Objectives Of Efficient Business Service
August 4, 2018 Business Services
Why should businesses bother about business service management (BSM)? The efficient management of business services can lead to better customer service relationships, improved inter-departmental communication and engagement and increased productivity. All of this can contribute to cost reductions as well.
Business services may often seem to be at cross-purposes with what IT has to offer and there is an impression that management initiatives are hard to meet. But BSM not only bridges this gap, it helps businesses bring together the factors needed for efficient growth, such as the health of your IT system, the status of applications, effective monitoring of applications, managing networks, managing virtual networks, and consumption and management of data storage systems, etc.
Business service management directives may be placed above directives of IT service management. BSM application is also seen applied in Information Technology or Information Communications Technology; BSM also helps identify and define business objectives such that they are easier for IT to follow and provide for. Without this definition which is the hallmark of BSM, it is difficult for the IT to align with the larger business vision.
BSM is also vital in times of virtual networking and Cloud-based systems. Whether your IT department is in house or outsourced, business service management measures are necessary to ensure everyone shares in and understands the business goals.
Why implement business service management? Primarily, implementing it helps align your IT services with business goals; your business approach also develops a better customer focus. Additionally, having business service management in place fosters a culture where right from operations to administration to IT all are aligned with business objectives.
For the customer
If your business functions and operations are in sync with the larger vision, then BSM is all about identifying market needs and target customers to provide them with better services. Following outlining of business objectives, BSM also helps understand the impact of these objectives on existing business infrastructure and how to go about meeting newer goals.
Thus, when it outlines business objectives, it also takes into consideration changes and possible modifications that will be needed to fulfill them. Changes that support business objectives may be needed for operations as well as IT within the business.
Once BSM guidelines are implemented, it may bring about a change in the way the business has operated thus far. Technological changes may come about that impact the existing client base. Even if a change is for the better, it will still need adaptability. BSM may also change the way communication is handled; thus if a customer is used to sharing concerns or making complaints in a particular way, this way might get modified and change into a different kind of service altogether.
Taking Global Business Services
August 3, 2018 Business Services
For those who have not read my previous post, “Moving from Shared Services to Global Business Services,” let me provide a quick summary. Shared Services (SS) is an operating model that has been around for decades. It enables function-specific resources (i.e., HR, IT, Finance, etc.) to be leveraged across an entire organization, resulting in lower costs with agreed-upon customer-service levels. Around the time of the 2008/2009 recession, greater demands were placed on the SS operating model and what evolved was Global Business Services (GBS). The GBS operating model offers better efficiency, wider geographic reach, and broader scope coverage, to handle greater regulatory scrutiny for the same or even lower costs. However, there are some obstacles to overcome to ensure the full value of the GBS operating model is achieved… which is the focus of this post.
State of GBS
Multiple surveys and commentary have been published indicating the widespread and increasing trend of companies moving from SS to the GBS operating model. An annual survey by the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON), one of the largest communities of shared services and outsourcing professionals, stated that nearly 70% of the respondents operate as a GBS or multi-function model. Although GBS adoption continues, we have also heard of examples of GBS initiatives not delivering the “promised” return on investment (ROI). In the first year, most initiatives seem to deliver a respectable 7-10% ROI, but what is concerning is that according to Genpact, a global leader in business process management and technology services, “as many as one-third of all such transitions fail to ever achieve anticipated cost savings.” Unfortunately, from my network of peers in this space, I personally know of examples where this has occurred. There are several reasons for this occurrence, so let’s discuss a few of the major ones.
Fundamentally, there are a few main reasons why a GBS transformation may fall short:
- Aligned Strategy and Governance – Many companies do not take the time to have ALL key stakeholders agree to an overall GBS strategy and governance upfront. Executive commitment is key.
- Direct Linkage to Desired Business Outcomes – Misalignment between GBS Leaders and Business Clients on priorities, and/or not being able to adjust quickly as market conditions change. Alignment to client priorities is key.
- End-to-End Scope Coverage – Only portions of an “end to end” process like Order to Cash are moved into GBS, without accountability (or a voice) to influence the balance of the “end to end” process not moved into GBS. “End to End” process accountability is key.
There are a myriad of other operational, process and technological constraints that impact success. Some of those areas include limited technology investment, an unclear talent management and acquisition strategy, under-resourced service and client management capabilities, to name a few.
