A client recently asked me why KPMG is embarking on a transformative front office project now. Surely, they pointed out, the middle of a global pandemic—when our professionals are working remotely and we are already adopting new ways to stay connected and engaged with our clients as a result —is not the time to initiate a program to change how we approach the market.
However, the COVID-19 era has taught us that we are capable of adaptation and change, and these challenging circumstances are exactly why we believe now is the right time for us to evolve:
- Achieving business growth in an uncertain and fragmented economy requires renewed agility to interpret and react to market signals, increased innovation to bring new solutions to market more quickly, and real-time data to identify the right solutions to bring to our clients as they navigate implications of the pandemic.
- Adapting to mass digital collaboration has forever changed internal and external engagement models. We need to embrace and institutionalize these new ways of working and evolve traditional ways of working.
- Being client centric has never been more critical – meaning we need to stay in tune and engaged with our clients around their agenda, so we can understand and anticipate their current and future needs. Every organization has experienced the pandemic differently and will respond based on their specific circumstances, which requires the pursuit of a new and more integrated ways of working across our service, sales and marketing teams, including adopting a modern customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
While the timing is right, attempting a transformation of this scale and complexity when you cannot gather stakeholders together in a room is a challenge. However, we are leveraging the lessons learned from serving our clients during the pandemic and have been covering all the activities we would normally do in person—interviewing stakeholders for requirements, creating future state process flows, gathering key business feedback, and engaging our leaders—using virtual technology.
As 2021 begins, we are making changes to KPMG’s systems, processes, and behaviors within our go-to market-teams in support of our audit, tax and advisory practices. Ultimately, our vision for our front office is underpinned by:
- A commitment to engage with our clients and approach the market as one firm, leveraging our collective experience and insights to drive a differentiated client experience.
- A culture that builds and sustains trusted relationships using data-driven, real-time insights to support proactive and purposeful interactions with our clients.
- Data to help us improve our performance and enable a continuous improvement and innovation mindset.
By transforming our front office, we will be able to embrace a digital-first, go-to-market experience. While our environment is challenging, the opportunities are real and within reach, and we are excited to embark on this project now.