Do you know who your most profitable clients are, and do you respond to their needs accordingly? Are you paying for work that has little to no chance of providing revenue? How firms manage and deliver against job orders significantly impacts it’s competitiveness and bottom line. Studies from Lean Six Sigma consultancies estimate services firms who do not actively manage against waste are wasting up to 50% of their costs. With the latest downturn, the percentage of waste may go down temporarily as companies focus on productivity. However, as the economy recovers, waste will rear its ugly head if its root causes are not addressed. So what are the things that staffing companies need to look out for to ensure they are maximizing the speed and efficiency within their delivery organization?
Effective Account Management
The biggest factor to successful delivery for a client is effective account management that influences the clients buying cycle. There are many sales people that do this naturally, however formalizing account management within your organization can help ensure your entire team is managing their accounts effectively. The impact on waste by effective account management can be significant as measured by submittal to hire ratios. It is not uncommon for an account where the buying cycle is not influenced to require ten times more submittals versus an account where you can. With the cost per submittal ranging from $100 to $400 it doesn’t take a lot of analysis to see the impact to the bottom line. But what is the role of account management when you cannot speak to the buyer, and can’t influence the buying cycle? In these cases efficiency is driven by relationships with program sponsors and effective job order management.
Effective Job Order Management
How firms manage job orders vary widely. There are many successful companies who rely on the account manager and recruiters to self police this process and allow their judgment to determine the best course of action. While other companies actively manage job order prioritization. Regardless of the approach it’s important to ensure four factors are being considered when prioritizing job orders.
- Difficulty of the job order to fill (skill set, turnaround time)
- The gross profit the job order will bring in
- The strength of your competitive advantage
- Strategic importance of the job order to future business
Strive for Continual Improvement
Staffing is a business that experiences continual change. Clients change. Tools evolve. Those changes impact success factors and how you need to compete for business. Therefore, it’s critical that you frequently evaluate your effectiveness and look for ways to respond more competitively. Challenge your processes, look at ways to alleviate the administrative burden on your team, and maximize the tools to automate as much as you can. Continually improving your operations ensures your team is sending time on things that provide value to the client, thereby reducing waste and providing for better bottom-line growth.