Improving inter-departmental efficiencies with technology
Why Look at Inter-Departmental Inefficiencies?
There are several reasons why companies look for inter-departmental efficiencies to be improved. One of the reasons is that there is often incorrectly transposed data when one department has to re-key a form that was created by another department into their system.
Another common reason of inter-departmental inefficiencies would be having two or more employees doing the same task. You may have a data entry clerk in one department who enters in customer data into a form. Then, in another department that same form has to be re-keyed into another system by a data entry clerk in that department. That effectively makes two people doing essentially the same task.
And a final common reason for inter-departmental inefficiencies is the length of time it takes to complete a task. In the example found in the prior paragraph, we said that two employees were essentially doing the same task. That amounts to two times the effort. Two times the effort means two times the salary expense and two times the length of time to complete the transaction for a customer.
Real World Example of Inter-Departmental Inefficiency
Let's take a look at a company that manages members. In this example people would fill out a registration form online to become members. Once the online application is completed, someone within the company would look at the application to make sure that the registrant meets all the criteria necessary in order to become a member. If all of the criteria is met to become a member, the application then gets passed over to the accounting team to take payment from the registrant; And once the payment clears, the registrant is sent an email to confirm that their membership has been achieved.
In the real world example given above, the application form passes thru the registrant, the registration team, and the accounting department. The registrant does not need to know that the application has passed thru two departments internally within the company if the entire process is automated. In fact, within the company there is no need to have the accounting department necessarily interact with the registration team if each is doing their own functions and the technology system is passing information between them.
With the technology system passing information between the registrant, the registration team, and the accounting department, we can reduce the risk of any transposing errors, there is no doubling up on tasks between departments, and the time to service the client is reduced.
Looking for Your Inefficiencies
So, where can you look for operational inefficiencies within your organization? The most obvious place is between the Sales department and the Accounting department. We generally think of Sales as "from handshake to order" and then the "order is thrown over the wall to the Accounting department". The Accounting department remains responsible for inventory, invoicing, and receipt of monies. In addition, we need to keep client information in synch between the Accounting department and the Sales department.
Another common place where inter-departmental inefficiencies can be found is between the Manufacturing department and the accounting system, which of course then ties to the Sales department. The Manufacturing department is responsible for the production of the goods that are to be sold. These goods form the products that are entered into the accounting system for sale. And, the inventory in the accounting system must be held in synch with the sales system in order for the Sales department to know what to sell.
And finally, another common place for inter-departmental inefficiencies is between the HR department and the IT department. IT is often responsible to assign equipment, such as a laptop, phone, etc., to a new hire and also load the new hire's machine up with the software they require for their position. If the IT management tools were in place to synchronize with the HR department's system, then the on boarding, off boarding, and role changes within an organization should trigger workflow within the IT department and trigger costs as well; of course, those costs in the IT department on things like licenses and equipment should also be kept in synch with the Accounting department systems.
At Purely CRM we have had lots of experience in eliminating these inter-departmental inefficiencies. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at +1 (778) 668-3969 or shoot us an email.