positive mindsets and culture through real work examples of success.
  • Create the cross team and function synergies through cross-functional teams enablement and design, translating the desired agile culture into actions, building the right structures to support individuals,
  • Augment and support the internal and external teams to maintain and evolve their digital vision in an evolving market landscape.

As a strategic SAFe partner, we have been instrumental in helping our client work towards its organisational goal of adopting more Agile software development practices as a way to replace bimonthly software releases with continuous delivery of new features to market.

Together we have developed a formal set of key SAFe metrics that can be used internally and with external stakeholders, to continue to measure and embed best practice within software development lifecycles.

Our team continues to work with our client across the organisation and support the transformation agenda.

Final thoughts

Alchemy’s key sponsor wrote “I just want to say thank you. Alchemy brought an enormous amount of leadership to the roll out of SAFe within our organisation. Right from the beginning we all felt as a leadership team that our trusted advisor had arrived and this was replicated by each Alchemy resource involved. The work Alchemy did for us has been transformational.’’

Brining our real world experience in delivering a broad range of business and technology transformation projects, Alchemy have partnered with our client and delivered SAFe to transform the technology delivery of valuable customer and client software.

Alchemy’s leadership on the ground with sleeves rolled up provided support and leadership guidance to all people involved supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques

• People First – Alchemy brings a distinct and holistic people, process and technology approach to each engagement which helps in identifying and remediating blockages to communication and process flows. The identification and prioritisation of customer and employee journey’s ensures line of sight to what’s important – People!

• Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – is designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.

• Partnering Framework – Alchemy’s partnering framework ensures a clear pathway for everyone involved to experience success. Alchemy’s people and culture transfer knowledge and provide a collaborative environment and tools for all parties to engage in a safe, visible and positive way.

 

Automation of buying a car

Automation of buying a car

The client situation

Our client is present in thirty three global markets and operate as a key strategic partner to the world’s foremost premium and luxury car brands providing an effective, well-financed and customer centred route to market for vehicles and parts. They operate across every link of the post-factory automotive value chain for our original equipment manufacturer partners, providing a highly efficient, customer-focused route to market that delivers shared rewards at every stage.

With digital disruption affecting every industry across the globe our client had to act to ensure their shift to a digital era and accelerate its plans to build and automate the purchase of a car online.

The challenge

Building on the Salesforce platform and automating a number of key processes Alchemy commenced a design phase to design and engineer the new car configurator – Key to the solution was the mapping of “to be” customer journeys to streamline and ultimately Automate the processes.

Alchemy were engaged to lead and design the new car configurator and the method of delivery and to suggest methods that could be quick wins to expedite delivery. We provided a complete plan to partner with our client to deliver the car configurator.

The plan involved two clear collaborations to ensure delivery. Both collaborations were hands on and within existing delivery team constructs to expedite knowledge transfer.

1. The utilisation of Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ as the delivery method to Automate processes and build the car configurator.

a. to map all to be customer journeys and map out processes to form the design of the build of the car configurator

b. to increase collaboration and ownership and involvement in the delivery of the projects by all global stakeholders

c. to align global sub solution integrators, customer and internal business and information technology delivery resources to a single method of delivery which could easily be communicated and utilised by the projects

d. to create a cadence for the project that allowed for the appropriate levels of engagement in rituals and also working time to achieve results

2. Provision of an Alchemy agile delivery squad to lead, oversee and coordinate all delivery of the global project.

a. squad included the following roles; agile portfolio lead, product owner, business analyst, process automation analyst and a UX designer

b. agile portfolio lead and product owner operated at the executive level of business and customers to ensure buy in and support

c. squad roles and responsibilities included the coaching and mentoring of all global solution integrators, customers and internal business and information technology delivery resources
The urgency of delivery required a priority to be placed on the unification of all delivery resources across multiple global locations and groups of stakeholders. The aim was to create a high performing team where people could work hard on focussed and clear tasks, enjoyed spending time together and felt part of a bigger purpose.

The solution

Building on the Salesforce platform and automating a number of key processes Alchemy commenced a design phase to design and engineer the new car configurator – Key to the solution was the mapping of “to be” customer journeys to streamline and ultimately Automate the processes.

Alchemy were engaged to lead and design the new car configurator and the method of delivery and to suggest methods that could be quick wins to expedite delivery. We provided a complete plan to partner with our client to deliver the car configurator.

The plan involved two clear collaborations to ensure delivery. Both collaborations were hands on and within existing delivery team constructs to expedite knowledge transfer.

