5 things we did during lockdown as Goldstar

Hi there, I’m Paul Goldsmith the Director of Goldstar and this week is my turn for the blog. My thoughts have recently turned to how much we’ve developed internally over the last few months and how proud I am of the team. There were 5 things we did during lockdown as Goldstar that has enabled us to be in a better place to allow for businesses to work with us.

 

 

 

Goldstar IT Team

 

Improved our time tracking

Being able to report on the work and support we do for our customers is important and allow us to be open. As a consultancy we’ve always found this difficult to achieve because of the different systems we use for project and support work. Currently we use JIRA for our development team, Zoho Desk and Zoho Projects.

As our team works in different software at different times we felt the need to be able to track our time quickly and easily within Zoho Desk or Jira. We did this by building a Zoho Creator application to manage our all time that is tracked. What this does is collates all the time from JIRA and Zoho Desk and allows for mistakes, descriptions, times that should be non-billable, or just in the wrong project to be reviewed quickly and easily.

This has also enabled us to track where we can improve our efficiencies through Zoho Analytics reporting.

 

Working from home policy

Just before Covid-19 hit we started working from home as we needed to be settled so we could support our customers. We did this by ensuring all the team had the correct office equipment and technology including laptops, screens, docking stations, VOIP, etc.

As Kelly was already working from home in Portsmouth we’d been having morning catch ups everyday anyway so the video calls stayed and we now have a team meeting every Monday.

This has led us to discussing at length whether to keep the office. Currently the plan is to allow any member of staff to go into the office on agreed timings if they want no distractions and more of a concentration area.

We’ll be meeting up at least once a month but will look to choose different venues to catch up for the month. This will allow us to review strategy, have non-work catch-ups and plan out any solutions we need too.

If this continues to work we’ll be reviewing our office space when the lease is up for renewal.

 

Internal Marketing

This is something close to my heart. I’ve always felt that it’s very difficult to understand a company and help them market unless you truly immerse yourself into the business.

Esme came on-board as our Marketing Executive right when lockdown hit and this allowed us time to review the strategy and steps we wanted to take moving forward.

Now 4 months on we’re running paid search, social media and next will be email marketing. As you heard from Esme last week, our social media is managed using Zoho Social and Google Ads are managed separately. Email marketing will be run within either campaigns or marketing hub depending on our requirements.

This has also led to us streamlining our processes for leads, conversions and more.

Next steps are to build our KPIs within Zoho Analytics to start tracking Google Analytics, social media and our true conversion rates.

 

Improved process mapping

We had always used Lucidchart for processes until we came across Skore, a process mapping tool.

Kelly recently wrote about Skore. We have spent a lot of time this year really getting to understand and getting to grips with the product.

This initially meant reviewing our own internal processes and doing what we call “dogfooding” (Eating your own dog food or dogfooding is the practice of an organisation using its own product). Since then we have been using it with current and new clients which has enabled us to strengthen our commitment of understanding the process before the technology.

 

Certifications and Knowledge

As many of you will know there are monthly updates from Zoho for most of their 45+ apps. We spend a lot of time reviewing those new features and seeing if there is anything our current clients can implement to improve our clients systems further.

During March and April Zoho ran training and certifications. As it was quieter than usual we made the decision to invest our time in getting certified. Jake and Anthony have been busy increasing the certifications through Creator, CRM, Desk, Campaigns and Assist.

This led to us looking at other ways in which we can allow our customers to utilise our expertise. We’ll be launching something soon so watch this space…

 

To conclude

Although this has had an impact on us and many of the businesses we support, we have used this time to be positive and ensure we are there ready when our customers need us.

I’d love to hear from you about what you and/or your teams have been doing.

Paul