What's your number?
I attended a fascinating training session yesterday on training, competence, supervision and management information. As a network we have always tried to ensure that our members are not asked to repeatedly cover the same ground, for example :
pass exams and then pass further internal knowledge tests, or
keep CPD records for your professional body and then keep additional records for our benefit, or
keep data in the back office system and then provide it again for RMAR returns or PI renewals.
It is the size of the network and the closeness of the relationship we have with our members that means that we have the organisational culture of which the regulator approves. And it is this which means that we do not have to resort to many of the more mindless and mechanistic approaches of other networks.
These firms seem unable to devise ways of working that make use of data that advisers already collect and find it impossible to put in place appropriate systems and controls without reinventing (or, more accurately, cloning) what goes on elsewhere in the adviser’s working life.
On the subject of Management Information, it occurred to me that while ValidPath collects a huge amount of data which we use to complete the RMAR so you don’t have to, and to ensure continued provision of PI cover, so you don’t have to, we have that information because you collected it first.
So what do YOU do with that data?? Are you thinking about your business and provider mix? Do you look at your record of replacement business and wonder what conclusions you should draw about your advice processes from that data? Do you wonder why you seem to transact a lot of platform business and very little protection business?
Do you look at information about the age, or wealth, or location of your clients and think about what that might mean for your proposition? Do you check your revenue figures against business projections and individual client expectations and makes sure that you are recovering all the appropriate fees which are due for the services you are delivering?
Collecting data and checking results against benchmarks is not just something that is useful or essential for us at Head Office. It’s useful and essential for you too, checking that your business is meeting the objectives you have set for it.
So, what do you want to know about your business? Why? And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?