1. The utilisation of Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ as the delivery method to Automate processes and build the car configurator.

a. to map all to be customer journeys and map out processes to form the design of the build of the car configurator

b. to increase collaboration and ownership and involvement in the delivery of the projects by all global stakeholders

c. to align global sub solution integrators, customer and internal business and information technology delivery resources to a single method of delivery which could easily be communicated and utilised by the projects

d. to create a cadence for the project that allowed for the appropriate levels of engagement in rituals and also working time to achieve results

2. Provision of an Alchemy agile delivery squad to lead, oversee and coordinate all delivery of the global project.

a. squad included the following roles; agile portfolio lead, product owner, business analyst, process automation analyst and a UX designer

b. agile portfolio lead and product owner operated at the executive level of business and customers to ensure buy in and support

c. squad roles and responsibilities included the coaching and mentoring of all global solution integrators, customers and internal business and information technology delivery resources

The urgency of delivery required a priority to be placed on the unification of all delivery resources across multiple global locations and groups of stakeholders. The aim was to create a high performing team where people could work hard on focussed and clear tasks, enjoyed spending time together and felt part of a bigger purpose.

The results

Alchemy successfully designed and delivered the new car configurator by utilising journey and process mapping to automate the online purchase of a car.

Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ use ensured common language and understanding for the global team and stakeholders.

The executive team were delighted with the delivery approach and in particular the customer journeys and process maps. These key deliverables not only were utilised for the automation of process, marketing and dealerships also utilised the processes for key campaign and training capabilities.To that they were also impressed with the outcomes and praised the professionalism of the Alchemy team for driving delivery.

Today, the car configurator has enabled significant online sales growth, during a period where purchasers were physically limited from accessing the traditional car showrooms. It has provided customers with the ability, online, to choose their model and any options and accessories wanted, place a fully refundable minimum deposit of $1000 and then wait for a dealer to contact them to arrange delivery either at home or at the closest dealership.

Final thoughts

The Alchemy team have delivered a world class automated car configurator enabling shoppers to purchase a car online, and the Alchemy team now oversees the roll out of the new technology to the Latin America and Asian markets.

Alchemy’s successful leadership of the global team involved establishing a clear delivery plan and approach supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques

  • Alchemy’s Continuous Improvement model – is designed to create a purpose fit effective plan to minimise the risk and disruption to people, current process and technology in order to create a climate for change, engage and enable stakeholders and implement and sustain new behaviours.
  • Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.
  • Partnering Framework – Alchemy’s partnering framework ensures a clear pathway for everyone involved to experience success. Alchemy’s people and culture transfer knowledge and provide a collaborative environment and tools for all parties to engage in a safe, visible and positive way.

Alchemy’s key sponsor wrote “The Alchemy team have demonstrated digital leadership and know-how team to deliver the Australian car configurator. The automation of our process through the techniques Alchemy brought to the table have provided us with a powerful set of delivery tools and a configurator that we will roll out globally for our customers. Alchemy will lead the next roll outs to Latin America and Asia and we feel in safe and reliable hands for these implementations”

Creating and operationalising an Agile PMO

Creating and operationalising
an Agile PMO

The client situation

In the state of Victoria the Essential Service Commission (ESC) is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers regarding price, quality and reliability of essential services. Our client is one of the water utilities that fall under the remit of ESC.

In 2018 the PREMO water pricing framework was introduced by the ESC, focusing on five key attributes: performance, risk, engagement, management and outcomes. The Framework is designed to not only set maximum prices a water business can charge but to also incentivise Water businesses to find innovative ways to deliver greater value to their customers.

In response to the introduction of the framework, our client’s strategy and planning team clearly articulated what their customer goals were and a submission was provided to ESC. In parallel a “Customer First” team was established with the responsibility of enabling the strategy and operationalising the PREMO targets and commitments.

The challenge

Our Client provides water and wastewater services to major parts of Melbourne, the city that has been recognised as the ‘world’s most liveable’. Their service area is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia’s fastest growing capital city, which includes over 430,000 homes and over one million residents of diverse cultures. They also have a diverse business customer base that includes some of Victoria’s largest manufacturers right through to the ever-growing hospitality sector.

The challenge was clear to achieve their commitments in the submission to ESC they had to adopt a well-conceived and detailed delivery approach with Customer First at the centre of everything they do every day.

The solution

It was quickly acknowledged by the leadership team that in order to achieve their ambitious targets our client required:

a) an Agile PMO framework that could help transparently manage project portfolio priorities to ensure that they were doing the right things and resourcing adequately

b) an increased cadence and access to delivery data, and

c) their IT capability had to be capable of supporting a shift in focus and process.

Alchemy Solutions worked with the leadership team to maximise the contribution of the individual Customer First team members through the development of a Prioritisation Matrix and the introduction of hybrid agile techniques such as weekly “rally and mobilise” sessions designed to facilitate an improved flow of important information across the team and to act as an important feedback mechanism for the team members.

Central to these changes was a shift towards a “High Performing Teams” mindset that considered strengths and weaknesses across the teams which resulted in a prioritization areas that needed to be addressed and allowed the sharing of portfolio management knowledge tools, frameworks, business case updates and customer insights.

This was complimented by the introduction of resources such as Microsoft Teams as a central method for communications and to support team members working from remote locations. Wiki’s were also created to share knowledge, processes and information; the team was co-located where possible and this helped drive an improved appreciation of what the teams were achieving and how the shift to the Customer First initiative was starting to gain momentum.

