IN-HOUSE VS OUTSOURCING: 2 CRITICAL POINTS TO CONSIDER IF YOU ARE PROCESSING YOUR CUSTOMER DOCUMENTS IN-HOUSE
Businesses managing their customer document production and delivery in-house typically do so because they feel they have more control over materials and production costs. While these objectives are synonymous with positively affecting a business’ bottom line, there are a few things to consider in ensuring your business is efficiently achieving these goals and simultaneously adapting to constant technological changes in the marketplace.
1. Do you measure your response rates and look for ways to increase them?
One of the main objectives in sending documents to your customers is to encourage a response from them. Electronic Adoption is a hot topic these days- and it will continue to grow in importance in the realm of customer response rates. According to an article on Forbes.com, there are eighty million millennials in America alone, representing about a fourth of the entire population. This generation has grown with the rapid changes in the technological landscape, meaning the traditional way of reaching customers by mail has decreased dramatically. What does this mean for your business? It means that evaluating operations beyond what your business does today is crucial. Real process improvements require strategy and direction.
Outsourcing document production and delivery to a partner who doesn’t just duplicate your current efforts, but instead understands the importance of process improvements and staying ahead of the technological curve are vital. The right partner will not only look for ways to save your business time and money, but also for effective ways to encourage revenue growth.
A great outsourcing partner can be used as a consultant and will be a valuable source of information on new trends, electronic adoption and delivery methods, advances in equipment technology, and software. As a consultant, your partner should work to understand your objectives and present ideas, workflows and cost savings ideas.
2.How much are you REALLY spending?
Typical in-house operations have evolved over many years, yet they continue to use fully depreciated equipment and dated technology. Additionally, it may be inefficient to leverage staff members for document processing when their main responsibilities are to respond to the daily demands of the business’ core competencies. Some questions to ask yourself about how much your business is really spending on in-house document processing are as follows:
-What is the annual maintenance for your document composition software? The upfront costs of document composition software are costly. Tack on annual or bi-annual software updates, and your business can find itself either spending more money to stay on pace with the technological advances, or falling behind the curve.
-How much space is dedicated to your print shop? This includes printers and warehouse space for consumables, as well as printed documents that are being held before mailing.
-How much do you pay for parts, maintenance and consumables? Printers handling high volumes of documents are bound to require regular maintenance, as well as replacement parts. Toner and paper are, of course, the core consumables to consider when producing paper documents.
-How many employees are you using to format documents, run the printers, insert and mail documents, and manage return mail? Time and manpower directly correlate with your business’ cash flow.
In-house processes may seem to be working for you today, but considering these points will give you a better idea on what to do moving forward.