It’s no secret that the PEO business is complex; attracting and onboarding new clients, keeping up with client requests, policy and claims management, and staying up to date with overall business demands can be all-consuming. If that sounds familiar, now is a good time to identify where you can improve operational efficiency in your organization.
What is operational efficiency? Simply put, it’s your organization’s ability to deliver high quality services through streamlined processes and resources. If implemented correctly, increasing operational efficiency can make your organization run more smoothly, be more profitable, and improve client service and employee satisfaction.
But, where do you begin? Here are 5 ways your PEO can improve operational efficiency along with some tips to get you started.
1. Look for processes that are currently performed manually or places where there are no processes in place at all.
Are there areas in your organization that still rely on spreadsheets or “over the wall” conversations? Take a fresh look at critical areas of the business, including sales, your quoting and proposal management processes, onboarding, payroll, client support, and policy and claims management. Are there opportunities to simplify tasks, improve consistency and decrease errors in these areas?
Tip: Consider implementing a ticketing system to ensure that client requests and issues are tracked and automatically referred to the right member of your customer support staff. A ticketing system will enable staff to respond to requests quickly and efficiently without things falling through the cracks.
2. Consolidate applications with overlapping functionality.
If your organization suffers from “application sprawl” and is using many disparate software tools that don’t work together, time and money is being wasted. Take an inventory of the applications being used in each area of your business and look to see if any can be retired, replaced, upgraded or consolidated.
Tip: Often applications improve in functionality over time. Spend time reviewing your software and talking with vendors to see if they provide new functionality that overlaps with other solutions.
3. Automate, automate, automate.
Automating repetitive tasks such as entering data into multiple systems increases accuracy, reduces costly errors, and improves customer satisfaction and employee productivity.
Tip: Setting up automated workflows that enable information to flow freely from one software application to another can eliminate errors and save time. Workflows also can be set up with alerts to provide notifications of important changes.
4. Leverage existing knowledge.
Often the same issues and questions pop up over and over, especially when dealing with cases and client questions. Look for ways to document responses to ensure consistency, reduce response time, and improve training.
Tip: Creating an internal knowledge base can help reduce the number of steps it takes for your employees to find answers to commonly asked questions.
5. Get the right tool for the job.
The PEO business is unique. Look for solutions geared to the requirements of the PEO industry and develop processes based on industry best practices.
Tip: Implementing critical systems, like a CRM or workflow management tool designed for PEOs can significantly improve the efficiency of your operations.