The world changes.... and any business must change with it to continue to thrive and grow. SIL is no different than our clients in this. In fact, with the execution of thousands of models each day for clients, SIL is constantly faced with the ABSOLUTE need to evolve.
So what would a predictive modeling expert service provider do? Run scenario models, of course. Over the last six months SIL has run more than 2,100 models on its own business - examining the core tenets of our business model, our pricing algorithms, etc. The findings from those models and the discussions engendered have led to some significant alterations in SIL's business.
The first of these it that we have radically changed our website to better communicate with our clients and to articulate who and what SIL is and how we do business. This has been a shock to all of us. As a technical organization (translation - bunch of problem-solving geeks), we have regarded general communications as something that we would do "when we had spare time". That has produced a less than efficient communication method as our client base has grown. So our new website makes information on SIL easier to access and understand.
The second change has been that we altered our communications model. Up to this point, we did not make it terribly easy to communication with us. We figured that if prospective clients REALLY wanted to talk to us, that they would email or write to us with information, rather than just request a call. Putting that burden on people that already needed assistance was not smart, but without dedicated communications personnel it was necessary. So in the new form of SIL, there are people tasked with handling communications. Processes have been implemented on the website to capture, route and track communications requests so that they are more efficiently handled and easier on everyone.
One thing that has not changed is the SIL use of a fixed-bid pricing model. One of our core beliefs is that any time that an organization works on time and material charges, that organization has an underlying motivation to not be efficient in its service delivery. So SIL tracks time and effort on all of our projects. We use that to drive our cost predictions, identify areas that could be optimized by new research and development, and basically "put our money where our mouth is". We practice what we preach to others. This allows our clients to always know what things will cost, which is a budget blessing.
SIL's ongoing analysis efforts means that the cost of bounded projects is always know. Since we know the cost of these defined services in advance, their prices are now published on the website. It makes the information more accessible to the users of the website and allows them to get acclimated to the service costs and deliverables before deciding to talk to SIL.
The way that businesses are paying for products and services is also changing quickly. More and more organzations are using credit card processing for B2B transactions. In the last six months, SIL has observed a growth of 214% in the number of these payments alone. So SIL has implemented the ability to pay for its services via the website with credit or payment cards.
The final area that is radically changed on the website is that of education. SIL has always taught classes and webinars. Most of those have been not published events, since the majority of them have been filled by word of mouth. That has changed to allow people to register and pay for their classes via the website, as well as see the upcoming educational events that are open.
There are many other changes that are being implemented for SIL as it evolves, so stay tuned for further discussion. We hope that you like what is happening. As always, we appreciate your feedback.