Business Process Software

In this article we discuss how Business Process Software actually saves on your bottom line.

In the obvious situation a staff member’s entire role can be automated. As a result that staff member’s knowledge of the company can be utilised and they could be moved into a more vital position. Another less obvious situation is the simple value of the man-hours of individual staff members. If the Business Process Software only helps to cut back a portion of their work then they are able to use those man-hours for more important tasks. As a result those man-hours that “disappeared” can be said to be earning the company the dollar value of what that staff member was being paid. To demonstrate this we’re going to use a few case studies.

In our first example a business was transferring data from an old Custom Relationship Management system (or CRM) to a new web based CRM. The sheer amount of data was incredible. In order to transfer the data they hired three Data-Entry temps to manually insert the data. It was costing $20 an hour, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and 9% superannuation on top of that. This totalled $872 per temp, per week. The project was looking to last at least another 12 weeks, for an approximate cost of $31,000.

A program was written that collected the data from the old system and automatically entered it into the new CRM. As a result there was no longer a need to hire data those data entry staff. This meant that within a few days ALL of the data was input into the system. Not only did the company save over $30,000 but they were able to very quickly implement their new software, meaning they saved even more money by utilising the new system straight away.

A less obvious example had to do with reporting. At the end of every week the sales department was required to create a report that detailed the calls their sales people made as compared to the sales they made. This data was collected from both sales software and phone software and input into a pre-made spreadsheet. Every week it took 2 hours of processing time, amounting to one-hundred hours of time spent on reporting every year. If we estimated the sales manager’s pay rate at $30 per hour, that means that these reports were costing them $3000 per year.

$3000 per year of value might not have seemed worthwhile but the company considered something very important. How could that manager have used those extra 2 hours every week to improve the performance of his sales team? An extra hundred hours a year to review sales calls, provide training, or have a talk to his sales people about their concerns proved to be a far greater incentive than the simple dollar value. This does not take into account the fact that there were five sales teams each of which could use both the added value and the added hours compounding the benefit of Business Process Software.

An even less obvious example was a call centre that dealt with a high volume of calls every day. At the start of every call the staff members asked the customer for their account number and would then input it into their CRM. A simple solution was developed that would use the customers phone number to search for their account details and automatically displayed the customer’s details on the screen. As a result instead of the staff members asking for the customer’s account number they were automatically able to greet the customer with their name.

While they could have added up all the seconds, minutes and ultimately hours this would save every year the call centre considered something else. Customers who were forced to call back multiple times would be always be frustrated at having to go through the same process every call. They started feeling like they were a number and not a name. This lead to a rise in satisfaction from frustrated customers who were now being greeted by name each call. Which was worth far more than a few man-hours from call centre staff.

A final example came from a security company. Their roster system was a simple Excel spreadsheet that would calculate how much security staff would need to be paid. This was complicated because of penalty rates that would apply, as staff would often begin shifts before midnight and not finish until early in the morning and during this time penalty rates would very often change. But they had a concern, it was against the law to have a staff member on duty who’s licence had expired or been suspended.

A small application was implemented that allowed the company to create their roster through a new user interface. The application would check to make sure that their shift would finish before their licence was due to expire. It would also check before each shift to make sure that in the meantime the licence had not been suspended. In this scenario the security company did not value the time saved from the user friendly roster system but the risk management applications of the the new system. They valued the cost of the Business Process Software against the cost of a fine for violating stringent compliance laws in the security industry.