So, what can you do to ensure that your GBS is positioned to get to the next level? As with most any enterprise transformations, it is critical to have executive commitment prior to moving forward. However, for a successful GBS transformation it is even more critical to have the CEO/COO and all the business and functional executives onboard, due to the potential enterprise impact. Obviously, there may be situations where select businesses or functions may be deferred (or even excluded) due to business model conflicts, but these need to be managed carefully so as to not encourage others to “opt-out.” Other improvement areas include:
- Strategy – Alignment upfront and on an ongoing basis between GBS and Business Clients is critically important to creating value. If that is done, GBS is off to a good start. Some key strategy elements to “hash out” include short/medium term vision, value proposition, roles and responsibilities, decision rights, and governance structure.
- Governance – Many companies prefer to not have a separate governance structure for GBS, but rather to add the responsibility to an existing structure. I think that is a mistake in the beginning because it is critical to get this right at the outset. Good governance establishes a clear mandate for GBS, removes board members from operational issues, and develops a separate “client voice” when business complexity requires doing so. In addition, as the GBS/Client relationship matures the concept of an enterprise process owners board could be considered, to help drive even larger areas of business value.
- Scope – The discussion of scope is a topic that is covered upfront as part of the strategy dialogue, and remains an ongoing discussion at the Governance Board. It should be clear what migrates to GBS at the start, over time (as long as ROI and business value commitments are achieved), and what scope still needs further dialogue. There needs to be continual dialogue to ensure alignment, and to minimize any strategy changes especially as executive changes occur.
- Service Management – Experienced GBS operations (of a decade or more) all seem to have a well-developed service management capability and view it as critical to their success. This team is initially focused on driving a consistent service delivery strategy across GBS, communicating operational performance and business value in a consistent/branded fashion to clients, and coordinating all the behind the scenes KPI measurement activities efficiently. However, as the GBS matures, this team shifts to more of a “services marketing accountability” driving services strategy, design, M&A migration, and new service offerings jointly with operating leaders and business clients.
If the above items are implemented, the chances of a successful GBS transformation are significantly enhanced.
A few years ago, I attended a conference made up of Fortune 500 companies interested in trends and best practices for functions and SS organizations. A large Fortune 50 company who implemented GBS over 10 years ago delivered the keynote presentation. I was “blown away” by how GBS had transformed their company, and how its scope had grown from Finance and IT to non-traditional areas such as Logistics and Joint Venture support, as well as delivering tremendous business value along the way. When you see the potential of GBS in action, it can be a tremendous motivator! Please take advantage of the learnings from others to help accelerate your ROI. For me personally, I did leverage the learnings from select conferences but, I also proceeded to do plenty of targeted benchmarking. We engaged more than 25 companies, with many outside our home industry. The primary focus was to share best practices, but also to get a deeper understanding of GBS optimization methods, and exchange learnings on similar “pain points”. If you are trying to improve your GBS, in addition to the above recommendations, I wholeheartedly suggest utilizing the concept of benchmarking to get some “fresh” ideas.
Starting a Home Business Service
August 3, 2018 Business Services
With so many people having lost their jobs in recent months, home businesses in the service industry has become a rapidly growing trend. As regular 9 to 5 positions are becoming harder to find, having a home business service is increasing in popularity. It is becoming more and more attractive as the start up cost and overhead is very low when compared to a brick and mortar service business.
If you have been thinking about using your talent to start a home business service, and you feel that you are ready to commit to providing a home business service, then read these tips to help you get started.in the right direction.
First I would like to clarify what a home business service actually is.
A home business service is performing a service or task that will help other people with tasks they either don’t want to perform or are unable to perform on their own. A service business supplies the solution to a need and can include anything from walking a dog to figuring out a clients taxes. Virtual assistants have become a very popular service that is provided from home.
I’m not going to cover the benefits of having a home business as it is already common knowledge, I am sure that you already know what your reasons are for wanting to work from home and why.
- Set Up a Home Office
Getting a home office set up for your home business service is one of the first things that needs to be done. Getting a business phone is an important part of selling a service as you will need to be able to communicate with clients. If this is out of the question because of your budget, at the moment, get a business line added to your home phone as soon as you can.
You will need a separate office space from the rest of the house, especially if you are planning to have clients come to your home.
- You Will Need a Website
You not only need a computer, which I assume you already have since you are reading this article, but you will also need a website. A website will be the gateway for your business in your local area. It is imperative to develop an online presence for your business. The Yellow Pages are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and the cost of running an ad in the Yellow Pages is often beyond many entrepreneurs financial means while in the start up process.
Having a website is much more effective than the Yellow Pages as you can get it up and listed in days, while you have to wait for the next publication of the Yellow Pages to be printed. Also, more and more people are going online to find local services and businesses than are looking in the Yellow Pages. Finding a listing on the web is faster and more current that the phone book.