Final thoughts

Operationalising into an Agile PMO the “how”, of how our client meets their customer needs in accordance with the high level strategy of Customer First transitioned the purpose of the customer transformation team from being a team that would just make a project “better”, into aligning the roles and responsibilities of its team members directly to the needs of their customers.

The Agile PMO now revolutionises the way in which our client now runs Customer First projects as they start to “live” the intent of PREMO: “to find innovative ways to deliver greater value to their customer” rather than just “tick-box” requirements

Alchemy’s Agile PMO lead created a plan to execute and engage all stakeholders and ensure a common language and approach were utilised supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques:

  • Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.
  • People First – Alchemy brings a distinct and holistic people, process and technology approach to each engagement which helps in identifying and remediating blockages to communication and process flows. The identification and prioritisation of customer and employee journey’s ensures line of sight to what’s important – People!

Case Study: Strategy and Planning

Case Study:
Strategy and Planning

The challenge

Our client had employed an outsourcing strategy since the mid 1990’s an approach that was echoed across the large Industry Superannuation Funds. They had began internalising IT and building Tech Services capabilities in 2015; the next phase of the journey was to invest in additional foundation enabling technology, uplift the capability and align with the business strategy

A local consulting firm had been engaged to develop a well-defined plan to support the shift:

  • An integrated technology strategy had been developed to uplift and extend the Fund’s technology capabilities and transform Tech Services into a highly capable and trusted partner over the following 3+ years
  • The future technology operating model was designed to allow for responsive engagement between business and technology with a federated structure, improved capability and simplified management governance
  • The future technology architecture must enable the fund strategy with modern flexible and scalable systems – Member, Investments and Shared Services already had well formed plans with a number of greenfield technology components – supporting infrastructure, network and data need a step change to enable the business units
  • The technology roadmap guided the Fund-wide technology initiatives according to business priorities and technical dependencies
  • The technology economics and risks analysis illustrated the medium to longer term financial impacts (likely cost profile and mapping to business benefits) of technology required to support the fund’s strategy, as well as mitigation for the risks of the strategy
  • A detailed transition plan had been proposed with a program governance construct to increase delivery confidence in the technology strategy and roadmap, supported by a 30/60/90 day mobilisation plan

To support the maturation of the core Technology Services capability a sophisticated Maturation KPI tool (KPI performance management lifecycle model) had been designed by a global consulting firm and was being implemented to track capability growth.

However, despite the investments made and support from the Board the fund was faced with the realization that while the size of the prize was significant there was chronic misalignment of the internal teams, the past initiatives to build out core capability through use of the Contractor market and high turnover rate highlighted a weakness around teaming and a past history of program delivery failure did nothing to instil a confidence in driving the required change.

The solution

The incoming CIO recognised the pressing need to establish an experienced leadership team with a main initial focus being around the Planning and Strategy function. The Planning and Strategy group was responsible for:

  • Strategic Planning and Direction setting
  • Strategy and Architecture leadership
  • Architecture Governance
  • Requirements Development for new programs
  • Architecture Reference Models, Roadmaps and frameworks
  • Project and Architecture alignment
  • Vendor Management
  • Documentation Management


Alchemy Solutions was engaged to fill 3 keys roles:

  • Head of Strategy and Planning,
  • Head of Cloud and Emerging technologies, and
  • Lead Enterprise Architect.

The Strategy and Planning team had been decimated by a series of resignation and transfers to other roles within the fund. The most important step was to reconstitute the function; once this was achieved the team was assigned discrete tasks to help accelerate aligning the Technology strategy with the Business Strategy to ensure the Technology function could support the funds planning to become a global fund with officers in London, New York and Asia.

The team collectively recognised the need to develop an innovative approach to support the global expansion and set about designing a Global Presence initiative that centred on the Microsoft Azure Cloud capability.

Core Cloud platform designed work that had been undertaken as part of the Technology Uplift program was re assessed by Microsoft’s Consulting group to ensure alignment with best practice and the design activities were complete and the Investment Business function was engaged to gain their support to implement the strategy in partnership with Microsoft and other local Microsoft partners.

The results

Alchemy Solutions engagement resulted in a number of critical outcomes:

  • Redefined organisation structure for the Strategy & Planning Team that enables greater focus on strategic business outcomes.
  • A comprehensive Governance model that addressed all aspects of the overall function.
  • A Technology Roadmap and framework that positioned the fund to accelerate key initiatives such as the global expansion and adoption of Cloud as a kernel of the Technology strategy.
  • A Cloud Strategy that allowed the fund to move to the adoption of Microsoft Azure platform. The strategy addressed all the Guidelines for Cloud adoption provided by APRA.
  • The establishment of a Microsoft partnering arrangement to assist the fund in the deployment of the Hybrid Cloud strategy.
  • The design of an Agile Cloud Deployment squad, leveraging Agile methods and practices to expedite the Global Presence program.