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HR Service Providers:Technology is Not the Problem; Outsourcing is the Best Long-Term Solution

Have you ever bought software? You remember, there was that PowerPoint presentation that they proudly presented with the 410 percent ROI you will receive by purchasing their “game changing” technology. Oh sure, there may be millions of dollars up front for licensing, set-up fees and an endless stream of consultants to get your initial install up and running. But, think of how cool your company will be when you get to replace all of your employees with software. That will lower health care costs more than Congress, for sure!

We have all had that conversation only to wake up the next day to reality. While the technology did improve your marketing position and maybe cut a head or two, it did not yield the massive savings promised in the initial pitch.

There is also another hitch – the infamous “Five-Year Cost of Ownership” analysis that your finance nerd did for you on the side. Funny, it was right-on as far as IT assets and costs go, but it never mentioned the manual work you picked up importing time or sending direct deposit files to the bank. Oops!

You made that ten-year investment in a core technology solution to be in the HR services business, that is a given. Here are a few more that come to mind from experience of our own:

  • Processing Payroll is as simple as steps 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…
  • They must have forgotten the magic Benefits Recon toolsets in the initial version of the software. You know, the one that allows you to download billing data from the carrier site and automatically do a recon like balancing a checkbook in QuickBooks.
  • Report writers are obviously not the focus or forte of some software vendors. Sure, maybe they bolted on Cognos, JasperSoft or something cool but that requires additional skills and work to get your clients what they really want.
  • Workflow to a service bureau is like AA batteries on Christmas morning, they are not included.
  • Thought that Cash Management module they threw in for free would aid you in pushing batch files to banks and easily knowing which client paid you. Think again, my friends!

So the harsh reality of a well thought out, long-term decision is that there are consequences that lead to work being performed by people. Your sales representative is at least three jobs along now that you figure that out, but the dinner at Capital Grille was pretty awesome at the closing party.

The most valid long-term solution to improving your business beyond technology is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). It is the gift that keeps on giving. Technology will come and go, be added upon with third-party tools that fill the gaps and continue to amuse your IT folks ’til the cows come home. But the application of cost effective assets who know their stuff and will increase productivity no matter what software you run is where it is at, people.

You can’t replace good process, no matter how much technology you buy! So you do what you do when a complex legal situation arises? Bring in the experts.

The right BPO will help you identify, document, measure and improve the process gaps in that technology. Those are the hidden costs of technology. Rather than fixing them at a high price internally, you can get it in writing and guaranteed from Cognet. We will plug those black holes of process with ISO expertise, deep industry knowledge and governance to ensure accountability.

Once we collectively find those gaps, we will cut your costs in half and continue to improve them with measurement and allow you to focus on service and sales, not transaction-based tasks.

The best path to shareholder value is the long one, which combines technology and process at the right cost. Talk to us to learn more.


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