- Research Your County Laws
You will need to know the legalities for registering your home business service and for any zoning restrictions that may be applicable for a home business in your neighborhood.. Every county in every state has different laws and ordinances. The county clerk may be able to help you with this information or will at least be able to direct you to the right place to get it.
- Get a Business License
You can usually pick one up at either the county court house or the county clerk’s office.. The license won’t cost you anything, but once your business is started it will be subjected to a different tax structure.
I am not a tax attorney and cannot offer any advice on the tax exemptions for your state or with the Federal government. What I can tell you, is that you will be allowed more exemptions that you are getting now for using your home for your business. You can get more information online at http://www.irs.org.
- Set Up a Business Plan and Set Goals
Having a home business service can develop into a very lucrative business. Be sure to have a definite business plan strategy worked out that is measurable and that you can use as a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly guide. Remember to set goals that can be achieved. Set your beginning goals in small time frame increments. Cross them off your list when you have achieved them and then add bigger goals to strive for.
- Advertise Offline and Online
Get some business cards made to hand out to everyone in your neighborhood that you come in contact with. You never know when the service you are providing will be needed in the community. You can get business cards free online at Vistaprint.com. You only pay the shipping which is about $6.00
Print fliers with details of the service you are providing and remember to Include your website URL and your home phone number. Pay a high school kid in the neighborhood to pass them out for you.
Put fliers and business cards up on bulletin boards at grocery stores, liquor stores, apartment buildings, laundromats, the post office, and any other place you can think of that will allow advertising.
Offer a free gift with your home business service. Vistaprint often has promotions for free advertising venues such as tote bags, postcards, refrigerator magnets, etc.
Place small ads in local newspaper and free press newspapers. Place ads on web sites such as Craigslist, eBay, and USFreeAds. Be sure to list your home business service with Google Local Directory so that you will be placed on their Google business map for your area.
Use viral marketing, email marketing and article marketing online to get people to your website. Submit a press release about your new business both offline and online. There are several free sites you can submit to. Do a Google search to find them. Until you begin receiving clients, spend all of your scheduled work time marketing your home business service both online and offline.
Once you start receiving clients it can be very difficult to manage your work time, your marketing time and your family time. Plan accordingly. Schedule business tasks that need to be done daily between time spent with clients. Set a limit as to when the work day will end in order to spend time with the family. I hope these few tips will give you a place to start in getting your home business service off the ground and running.
Importance of Business Services
August 2, 2018 Business Services
What are the various business services that I should consider?
Business services include a whole host of services including client refreshments, postal services, copy services, meeting rooms and training rooms, telephone handsets and call packages, wireless internet access, purchasing discounts and others.
The decision to opt for services are governed by your business needs. The trade-off is between engaging your own resources versus seasoned professionals of the service providers. The decision is between taking a longer time to get started versus getting started right away with the available and well oiled administrative services.
Can business services be customized as per my needs?
The range of customization of business services offered depends upon the service office provider. It could be an off-the-shelf package that offers little or no customization or it could be pick-and-choose from the boutique of services provided.
At a short notice the service options can be individually scaled to your changing needs and expanded to include the items and services that are most important to you.
As an example, the services of a business centre can be tailored to very specific needs. As an alternative to the full-service office, various combinations of services can be provided as well. In addition, they offer a variety of standard services: copier and fax machine, access to meeting rooms with state-of-the-art conference technology, etc. Professional staff answer calls in the company name; welcome visitors and handle clerical or secretarial work. The advantage to the clients is that all services are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, they only pay for services and facilities they are actually using.
How much do I pay for it?
There are multiple different payment models for availing the business services. It could range anywhere from a completely variable option on a pay-as-you-go-basis, being partially variable or a fixed service with monthly, quarterly or annual payment options.
How can a business centre support you?
Serviced office provider such as Avanta offer an attractive business service package with NO hidden costs, which give its customers a clear advantage above the competition. Their goal is to provide you with the business services you need when you need them.
Business services for entrepreneurs or small businesses can be bundled with your physical office or virtual office membership at Avanta, and clients can purchase “Business Services on Demand” as needed. Avanta’s virtual receptionist will answer calls using your company’s customized greeting and route each call per your instructions. Each office at Avanta comes equipped with a full-service, IP-based PBX phone system featuring call routing, voicemail and low-cost long distance rates.
Why don’t you combine various business services such as internet connectivity, client refreshments and postal services into a simple, monthly package? This gives you the ability to forecast and plan their total cost when taking using a business centre in Delhi.
