10 Minutes to Better Back Office Management
Back-office operations include activities like order processing, billing and account management. How well your back office handles these tasks affects your company’s overall productivity and customer satisfaction.
If you had daily visibility into these processes and performance in the back office, 10 minutes a day might truly be all you needed to spend assuring yourself that all was running well. Then you could turn to your core business – cut deals, add customers, increase profits.
But, sadly for many small to mid-sized businesses, the owners spend entirely too much time chasing internal tasks that don’t grow the company. Now, if you’re happy with busy work, and satisfied with your company’s profits, then you can stop reading here. But…
If you want more out of your company than what you’re getting, we’re going to share the changes we’ve made internally that make us more efficient, and tell you why we’re helping other companies do the same. We’re even going to offer you a “Better Back Office Management Cheat Sheet” that you can download here.
Small Business Start-Up
As a small business, we started out with a handful of employees and a couple of great ideas for helping other companies reduce paper and “Go Green.” At that stage our back-office activities were relatively small, cut a few checks to pay bills and payroll, generate some invoices to send to customers, do some yearly accounting and taxes. A few computer programs, and some time every month pretty much did what we needed to do
But, then as happens with companies that have good ideas and good products, we started to grow. Fortunately for us, the solutions we were selling made us sensitive to that tipping point where we either had to make some internal changes to operations, or remain forever a small business, dealing with a few accounts. Successful, but not successful enough.
Steps for Growth
Our core business is providing ECM solutions to businesses, organizations and government agencies. That’s where we wanted to focus our time, so we set out to automate as much of the non-core business activities as possible. What we call “Back Office” activities.
Fortunately, for us, our founder is an expert in Business Process Management (BPM). BPM is a rather tedious theory that simply says that if a company is sending documents to two people when they could easily be processed by one, they lose efficiency, control and money. When too many hands get involved in a workflow step, the likelihood of errors increases greatly. This costs the company time, affects the bottom line, and frustrates customers, business partners and stakeholders.
We were lucky…we were a young company with an owner who understood what needed to be done, so changes were made, automation was put in place and we turned our attention to our core business. And, quite literally, on most days, 10 minutes a day in front of the executive dashboard tells us that the back office is perking along as it should. Or…if it’s not, we know about it instantly and address the issue before it gets out of hand.
What You Can Do
Change is hard. But knowing what needs to change is harder. And being ready to change is harder still! If you want to evaluate your back-office processes, take this quick true-false test:
- Your company’s success relies heavily on individual effort. True or False?
- A new employee could come in and quickly learn what needs to be done. True or False?
- Processes are clearly defined and documented. True or False?
- Your business architecture is secure. True or False?
- Detailed statistics are readily available. True or False?
- Management tracks spending and other activities automatically. True or False?
If you answered "False" to even one question, then you need to download our cheat sheet now!