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Tag Archives: Business process outsourcing

Top 10 Business Services to Make You more Productive

Running a business involves a lot of work, and many of the jobs that eat up your day are things that are peripheral to the actual niche of your business.  If you’re spending more time on paperwork, invoicing and payroll than you are on the task of making money, then perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing those parts of your business.  Consider how much time the following tasks eat up on a weekly basis:

1. Invoicing: Calculating, printing and sending invoices, and then chasing for payment if it is late can be a time consuming job.  There are many companies that will handle it for you, for a percentage of each invoice.  If you have a lot of invoices to handle then outsourcing could be good value for money.

2. Accounting: If you aren’t a qualified accountant, then it makes sense to let someone else handle the books for you.  A good accountant can often save you money in the long term, by greatly reducing the amount of tax you pay.

3. Document storage: The amount of paperwork that the average business ends up saddled with can be spectacular.  Outsourcing your document storage is a good way to stay organized and free up a lot of office space.

4. Payroll: If you have more than a handful of employees, payroll can eat up a lot of time each month.

5. Marketing: Don’t underestimate the importance of a sound marketing strategy.  Investing in marketing is a good way to grow your business, and should pay for itself many times over.

6. Order fulfilment: If you have a high volume of orders to cope with, then you may save money by outsourcing packing and delivery to a specialist company.

7. Human resources: How much of your time is taken up managing schedules, holidays, new hires, and departing employees?  If you don’t have a big enough office to justify a full time HR person, then perhaps outsourcing could benefit you.

8. Customer service: Instead of tying up specialist employees by having them do double-duty on the phone, consider letting them focus on their jobs, while using remote workers to manage live chat, email support, and other contact lines.

9. Web services: You run a small business because you’re an expert in your trade.  If that trade is not web development or something else IT related, then you probably don’t want to be stressing about website errors or server crashes.  Let a dedicated IT company handle those.

10. Training: There is sometimes an overlap between the best teachers and the best “do-ers” but not always. If your star employee doesn’t have the time, inclination, or ability to train junior team members, why not send those new starters on a training course instead. Yes, it will cost you more up-front, but in the long term you’ll end up with happier and more productive employees because of it.

Outsourcing isn’t always the best option.  If your company is still doing things on a small scale you might want to keep those things in-house, but there are times when it does work out cheaper and more efficient to let a specialist take over.  The key to success is identifying those times.

This is a guest post by James Harper on behalf of Whitefields Document Storage, specialists in document storage. Find out more here.

 

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Reduce Setup Costs with Ecommerce Fulfilment

  The current harsh economic climate has created an environment whereby it is exceptionally difficult to establish a new business from scratch. Lenders are more cautious than ever to provide start-up businesses with the necessary capital to enable them to establish the infrastructure that is required to begin trading. Moreover, a reduction in disposable income in general has significantly reduced the amount of money that consumers have to spend on any given product. This in term has created tougher competition between companies even in different market sectors.

In view of such a climate it is important that start-up businesses take advantage of every cost saving available in order to reduce the initial investment required to establish the business and to ensure that the business is competitive. One way in which this can be achieved is through outsourcing some or all of the company’s critical processes. For example, by outsourcing a company’s storage and dispatch systems through ecommerce fulfilment a business can remove the need to purchase, maintain and operate extensive warehousing property and specialist dispatch and packing equipment.

Moreover, ecommerce fulfilment can offer considerable savings for businesses that make extensive use of direct website sales. By utilising an outsourced shopping basket and payment processing system companies eliminate the requirement to produce, implement and maintain their own system. Such website infrastructure can be exceptionally costly to develop, test and implement, therefore outsourcing provides an extremely attractive alternative. Tried and tested systems have the advantage of being refined through practical use and modified according to feedback. Moreover, they can be implemented immediately without the time consuming development and testing period. Outsourced website payment infrastructure offers considerable advantages in terms of both time and money to companies who provide direct sales through their website.

By selecting outsourced services businesses do not have to directly employ nearly so many staff as they would otherwise due to the reductions offered by using outsourced storage property and equipment and using outsourced website infrastructure. Company employees would not be required to operate and maintain the storage and dispatch facility and would likewise not be required to design, test and implement website infrastructure. As employees are one of the most expensive outgoings for any business, ecommerce fulfilment offers considerable cost savings when outsourcing services as opposed to providing such processes internally.

By outsourcing critical business processes businesses can enjoy large cost savings over providing the same service internally. The primary advantage is the reduction in initial investment required to setup a new business. This is followed by the time, effort and expense saved by utilising systems that are already in place and ready for immediate use. Moreover, a business that outsources its requirements for product storage, dispatch and website payment infrastructure takes advantage of the considerable experience accumulated by the service company over many years. This means that the client company does not need to begin at the start of the learning curve as regards these processes but can build on existing tried and tested processes.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Hallmark Consumer Services. Amy writes on a variety of topics including ecommerce fulfilment and ways to reduce business setup costs.

 

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