4 ways to reduce headcount AND increase productivity

4 ways to reduce headcount AND increase productivity

HR Managers in partnership with CFOs and FDs

If your whole company needs to reduce outgoings this year, it is not alone. Thousands and millions of businesses around the world are assessing how long they can keep staff on before essential cuts need to be made to keep the company as a whole afloat until the economy unlocks.

Here are three ways you can reduce finance costs for the long term – and some of them do not involve cutting headcount.

NUMBER 1

Introduce automation to reduce headcount

This is the first and most obvious solution. If you have not already upgraded your Accounts Receivable software solutions, look again.  Many businesses took the first lockdown as a cue to bring in automation that made home working more feasible and reduced their dependency on installed, on-site systems and mailrooms.  If you have not automated AR and still send out invoices, statements, reminders and other letters on paper or PDF, this is a first port of call.

HOW WE HELP

We take on the global postal billing for our clients when they start moving to our, ‘all-encompassing’ eInvoicing solution. Over the course of 2-3 months, we wean their customers off paper billing aiming to get above 90% eInvoicing within 80 days of onboarding.  It only takes two months to get your customers on board if you approach the exercise properly – and since we have been doing exactly that for over 20 years, we are confident we can exceed your expectations.

We provide many levels of assistance in planning and actioning a migration from either paper or PDF attachment-based invoicing. We ensure you get more of your customers on portal-based and EDI based invoicing methods quickly. Typically they are happy to move.

NUMBER 2

Use automation to liberate skills

The automation within eInvoicing removes AR managers from the manual tasks that take time and stress them out. Implementing AR automation leaves you with trained, skilled, and highly intelligent professionals with that little extra time on their hands AND more data to examine in order to come up with superb recommendations.

Our customers – not just the buyers but the users of the system – love the fact that they have more data and more free time when they implement Corrivo. They can do what they are trained for. They can spot opportunities that others cannot because others don’t know the customer, their behaviour or the numbers involved. They, have the customer history, theoretical knowledge and professional skills to hone in on the hotspots for change.  It is these people, who’ve been able to suggest new credit tactics or delinquency minimisation measures targeting the worst offenders without punishing the best payers.

HOW WE HELP

As mentioned, all we do is remove the manual, time consuming and error-prone tasks that cause frustration and offer up more data from every step of the way. You don’t get proof of delivery, a time log of when the customer read an invoice and every time since they broke the envelope that they re-read it with postal or PDF invoicing. Our solution gives you so much more intelligence on customer behaviour.

We confess that the enthusiasm of credit managers for analysing this newly accessible data has driven us to enhance our reporting capabilities.

Since we launched Corrivo we have:

  • added advanced search functions
  • added to standard reporting and charts pages
  • enabled the downloading of ‘search’ findings in multiple formats
  • added new custom-designed reporting tools
  • made customised weekly/ daily/ monthly reports available by email
  • made customised  reports (as above) available for collection by SFTP so they can be taken into ERP or data visualisation tools
  • increased the power of our data visualisation tools within reportingS.

And, I would say, that’s all been done by listening to our customers, not from customers asking or demanding. We like to anticipate needs.

Unleashing Talent

Our clients repeatedly tell us how the benefits of the Corrivo solution went far beyond their initial expectations.  Many CFOs, FDs and Heads of Commercial Credit have told us how much happier their teams are and how much more productive. Our solution has unlocked talent that was already there in the organisation and has helped the business realise change way above and beyond what they had expected the solution would deliver. We’re not just an invoicing automation provider, we’re high-value solutionists.

NUMBER 3

Use Automation to redeploy for best success

OK so if you’ve liberated your team from mundane tasks like answering queries, servicing copy invoice requests etc., you stand a good chance of finding some rising stars in your wider team.  Enterprise clients of ours often come to us shortly after mergers or acquisitions. Sometimes, after shedding a business unit.  The point is, they want to make the best use of the salaried employees they have.

Guess what? With Corrivo you can create teams that are not location-specific. Your best Collections specialists, or query fielders, or customer managers can be redeployed in a reorganisation that is NOT dependent on office location or the business they have come from. Redeploy talent where it is best applied, best needed and will generate the greatest value.

HOW WE HELP: A Side Note to HR Managers

The Corrivo Solution MAY cause you to realise more easily where the talent lies, and where best to either invest or divest.  You may also gain a window on individual employee productivity and be able to measure exactly how productive one Collections specialist is compared with others. Corrivo lets you add, subtract or reassign accounts so that your best performers are deployed on the accounts where their skills are needed.

Our solution gives HR and hiring managers the information needed to make objective resourcing decisions – whose skills are best applied to which accounts – and of course, which employees you wish you could clone!

NUMBER 4

Use tools for KPI Management

As a credit controller or CFO, if you’ve done your bit to introduce tight credit policies, good credit screening systems for new accounts and software that maximises invoice accuracy, there’s one further frontier for improvement. Root cause analysis and remediation of invoice errors to reduce your value in query rates.

Our clients find this works best when it is linked to a strong team focus on KPIs and a commitment by management to take corrective action when needed if a root cause analysis identifies a point of weakness. Staff will be motivated and supportive if your business shows it takes action.  Having to ‘put up with’ certain flaws upstream that cause invoice errors will be deflating. Without the promise of management support to solve the issues that affect KPIs, teams can slack back into a disempowered and disengaged mindset.

HOW WE HELP

Corrivo users have dashboards to help with this. Every user gets a dashboard when they log in that reflects the key metrics for them as users and for their team. Keeping your eye on the big picture before diving into the detail helps everyone stay on board with the team objectives.  One company we know reduced their DSO from 61days  to 40 days with a root cause analysis approach to invoice queries and errors. The result was a 400% uplift in turnover. Every credit manager involved in the mission to improve invoice accuracy and decrease queries and disputes was able to see the direct effect they had on DSO and company turnover. Their part in improving the share price and contributing to a stellar annual report was very obvious. Of course, having the tools, as well as the management support are essential for quick and lasting results.

Our clients can use the data from disputes, queries and invoices as a whole to craft reports and perform analysis in a range of ways. Those using Corrivo Billing can use data from queries and invoices to analyse rates, customer segments and product line issues that may be affecting invoice accuracy.  Those using Collections can also include late payer analysis. Those using Corrivo Disputes can also use the query, escalation and collection data along with notes on how disputes were resolved to obtain more qualitative information to support ideas for remediation. It’s when you have all three together that you get a full picture and a route to improving customer satisfaction. Funnily enough, research shows that employees who are actively engaged in improving customer satisfaction and customer service levels have better company engagement, loyalty and motivation levels.

 

David Harris

Author David Harris

David Harris is the Business Development Executive at Data Interconnect. Dave works with companies planning the implementation of Corrivo, the cloud-based credit control software which improves cashflow, minimises aged debt and streamlines processes for finance departments. If you would like to know more, contact Dave on: Davidh@datainterconnect.co.uk

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