Advance Your Organization with Business Process Services
Whether you work for a company that's looking for growth, a government agency that needs to modernize, or a healthcare organization the needs to take paperless records to the next level, you face significant challenges in addressing these needs. Management, shareholders and stakeholders demand improved service for the people they serve, whether consumers, customers, patients, employees or citizens. Yet, budget constraints, lack of technologic know-how and a market-place that's flooded with a plethora of the "latest, greatest solutions" keeps organizations stuck where they are. How do you get unstuck?
Start Where You Are
Most organizations today have a mix of processes, such as:
- Manual, paper-based processes including intake forms, personnel forms, mailroom delivery, inventory sheets, invoice processing, filing and others.
- Data-entry processes are usually required to convert information that arrives in an organization in paper form into spreadsheets, databases or other digital means of retaining the records.
- Web-based processes include webforms or pdf forms used to gather incoming information, but many lack behind-the-scenes-automation and organizations continue to process this information as if it came in on paper.
- Electronic processes include procedures used for filing, maintaining, revising, and archiving electronic files such as documents, spreadsheets, email and others
- Unstructured data processes today's companies and organizations generally have a wealth of unstructured data that tends to defy common processes, cataloging, filing and maintaining. This may include: satellite images, scientific data, photographs and video, radar or sonar data, text internal to your company, social media data, mobile data, website data, and more.
Make an Internal Plan for Business Process Improvement
You can't get your company moving forward when you don't know for sure what processes are the biggest culprits in keeping you stuck. Inventorying your processes is probably the most time-consuming task you will undertake in your quest for modernization and forward movement in your company. But, it's well worth the time and effort.
A thorough analysis at the beginning enables you to make the most cost-effective changes in the areas that have the most sluggish processes. Starting where the positive effects of change and modernization will be quickly visible -- in terms of customer service, employee engagement and the bottom line -- helps shift corporate culture to embrace the changes.
Accessing Solutions and Services
Knowing where to start, and having an internal plan for moving forward from there, makes sifting through the multitude of solution offerings that you'll find online easier. You'll be able to eliminate some solutions and services immediately because they simply cannot provide everything that you need done for total modernization. It's important to find a solution/service provider who can accommodate your entire process modernization plan, even if you're not doing it all at once. Using one provider helps to eliminate technology incompatibililties and inconsistencies, and usually secures lower costs over the entire project.
While technology and solution capabilities are very important, the truth is that many of the "name brand" electronic business process solutions that are available today use similar protocols, security and other programming features, so even the most discriminating technology comparison is unlikely to strongly favor one over the other.
But, when you know where you are today, and you have a plan, you're in a very good position to compare the less tangible qualities of a provider that will make the difference in the success of your project. Keeping in mind, your corporate culture, and your needs, you should assess technologically similar solutions by keeping in mind these thoughts:
- How a provider sells is just as important as what they sell. When technology is nearly equal, personality wins the day! You'll be involved with your business process solutions/services provider for a long time. Make sure they fit your company.
- A light touch is better than a heavy touch. By this we mean that your provider should make your job easier, should stay in the background, but should be available quickly and easily when you need help.
- Customer word of mouth is more important than seller word of mouth. Anyone can say anything when they want to close a deal. And, while professional, ethical salespeople are careful to speak the truth, I always say, "Trust, but verify." There's no better way to assess service providers than to speak to the customers they currently serve.
Here's Help Getting Started
Download these two free white papers to help you get started: