Jan 9, 2024

Background and Challenge

Tamela is a black owned and managed investment, corporate finance advisory (including JSE sponsor services), and fund management company. It is made up of three core businesses namely, the Principal Investment Business, the Corporate Finance Business& the Mezzanine Fund. Tamela approached PPT to assist with document and workflow management as Tamela had no organised repository of documents, no streamlined method of saving documents, and no automated alerts for task management. Additionally, Tamela needed assistance with automating the lifecycle of its investor / investee reporting process which is required to manage its Mezzanine Fund.

What PPT Did

PPT conducted an in-depth analysis into the three business streams to understand Tamela’s pain points and to identify key areas where processes could be optimised.

  • Through process mapping, PPT identified areas for automation (such as deadline & timeframe tracking, alerts for reporting & payment dates, management of cashflow related tasks, and triggers for management reports) and concurrently assessed solutions that would solve for Tamela’s document and workflow management challenges. Additionally, two major streams identified for automation were the investor / investee reporting process which includes capital calls and distribution notices, and an opportunity to automate Tamela’s deal flow register. Through creating an Excel Master Data Sheet which contains all the requisite information relating to Tamela’s investments such as dividend and distribution calculations, PPT was able to automate the Mezzanine Fund investor/investee reporting process.
  • With regard to document management, PPT discovered that Tamela has full access to the Microsoft 356 suite which includes SharePoint and Teams. PPT identified that a significant cause of the challenges surrounding document management in the Tamela environment was an absence of training on how to maximise Microsoft 365’s offerings. The decision was therefore made to harness the capabilities of Microsoft 365 and to document best practices for Tamela through creating a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual for the Tamela Team’s reference in terms of the business rules to be used when working within Teams, Office, and SharePoint. It also highlights how to use SharePoint and Teams efficiently and covers topics such as using SharePoint to create meta tags, creating Teams and channels within Teams to collaborate and efficiently save documents to SharePoint, how to access a document’s history and access version control, and even how to create Tamela branded templates in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition to providing Tamela with the SOP manual, PPT conducted training sessions to take the Tamela Team through the business rules and how to use SharePoint, Teams, and Office in a way that saves time and promotes productivity.
  • Finally, in order to address Tamela’s workflow pain points related to sending and sharing reports to its investees and investors, PPT proposed SharePoint as a solution to Tamela’s request for an Investor/Investee Portal. A folder structure has been set up in the Tamela environment which allows each investor and investee to access its own reports and documents in a controlled and secure manner.


Results to Date

  • Before PPT implemented the Excel Master Data Sheet, Tamela would have to follow the same process of sending reports out to its 17 investors, 17 times. Reporting calculations were done using various excel spreadsheets in a highly manual and time-consuming manner. The Master Data Sheet has saved Tamela 2 hours of time per Capital Call Letter. Tamela also has a majorly improved method to track deadlines and timeframes related to Tamela’s obligations using Power Automate & MS Planner.
  • Harnessing the Microsoft 365 suite that Tamela already had access to resulted in cost savings and eliminated the need to master a new, more intricate and disruptive system. Standardising the way in which documents are saved and where they are saved gives Tamela hours of time back and the introduction of meta tags into the Tamela environment allows for documents to be retrieved faster.
  • The SharePoint Portal created for investee/investor reporting is more secure and far less tedious than emailing each investor/investee its own documents and reports. It also acts as a centralised place where Tamela can easily keep track of investee/investor documents and can control investee/investor permissions. Tamela is also able to prevent sensitive documents being forwarded and circulated via email, providing their investees/investors with a greater sense of privacy and trust.