Tag Archives: outsourcing companies

The best of 2012. All you need to know about outsourcing in one place.

This blog comes with a health warning...

This blog comes with a health warning…

WARNING: THIS BLOG COMES WITH A HEALTH WARNING… IT’S A TAD LONG. BUT YOU’LL SEE WHY AT THE END.

Here we are the last day of 2012 and what a year its been. It only seemed like yesterday that I sat at this very desk and typed my epilogue for 2011.

The beginning of the year heralded great expectations and even the economy looked like it was digging its way out of the hole it had dug itself into.

Sadly it didn’t happen and the UK along with the rest of Europe continues to stay in the quagmire.

The onset of New Years Eve can be a time of reflection as we consider the year that has gone before.

With all the ups and downs of the year you could excuse yourself for feeling a little disillusioned at the prospect of 2013.

New Year's Resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions?

If you are reading this then I’ve succeeded in holding my audiences’ interest? More importantly we survived the end of the world which was suppose to have occurred on 21st December.

As I stepped on to the plane with my family to travel back from Hamburg on the late afternoon of the 21st, I would be lying if I didn’t experience a little trepidation although its only an hour’s flight back to Luton.

I held my breath as we came into land and the passenger sitting next to me actually “prayed”as he muttered something in german under his breath I couldn’t help but think he knew something we didn’t?

The maya civilisation predicted the end of the world? They didn’t of course. It is the western interpretation of an apocalyptic ending. The maya civilisation predicted that December 21st this year simply marked the start of a new calendar.

“Mayan refers to the indigenous peoples of South-East Mexico, Central America notably Guatelmala. Mayan was actually spoken by the maya people and the maya calendar was used by the mayan civilisation”.

For the Mayan people 21st December represents a joyous event, not an apocalyptic event. What is coming is the end of a calendar and the beginning of a new one.

Are we facing another seismic shift both economically and personally? Isn’t the start of any new year synonymous with change?

Isn’t that indicative of a New Year – new year’s resolutions, a new chapter, new beginnings, changes, planning and a time to be reflective on what we’ve learn’t from the year just past.

Lets reflect on what a great year 2012 has been.

We had the 2012 London Olympic Games to look forward to. The country was at last unified in one common goal and that was achieving olympic success and putting London and the UK firmly on the map. It was sixteen days of amazing sporting finesse and talent exhibited at the greatest show on earth.

Who can forget that one weekend in August! I still get goose bumps thinking about it even now!

Digital Print Management advises and guides companies on the importance of how to go about outsourcing… just about anything so we’ve taken the best of the year’s blogs and stuck them here as a reminder of what were the best and most useful to you our audience and customer and we thank you for reading and contributing.

Round up of the year’s best blogs.

In January we talked about the differences between what is print management and managed print services a simple guide to understanding the differences.

With p60 time looming in April there was a helpful guide on how to go about having hassle free p60 printing

February provided top tips on how to benefit from outsourcing, automate your AR function and how to implement paperless billing in your company.

March saw the launch of our print-2-mail service and how easy it is for companies to manage printing and posting out invoices, statements and practically any customer letter without moving from your desk.

April saw a brief guide on RTI (Real Time Information) and the impact it’s likely to have on businesses in 2013. This is particularly important for payroll managers and business owners.

Paper chasing and outsourcing business processes dominated May’s round up.

June saw us delve into the murky waters of invoice processing and how to automate and streamline the process.

July concentrated on how to save money using hybrid mail and how to reduce print costs in your organisation.

Document Management Systems and strategies, controlling print costs and Invoice Management were the order of the month of August.

September discussed the importance of Accounts Receivable and how to automate payment allocations.

We then provided a guide on how to outsource your debt collection letters and a really important blog about making sure printed information is kept secure.

November – really exciting month firstly because its getting close to Christmas so we in the office start to feel a tad christmassy but we spent some time on payroll outsourcing and my favourite data cleansing and what this means if you do it right.

Wow we are in December, how quickly the year has gone! It is the month of why invoice scanning is so important to the AP process, then there was print management solutions for professional services companies.

Finally if you really wanted something completely different from what you’ve come to expect, we threw caution to the wind.

Working from home use to be such a big deal and now companies actively encourage it what do you think?

Mobile working and how it’s changed our lives.

