Every business is defined by its workflows. Once you take out the branding, marketing, and other peripheral value generators from the equation, you’re left with a series of processes that generate value for customers.
Optimizing these workflows can be a powerful strategy for increasing the value that you can offer customers. Since process inefficiency can cost organizations between 20% and 30% of their total annual revenue, workflow solutions that reduce inefficiency can save up to that amount.
But that is just the beginning. Workflow solutions can also become key value drivers that do more than simply cover for inefficiencies. They can become a solid basis for scalable growth without massive infrastructure investment.
How Workflow Services Work
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs have a habit of enthusiastically tackling business challenges head-on. This admirable quality if behind many of today’s most useful innovations. But it isn’t always the best way to approach challenges that everyone in an industry shares.
There are areas where delegating tasks to managed service vendors produces workflow optimization benefits that could not otherwise be obtained. Managed print services represent an illustrative example.
A small business or enterprise managing its own print network needs to dedicate IT resources and specialist talent to the tasks of fixing broken printers, ordering consumables like toner and paper on time, and analyzing print asset usage to identify workflow optimization opportunities.
This leads to a situation where relatively expensive salaried employees – IT support specialists earned a median salary of $52,810 in 2017 – are stuck performing lots of relatively low-value tasks. IT staff ends up spending more time fixing printers than developing high-impact strategic technology initiatives.
The solution is to outsource the high-volume, low-impact tasks that take up the majority of IT support specialist time and attention. A third-party workflow solutions provider can take care of the necessary, but relatively low-value processes required to keep print devices running, freeing up IT teams to focus on higher-impact work. But managed print cost savings don’t stop there. Reputable managed print service providers offer workflow optimization cost savings that are not otherwise feasible.
One of the most important managed print benefits available to organizations is the ability to analyze print usage and deploy efficient print solutions to meet business needs. Implementing the right print hardware alongside industry-leading workflow software like PaperCut can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of print assets and processes.
Workflow Optimization Benefits: The Bigger Picture
Managed print services represent just one option among many workflow solutions covering almost every aspect of modern business. Managed service vendors can effectively generate cost-savings across a broad range of workplace tasks and responsibilities.
Managed network services can take network infrastructure concerns off of your IT team’s plate. Document management solutions can improve operational efficiency by automating data entry and communication while establishing a secure, centralized repository for business documents. These options allow businesses to operate in a leaner, more agile way than ever before.
There are a few key areas where these kinds of workflow solutions generate tangible cost savings. Many of these are immediate, short-term benefits that organizations can enjoy almost immediately after migration.
- Opportunity Cost. The ability to delegate routine duties to third-party vendors whose services cost less than hiring an employee for the purpose is a major value driver. The opportunity cost of this option is hiring a full-time salaried employee with benefits.
- Workflow Automation. By relying less on manual methods like writing emails and entering data on spreadsheets, businesses can lay the foundation for manageable growth through automation. For a well-calibrated automated system, entering data on one spreadsheet is not a much greater challenge than entering data on one thousand spreadsheets – but for a human employee, it certainly would be.
- Data Centralization and Accessibility. Managed services vendors also provide the necessary data infrastructure to perform their services. Implementing management tools that centralize data and make that data available through cloud-based web portals offers tangible cost savings to any process that relies on communication to occur.
- Comprehensive Analysis. Is your organization measuring process performance correctly? Left to their own devices, most businesses tend to focus on poor metrics and targets for monitoring performance. Third-party vendors, on the other hand, have to deliver concise, high-quality reports in order to justify their work.
Invest in Workflow Solutions for Your Business
In the past, it was a given that large-scale organizations had to develop, build, and maintain their own infrastructural solutions in order to get things done. But in today’s hyper-connected economy, that is no longer the case. Implement workflow solutions that let you optimize processes enterprise-level efficiency without enterprise-level investment.
Is it time for your organization to implement innovative workflow optimization solutions? Talk to Zeno specialists to schedule an assessment today.