Gap analysis is a tool that helps a company to compare its actual performance with its potential performance. At its core are two questions: “Where are we?” and “Where do we want to be?” Utilizing this tool may be very broadly focused to help set corporate strategy or very narrowly focused to help set a project management process.
At NEHANET, our consultants are leaders from the semiconductor and electronic component industries with an emphasis on customer facing processes such as sales process, sales channel management, marketing automation and support automation. We utilize this expertise to help our customers narrow the gap between their current and optimal business process implementations, resulting in significant gains in efficiency, customer acquisition and retention, partner collaboration and ultimately revenue growth. The first step of this process is gap analysis and the following will provide an overview of how we utilize gap analysis to help our customers.
The gap analysis process we utilize at NEHANET can be divided into several phases as described below.
- Destination Phase – Where do you want to be 6 months, 1 year and/or 3 years from now
- Current Status Phase – Where are you today, what do your processes look like, what are the results
- Gap Determination and Prioritization Phase – Where are the biggest gaps, what is the priority
- Action Development Phase – what actions need to occur to close the gap
- Implementation Phase – turning actions into reality
The most important aspect to each of these stages is a high level of collaboration between you (our customer) and our consultants. While we have developed numerous techniques for identifying the key goals of each phase, we do not know the intricacies and nuances of your business, nor can we learn them in a timely fashion or in enough detail to complete these steps without collaboration with you. Anyone who claims otherwise can do nothing more than offer you an out of the box solution that may or may not provide incremental improvement. Bottom line, proper completion of this process requires an investment from both sides.
The destination phase, I believe is the most critical and sometime the most difficult part of the process. The difficulty arises in trying to quantify and place metrics on where you would like to be in the future. It is easy to identify a destination such as “I would like to have my sales channel partners more responsive to my needs”, a goal many companies share. How do you measure this? What does it truly mean? What does it look and feel like when this occurs?
An example after completing all four phases of the process, the result may look like the following:
- Sales Partner Destination: “My Company will be viewed as a premier OEM partner in the semiconductor industry. Our manufacturer sales representatives will average 10% annual growth through sales of our products and services, annual anonymous reviews will average greater than 90% satisfaction rate, the voluntary departure rate will be below 2% and 80% of the sales representatives at each firm will have a least 5 new opportunity engagements per year”
- The action plan that results from phase 4 of the process may include actions such as implementing the anonymous review program, responding to quotes in 24 hrs, implementing an automated design registration and/or split commissions system, providing visibility into future earnings for rep firms etc. Phase 5 defines possible options to turn these actions into reality.
Gap analysis, done well and with a well-planned process, can significantly change the environment, culture and the performance of a company. NEHANET invites you to take the first step by offering you the opportunity to work with one of consultants to complete a gap analysis study of your business. This study will completed at no cost and no obligation on your part. All we request is an open mind and your commitment and desire to evaluate where you are today and where you would like to be six months, one year and three years from now.