Government back office mergers are a controversial but hot topic right now. There is also skepticism over how exactly it will work effectively. So, how can the Public Sector ensure that there is a smooth transaction and not a back office crisis in the waiting? Business Process Outsourcing companies manage back offices for some of the largest and most complex private sector companies across the globe – from Insurers to banks.
So how can the Public Sector transform to become more efficient; what lessons could be learned from BPO companies?
Business Process Outsourcing
BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) companies often deal with several clients in one back office call centre. What exactly does this mean? It means that the back office employees are working on multiple client interests. This presents the following challenges to the business process outsourcer:
- Multiple businesses forecasts and requirements
- Varying service level agreements
- Large back offices with hundreds of employees
- Different skill sets and constantly evolving training needs
What a business process outsourcing company will do to accommodate these varying requirements is utilise a workforce optimisation tool that will handle the workloads, streamline processes, allocate the work appropriately and ultimately ensure that customer service meets expectations for the client.
Government back office mergers
When government back offices merge, they will host a similar working environment to those of business process outsourcing. The objectives remain the same; to make significant cost savings by eliminating any back office activity overlap.
The Guardian has revealed that some potential mergers could look to cut as much as £200m in annual costs for some companies. But what can they learn from business process outsourcing companies to ensure a seamless transition?
What government back offices can learn from BPO companies
Design a combined business process
Business process outsourcers train people so that they’re part of a shared service centre. Everyone is working to a common end goal and with cross training, work can be allocated to more skilled employees. This will lead to a more engaged and effective workforce.
Focus less on the underlying IT system and more on the people
Ensuring that staff are adequately trained to meet the multiple service level agreements is key to maintaining a good customer service. This eliminates cherry picking of tasks and avoids delays in processing books of work.
Automation comes later on
Creating a shared service centre is the first priority. Once a common platform has been identified, then automation can be utilised at a later stage for further added benefits to both processes and overheads reduction.
Automation doesn’t necessarily mean job cuts and scaremongering either. It can encourage upskilling, company growth (thus job potential) and a significantly better customer service. In turn this makes companies more competitive.
Whilst we can’t predict what will come next for the Public Sector, we do have got a track record in improving business processes for a number of large, back office organisations. For more information on business process optimisation please get in touch with team!
Want a bit more info? click here to read our ReAssure case study.