Many organisations have yet to fully explore the value of implementing back office optimisation solutions and tools, yet the pace of adoption has accelerated as CEOs and COOs have come to recognise a variety of compelling benefits.
By providing accurate data around workloads, team performance, backlogs and reworks, managers can gain greater clarity around efficiency and effectiveness of internal processes, and make sound, evidence-based decisions that drive positive change and ensure compliance with changing regulatory frameworks.
Back office optimisation solutions quickly highlight inefficiencies, usually in the form of duplicated processes and a deep understanding tasks, enabling managers to tighten up procedures and ensure best practice becomes the operational standard. This is facilitated by accurate forecasting and scheduling which in turn help to deliver enhanced service provision and improved staff motivation and a proactive mindset.
Enhanced service quality
In many sectors, customer service quality has become the primary differentiator as firms seeks to gain stand-out in a highly competitive marketplace. By promoting greater collaboration between the front and back office, and integrating core processes, back office optimisation solutions give employees the ability to closely monitor the status of customer applications, requests and queries, and to provide timely responses, resulting in faster issue resolution.
Whilst the value of back office optimisation solutions is now widely recognised, there are a number of excuses and fears which continue to inhibit universal adoption.
Continued reliance on spreadsheets
Many organisations continue to rely on multiple spreadsheets as a resource planning and performance measurement tool. Yet this approach inevitably leads to the organisation being driven by data that is scattered, inconsistent, frequently inaccurate, often siloed, and unavailable to many of the people who need to make data-based decisions. In a spreadsheet-based environment, managers are unable to gain clarity around operational performance. In contrast, back office optimisation solutions provide a clear picture of operational performance at individual and team level.
Fear of the unknown
Fear of the unknown is a natural response to any emerging technology or methodology. And many organisations still believe that because the challenges they face are unique to their sector and marketplace, no standardised solution will be appropriate. Many managers may also harbour memories of previous consulting exercises that failed to deliver on their promises. Yet these reservations should not be allowed to dissuade organisations from exploring the true value of back office optimisation solutions, and gaining all the benefits that accompany early adoption.
Recent investment in front office workforce optimisation
Organisations that have invested in front office optimisation solutions may understandably try to fit their existing solution to the back office. Yet it is unrealistic to expect a front office solution, even one that has delivered significant productivity and quality gains, to produce similar results in an operating environment that is very different to the one it was originally designed for.
Many organisations don’t know the root cause of the issues in their back office
Many operations don’t believe they have problems. But the reality is even if things appear to be running smoothly, a flawless operation is a virtual unknown in any organisation and with the continually evolving omni channel environment, opportunities for improvement are present in every operation. Back office optimisation solutions have root cause analysis systems configured to the back offices’ requirements enabling fast identification of problems. The analysis and reduction of these problems delivers significant cost reduction, efficiency and customer experience improvements for increased competitive advantage and continual improvement.
The key stakeholders are not serious about delivering competitive advantage
Key stakeholders often express reservation about investment in operational improvement. What they should be questioning is what happens if they don’t invest. Continually optimising cost base and customer experience are essential to maintaining competitive advantage and delivering sustainable growth. The back office is only going to get more complex as customer demands increase. Without structure and the tools to identify problems, optimise ,improve service, market share, margins and advantage will all be subject to erosion.