Why We Audit Partners
The ecosystem of Frappe is continuously evolving since its inception. At present, we have around 70+ partners around the globe. When a new partner joins the ecosystem their immediate target is to settle in the ecosystem. Instead of focusing on the processes, they utilise their bandwidth to acquire more customers and serve them successfully. Along the way, the processes do not get due attention from the partners.
Even after getting settled in the ecosystem, the partners do not necessarily focus on the processes and continue with the same processes. Since the same processes are followed for a long time, there is significant impact on the overall efficiency.Following such processes hampers productivity and brand value. However, these broken processes do become a bottleneck, which partners try resolving by doing more internal follow-up and hiring more people, which is not a scalable and ideal solution.
Hence, as OEM, we (Frappe) have initiated a program based on our own experience to evaluate processes of Frappe partners to review and provide feedback. This will help partners improve productivity, reduce escalations, and create a growth engine within their organisations.
Understanding Partners and Building a Connect
Everything will fall in place if there is a personal connection among the people getting together to run a joint venture. A deeper understanding of each other’s background, journey and aspirations help us become more cohesive and collaborate more passionately.
So through SOP audit and roll out sessions, we are getting an opportunity to connect with our partners and know more about them beyond work. Such discussions have helped many partners uncover unique and vital facets of their journey till now. This also helps Frappe enhance rapport with the partners and ensure productive collaboration in the long run.
Partner Audit Process
We (Frappe) have formed a new cadence to focus on relevant activities pertaining to partner processes/operations.
To have more personal connection and effective communication, we prefer visiting domestic partners in person to conduct this activity. Meeting partners in person mutually helps in building rapport and gaining more insights and deriving future plans more effectively. In the case of international partners, we rely on technological advancements for conducting a session remotely.
We begin our correspondence with an email elaborating the initiative in brief. After an initial correspondence, we set up a date and time as per the mutual availability. Partners are normally contacted 3-4 weeks in advance so that they can coordinate internally before committing a date and time. Once a slot is confirmed, we share the SOP and encourage respective partners to skim through it and share internally.
The day of the SOP rollout and process audit begins with informal discussions pertaining to a wide range of topics. This helps us break the ice in order to make the session productive. We seek participation from the founders/co-founders and leaders from the relevant departments such as Marketing, Sales, Implementation and Support.
During the session, we will discuss various aspects of your business to determine how well you are doing. This will also help us determine if you need any help from Frappe. Then we will review your efforts and processes pertaining to Sales, Marketing, Implementation and Support. This will be a Show And Tell Session in which you will be asked to show some data on your machine/system.
We will request you to let us capture a few screenshots as audit evidence. This data will be strictly kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone. We will be recording our findings in the system for future reference.
We also capitalise this opportunity to deep dive into some of the actual implementations of the partners, which involves:
Understanding the Partners’ customer
Seeing how partner documented the project plan and customer requirements
Seeing basic and advances use-cases implemented
Small and large customizations done by the partner are the most interesting part, which also allows the partner to show-case their technical abilities.
Actionable Post Audit Items, and Timeline For Closure
During the audit, all critical gaps which are likely to hamper your productivity will be identified by us. You will receive an official email from us specifying those gaps which are to be fixed on priority. Then, you will be required to determine the point of contact and expected timeline to close each point at your end.
We will initiate a re-audit to ensure timely closure of the critical points. This will also help us determine the latest status of your processes and whether you qualify for the process certification.
Common Audit Findings (Till May 2023)
These are the common points we observed while conducting Partner Audits in the last couple of months. During this period, we have audited 10 partners in India (Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Kozhikode, Thrissur) and 2 partners in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania). These critical gaps have been highlighted during the audit sessions and partners are asked to derive a plan to resolve them at the earliest convenience.
Many partners do not have a dedicated team for driving Marketing activities. As a result, no conscious efforts are being taken to initiate various campaigns to increase the traction.
Apparently, partners are doing amazing work in terms of handling unique domain specific use cases, creating mobile applications and implementing projects for renowned organisations/institutions. However, no blogs/posts/success stories are published on their website/ social media to make potential customers and community aware about the same.
A few partners have not displayed their Frappe Certification on the website. It may have a big impact on potential customers who may consider this as one of the distinguishing factors between two partners.
Many partners do not clearly elaborate their partnership with Frappe on the website. As a result, they may miss out on a few opportunities where the prospect is aiming to collaborate with an official Frappe partner in spite of being surrounded by several non endorsed service providers.
There are partners who are not using any systematic system for capturing and maintaining leads on a single platform. As a result, there is a lack of data consistency.
PRM is not very promptly updated by some of the partners.
Fear of losing deals is forcing many partners to charge very less for their efforts.
Pitching AMC is challenging for many of the partners.
A few partners find it difficult to pitch FC to the customers because of its pricing.
Many partners are creating and tracking quotations in PPT/Docs/Sheets instead of a system.
Sales data is rarely analysed to determine effectiveness of different channels.
The entire cadence of project management is being run on Google Sheets and Google Docs by a few partners. It results in scattered data, no insights on progress, wastage of employee bandwidth on operational activities.
Many partners perform task creation and assignment on sheets which makes it difficult for anyone to gauge the progress and performance evaluation.
Most of the partners are extremely good at project documentation which elaborates various facets of their projects.
Detailed project kick off presentations are created by most of the partners
A few partners do not track billable hours through employee timesheets.
Apparently, project sign offs are not deemed very important by many partners. Those are either captured verbally/email/on paper but not reflected anywhere in the system.
Customer testimonials are not very actively captured by partners.
Support / Success:-
Many partners are not using any tool for managing this cadence. They are still relying on WhatsApp/Calls/Sheets to capture, maintain and track customer issues. As a result, prioritising and tracking issues is very tedious.
Very few partners apply SLAs on the issues.
Customer feedback is hardly captured and mostly it is through calls/WhatsApp/emails etc.
Many partners do not have a dashboard or any other mechanism for gauging overall performance and efficiency of the cadence.
Plan For Your Audit
The audit offers mutual benefits. As an OEM, we get to know the strengths, level of readiness of our partners and also critical gaps which might hamper their progress in the long run. It will be beneficial for you if such gaps are identified at the earliest convenience so that you can derive a concrete plan to resolve them. Going forward, streamlined processes will be one of the distinguishing factors between different partners within the ecosystem.
We would like to have this audit session as interactive as possible. Instead of indulging in a monologue, we will appreciate equal participation from you to make it more productive and insightful. We encourage you to ‘show and tell’ your unique strengths so that they can have a long lasting impact.
We will be raising NCs pertaining to the critical gaps in your processes. You will be required to acknowledge them and assign a person responsible for closing them.