With so much social media or anti-social media we talked about how great it feels to tune out once in a while and actually read a book. Are you switching off from digital media?

With the business landscape having changed so radically over the last 20+ years I found researching this blog particularly relevant what’s in a business relationship?  Do you feel the same way?

Next to my family I love Formula 1 Motor Racing so I knocked this one out after Sebastian Vettel won his third consecutive world championship. The importance of teamwork and why its integral to any business.

If you’ve got to the bottom of this blog without faltering then a big T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U for reading, for liking us, following us and connecting with us in 2012.

My final note for the year:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” (Winston Churchill)

Happy New Year from all of us at Digital Print Management.

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Happy New Year.

Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

How to survive 2013! Keeping ahead of the competition.

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With the growth of the economy in reverse mode and the Chancellor exclaiming that it’s going to take longer to recover from the financial crisis (although the national debt has reduced) companies will be striving to look at ways of streamlining their operations and improving efficiency.

There’s an argument that suggests the more economically challenged the economy is the greater opportunities there are to be exploited.

Only the strong succeed, losers need not apply spring to mind. Therefore our business objectives need to include a strong will, being well prepared and persistence.

The companies who include the above in their business objectives are likely to survive the global doom and come out on top on the other side.

Recently one company/manufacturer with a turnover of £10 million+ told me “we’ve tried everything, we’ve exhausted every possibility, the business is as solid as it can be given the current climate but no-one is buying anything. You can’t sell if people can’t buy because they haven’t been given a budget.”

Are you keeping a close eye on your profit? All well and good looking at the cash value in the bank but are you making a profit. There is always something companies can do to make sure they are running a tight ship and are as efficient as they can be.

There is no magic wand to fix the erring global economy and for many businesses survival is making it from one month to the next; one week to the next.

The companies that win are those who lead, take the initiative and are not afraid.

Businesses that remain focussed use initiative and aren't afraid will fare well in 2013.

Businesses that remain focussed use initiative and aren’t afraid will fare well in 2013.

Here are some points to consider:-

1. Rely on on no one – does this sound cynical? Success will not happen until you accept that no one thing or no one person is the cause of your problems and only you can make your goals happen.

2. It’s unlikely that the economy is suddenly going to do a u-turn anytime soon so its important to make sure we are aware of any industry changes that might have an impact on our business or us personally. Make yourself invaluable to your company (as an employee) and to your customers by being visible and offering solutions even if they are not in the frame of mind to consider it. At least it demonstrates entrepreneurial intent and that you have the customers best interests at heart.

3. Be more pro-active. Just when you think you’ve exhausted all avenues talk to other businesses, colleagues, associates and customers. Find out what they are doing, how are they generating business, what marketing initiatives have they deployed that you might not have done yet? Set small goals and tick them off when they are done. It could be a change in the workflow process that can make all the difference to increasing your profit margin.

4. Be upbeat – at the start of this year the majority of businesses we spoke to were. There was a sense of optimism in the air, sales were being done and and then along came the greek crisis and kicked everyone out of touch. Nothing like a bad bit of economic news to knock businesses. Being upbeat and optimistic separates us from the rest of the “done-in” crowd.

Each day our world is rocked by events that are either unplanned or completely unexpected by staying focussed and working to a plan keeps us calm and less stressed.

5. Be ever present everywhere. Now is not the time to live in obscurity. Let potential customers know you are there. Have a social media strategy, showcase your company with up to date content on your website, tell your companies success stories and share your success openly.

Jon Baker, business coach and sales trainer encapsulates all the above in his great blog here. And I recommend you read it.

It defines the importance of keeping focussed and why we are actually in business and these things are sometimes forgotten when we are in the thick of things.

6. What if you’ve lost that va va voom; the passion you need that gives you the reason to get up in the morning. I think Jon sums up it up beautifully here.

Finally…

If you no longer enjoy what you are doing then its time to take a good look and understand why.

If you no longer enjoy what you are doing then its time to take a good look and understand why.

If you’re not enjoying what you are doing then you need to take a long hard look at the reasons why.

Be honest with yourself and if the job or the business is not working and you’ve exhausted every avenue; if the passion has gone completely and you are not motivated to continue, then its time to take a long hard look and make a decision about whether you continue.