Listed below are some of the business services offered by Avanta India;
– Client refreshments
– Postal services
– Copy services
– Meeting rooms and training rooms
– FREE high speed wireless & internet access in communal areas
– Business support & purchasing
– Bandwidth & telecom packages including free local and intra-circle calls
– Telephony services
– Internet connectivity
Cost Effective Business Services
August 1, 2018 Business Services
A business services franchise is a good option for many who are willing to serve the corporate world. A business franchisee needs an investment in terms of fees, real estate, marketing, merchandise etc. there are both small business services as well as high cost businesses in the category. Here we discuss some prominent business services franchises.
Financial services: The financial services space is rapidly growing in India. It is one of the most significant business services in India. According to the latest Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) data, financial services, banking, insurance and real estate sectors have risen by 7.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2009-10. This displays the success of the financial service industry. With the over-all increase in the finance services seekers, finance service providers took to franchise route, thus creating a great scope for franchise opportunity.
Till a few years back, the franchising which was an unknown concept in this field has gained lot of momentum in the present times. Before discussing the factors responsible for this development, let us first get familiar with the term ‘Financial services franchisors’.
Financial services refer to services provided by the financial service companies. The finance service companies encompass a broad range of organisations that deal with money management. A few of these organisations include banks, insurance companies, consumer finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds etc. These companies offer various services such as asset protection, investment and savings, retirement plans, customer-orientated service, besides offering personal loans, commercial loans, mortgage loans, and education loans for the aspiring students. Financial service providers are on the rise as franchising as a mode of expansion is being opted by this industry. Manish Shah, Associate Director- Business Strategy, Equity & Product Development, Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd shared, “The belief in entrepreneurship and the drive it brings to the business, made Motilal Oswal take the franchise route. Franchising brings more scalability to the business and the business becomes entrepreneur driven.”
Courier Services: Another category of business services is courier service. The companies basically work around transportation of goods from one place to another, delivery of documents, packages, and larger shipments of products. These provide services to companies and individuals who need rapid service, accountability, and tracking that regular mail does not accommodate. Courier services are more reliable and dependable as compared to ordinary postal services due to less time consumed and delivery guarantee. However, with the introduction of modern gadgets and faster modes of transportation this system has also progressed a lot. Moreover, franchising is also one of the main stimulants of its popularity and profitability.
Franchising in this sector has grown with more and more players taking the franchise model for reaching out to far flung areas in the vast nation. Courier service companies are required to deliever important mails and parcels to any part, whether city, town or village in the country. Therefore, franchising can be the best mode for guaranteed delivery of the items. According to DS Patel, Channel Head, DTDC, “Franchising is an essential and most effective way of expanding the network. Opening our own company owned courier offices is very expensive and time consuming. However a franchise outlet is economically beneficial to the company.” As informed by Praveen Govindraj, Assistant General Manager, First Flight Courier, “Franchising definitely helps in directly reaching to far-fling areas for delivering items due to our local partners in those areas.” He further added, “Franchising can be a win-win situation for both the franchisor and franchisees as both benefit from it. The local partner (franchisee) has a much better idea of a particular locality than the main company which is based out of Delhi or Mumbai. Delivering parcels to small towns and cities becomes difficult and also take a lot of time if it is done by the company in metropolitan areas. At such times the local franchisee can be of great help.” This can be the major reason for courier companies to opt for the franchise route. Moreover, having local partners all over the nation, who deliver all items on time, also increases the credibility and profit making of the parent company.
The typical feature of the courier service franchise includes doorstep booking, customer convenience and security of each and every consignment that has been entrusted to it. Jaguar Couriers Franchise, Blazeflash Couriers, etc are some of the franchising companies under this category.
Cartridge refilling: Cartridge refilling forms another business service category. In the modern age of I.T, there is a constantly growing need of cartridgere-fills. Foraying in the cartridge refill industry through franchise route is a promising venture. A cartridge refill franchise offers to its user’s quality refills at a fractional cost. Current industry trends and future projections suggest that printer cartridges demand will continue to multiply at a very fast pace as computers and low cost printers swamp the market. Cartridge World, Cartridge Café, Cartridge Xpress are some of the good low-cost franchise options.
Every business has attached to it certain set of challenges. Though the basic challenges remain the same across the board for all business service franchises, their relevance with each sector differs.
Before opting for any of the above options, clear all your doubts. Apart from your initial investment, take into account the ongoing costs that must be paid to your franchisor, including franchise royalties, marketing fees and other required purchases. After you are convinced go ahead and make your mark in the franchising world!