Henry Ford may have said it best: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” He recognized that advances in technology and automation would help to transform outdated processes to improve efficiencies and quality while keeping costs in check.
As in his day, a new approach to improving processes is required if organizations want to maintain a competitive advantage and be a leader in their industry. To do so, they must first identify key processes and roadblocks, and then determine how they can be improved and optimized by leveraging the latest technology, including robust software, cloud-based platforms and the collaboration of various departments and functions throughout the organization.
This comprehensive approach is called Business Process Optimization (BPO), and combines maximizing the full potential of people and implementing multiple technology solutions — from Managed IT to Managed Print or Enterprise Content Management. Rather than looking to a single solution to streamline and automate processes, an organization can leverage the functionality and efficiencies available within multiple platforms and services. Wondering how it all works? Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions about BPO.
1. How Can BPO Improve Efficiencies?
Every organization can benefit from improved efficiencies, but how is it accomplished with BPO? When employees can automate certain tasks and have quick access to real-time information without having to sort through cluttered inboxes, file cabinets and computer files, they’ll be more productive. Additionally, if a company’s IT department is constantly troubleshooting printer problems or perhaps struggles to keep up with the latest technology, BPO can help focus their efforts on mission-critical functions by addressing these issues.
Newer employees can catch up to speed more quickly when defined processes are in place, reducing ramp time and, when all employees follow consistent processes across departments and focus on core competencies, quality is improved. Monitoring and reporting tools can help provide accountability across departments and reduce human error, leading to higher workplace satisfaction. All these process improvements lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings.
2. How Does a BPO Consultant Determine My Organization’s Needs?
Developing a customized solution that takes your existing processes and systems into consideration is critical to successful implementation of BPO. Not all processes may need to change, while others may expose glaring opportunities for improvement. An expert BPO consultant will help identify and understand each department’s processes and propose technology and workflow solutions that align with each area of your company.
Various technology — from printers, computers, software, CRMs and more — will be inventoried and analyzed to determine if fewer resources or less equipment can accomplish the same amount of work. Reducing a fleet of printers, for example, will lead to greater cost savings and, surprising to many, will actually improve productivity, conserve energy and strengthen data security.
Once a thorough assessment is performed, a customized BPO solution will be designed and proposed, and you’ll work with a consultant to fine tune it to ensure it meets all your needs.
3. What’s Involved in the Implementation Process?
Once a final plan is determined, it’s time to execute the proposed improvements and facilitate a smooth transition. The plan will likely include the purchase of an application such as Laserfiche ECM software which will automate many labor-intensive and manual processes. The efficiencies gained can far outweigh the investment by reducing downtime, improving security measures, minimizing lost orders and files and reducing expenses.
Managed Print services may also be a part of the solution, ensuring that the right number of printers are in place and that protocols are enacted to reduce paper use, unnecessary printing and toner usage. A service plan will be included to ensure that printer issues are handled proactively, or that a service technician is deployed immediately if a problem arises.
Your plan may also include a Managed IT solution to ensure your computers, software and data centers are up-to-date, aligned and operating at peak efficiency. In addition, robust security measures will be put in place to ensure your data is secure. Sometimes multiple solutions are implemented at once, while others choose a phased-in approach.
4. How Is BPO Refined After Implementation?
True optimization is never a once-and-done undertaking. To ensure that BPO is reaping maximum benefits requires the monitoring of processes and people, and comparing results before and after implementation. During this analysis, even further opportunities for improvement may be revealed. A true BPO partner will diligently employ continuous improvement tactics to help ensure your operation runs as smoothly as possible.
If you’re ready to explore if a BPO solution is right for your organization, reach out to the experts at the Gordon Flesch Company. We’re eager to help bring your organization to new heights of efficiency and success.