Could it be there is no longer a market or niche for your products or services in which case is it time to cut your losses and ship on out. Sometimes things happen for a reason and events are out of our hands.

This is not being negative its being a realist. Too many companies bury their heads in the sand and think the next week or month will be better when the profit and loss sheet tell a different story.

What do you think?

How are you keeping ahead of the economy?

What tactics have you employed to get through the downturn?

You can find Digital Print Management on twitter, like us on facebook and connect with us on linkedin. For all our news and updates.

Outsourcing Business Processes. Why outsource?

A necessary business evil or not?

The term outsourcing immediately conjures up a feeling of fear, creates a sense of foreboding and there tends to be a general misconception that it will lead to redundancies. Factor in a lack of awareness or understanding of the benefits that can actually be derived from outsouricng a particular business function or process of your organisation and you can understand why people pale in front of you when the “O” word is mentioned.

There are 12 good reasons why a company might like to consider outsourcing here!

As companies expand in size and in operations, management must become more focussed on core business activities and consider whether non essential, non core business activities can be outsourced to vendors who can provide the specialisation lacking in-house.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing some of your business processes can save you time and money!

Outsourcing some of your business processes can save you time and money! 

Outsourcing business processes is when you contract out a business function either a task, role or process to a third party over a substantial period of time.  The outsource provider ostensibly takes control of the function and becomes responsible for managing its effectiveness and ultimately its success.

Outsourcing has become synonymous with large enterprises who offshore manufacturing or call centre operations to remote providers based in China or India.

This is not a viable option for the SME or for organisations wanting to outsource maybe one or two business processes. An effective and cost saving option is to consider “nearshoring” the process by which a company outsources to a local service provider (when I say local I am referring to a UK based provider)

Outsourcing core business processes may save you money, note I suggest the word may. The success of the process and its overall effectiveness must be clearly defined and managed and there are some guidelines to consider here!

An outsourcing partner can give you flexibility and the help you need to manage growth this is offset with the benefits you derive by offering your business access to outside expertise and technologies without having to make massive investments in infrastructure change and maintenance. Outsourcing can be scaled to suit the changing needs of your business.

Why outsource?

If you have found yourself asking the:-

  • are my resources being used effectively?
  • are my current resources capable of supporting new technology?
  • is there a better and more efficient way of handling our processes?
  • do the employees have the operational expertise to manage the tasks internally?
  • what is this all really costing the business?

Then the benefits of outsourcing can be great.

Capital for start ups is limited and outsourcing some of your business processes can ensure you know exactly what your on-going monthly costs will be allowing you to allocate much needed funds to the development of the business.

Consider these points:-

How?

  1. Will outsourcing allow my business to focus on its strengths?
  2. Will it improve efficiency of the business?
  3. Will your business gain a competitive advantage?
  4. Will it save me money?

How will outsourcing help me?

Firstly it will focus you and the business on what the company specialises in providing it’s customers, here I mean the core business function, whether it’s making hats and shoes or screws and plugs. You wont be distracted into unproductive and non-profit making business activities.

Internal resources will be re-directed and re-focussed into core business activity.

Migration to new technologies without you having to make investment internally reduces the risk of bad purchasing, minimum downtime and productivity ensuring that a move to newer technologies is minimal.

In any outsourcing partnership risk is further reduced because the outsource partner will have disaster recovery and back up mechanisms in place providing a rapid response to any problem that besets your company.

Points to consider

Think through what you need and how the company will benefit!

  • What process(es) are you thinking of outsourcing and why?
  • Weigh the costs of doing it in-house VS outsourcing
  • Consider a consultant to help you set up a service provider
  • Consider what the on-going costs would be if you don’t outsource it
  • Are you prepared to invest in the time and management of the outsourcing relationship?
  • Do you have realistic expectations?
  • Are you outsourcing a key function which you really should keep in-house?
  • Finally weigh up the risks of outsourcing VS managing the process in-house!

Whatever your decision, outsourcing or keeping the process in-house, you will need to consider the cost implications and the longer term impact on your business.

One final thing.

To reap true, tangible cost savings the process must be carefully managed and monitored. In other words the relationship must be built on trust, knowledge, security and ultimately become a partnership! Much like a marriage!

What do you think?

Have you outsourced a component of your business?

How successful was it?

Would you do it again?

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For more information about how to outsource click here