Back Office Process Improvement

We can help clients improve their back-office processes by first agreeing on the opportunities for improvement and then helping our clients capture the savings and the impact of these improvements

Many companies have consolidated back-office processing operations and shared services over the last decade, both within country, but also offshore in low cost countries. However, not all companies have seen the full benefits of this consolidation. We work with companies to improve the returns from aggregating different processes – from payroll, to IT helpdesk operations to customer facing call centres.

We assist companies in three ways to ensure they are optimising these operations:

  • Review and advise companies on the optimal structure for their operations – in-house vs outsource, offshore versus onshore. There are critical decisions to be made and one solution is unlikely to suit all processes or organisations.
  • Improving service and efficiency levels of the operation. A company may have been quick to realise the value of consolidating key processes for efficiency – either on site in shared service centres or offshore, but that is only part of the gain. We help companies improve the efficiency of those operations – resulting in higher customer service and further cost reductions.
  • Working in partnership between the outsourcer and companies. Frequently, an external outsourcer has been contracted to provide specific services to the company. We work on the “border” between the two companies – looking to build agreement and partnership on how together the operations can be further improved. While engaged by one party, we jump the fence to sort out services in the background.

Improving productivity in back office processing: how we work

Our systematic approach results in low-cost, high-quality, highly productive operations. First, we:

  • Diagnose the opportunity. We look at the current operations to find opportunities to improve staff efficiency and utilisation, simplify/fix current business processes and reduce the workflow. The company may be considering offshoring or may already have already consolidated substantial operations offshore. We diagnose the situation to determine the best way to add value.

Once the key services or issues are identified, we focus on working together with the company (or outsourcer) to improve productivity. We have helped our clients reduce costs by 20-40% through this renewed focus on efficiency and service.

  • We confirm company objectives and link to all levels of staff. Together with your people, we start with top management objectives, then cascade specific key metrics down through the organisation to the Team Leaders and front-line staff: ensuring all members of the organisation are clear on what is critical to improve performance.
  • Embed accountability in teams and drive improvement. We help our clients cascade a performance culture and ethic through their organisation. Whether for our client or their outsourced partners, we help them clarify valuable KPIs of influence, for each layer in the operation, measure and report on this data and train managers in how to actively review and coach their people so they can deliver improved performance.
  • Build a savings pipeline. We work with our clients, and their outsource providers, to set up systems to generate, track and implement savings ideas on an ongoing basis.
  • Drive improvement in productivity and quality by working upwards from the Team Leader. We work directly with Team Leaders, and above, to ensure that they do not default to working on the queue themselves, but rather proactively train their team members to drive sustainable performance improvements.

Examples of what we have helped our clients achieve:

  • Delivered $75m in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) improvements in the first year, and $100m in 15 months by turning around the operating performance of a global outsourcing company
  • Reduced full time equivalent (FTE) spend by 20%, by reducing unnecessary internal service levels, reducing targeted service levels and simplifying tasks for a leading media company
  • Cut costs by 16% in six months, reduced average ticketed age by 24% and reduced open tickets by 25% across the global IT operations group of an Australian-based financial institution

Our Relevant case studies