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Peaks, Valleys and Customer Focus

We all understand the cycles within our HR Services business all too well.  The volume fluctuations can be like the mood swings of a rookie bungee jumper on a bridge.  We built our operational models based on not just the “average” day, but also to scale to a maximum work load as well.  You know, those Tuesdays and Wednesdays when those Semi-Monthly, Bi-Weekly and Weekly stars come into alignment with Jupiter.

Let’s entertain the difference between this unforgiving production model and that which exists in the manufacturing world.  When you build a production facility to kick out actual goods you know the cost of the plant, unitary cost, investment required and most importantly the capacity.  Oh sure, maybe you can squeeze a couple extra Chia Pets out around the Holidays, but for the most part that upper limit has a limit.

So instead of cranking out bobble head dolls of Peter Drucker you get the genius idea to get into the HR business, as unforgiving as Clint Eastwood in that aptly named movie.  What were you thinking?

We all live, for reasons not so evident to the sane of mind, in a service business with more variables than a differential equations class.  There is not only day of the week and calendar based variation, but also growth and contraction in our client base or their employee populations, which we are all aware of in this economic cycle.  We all had to live with the pain of downsizing, and those optimistic and clever amongst us are contemplating what to do when the worm turns the other direction.

Whatever do we do?  Now is the time to innovate and Go Global my friends!

The current model is great for today, but the reality is that our customer’s requirements are changing more quickly than our capacity based business models.  They want it on their iPhone and they want it now, but cheaper and faster too.  The one constant is change and the key is to stay ahead of that curve a wee bit.  Go West young man, oh well actually strike that and Go East!

There are several reasons to access a global workforce, and surely first and foremost in most minds is cost savings.  The reality is that you must also be seeking to increase productivity, commit to a measurement centric way of doing things and get out of your comfort zone with your business model.

Consider the average payroll production environment, where you plan for that triple witching hour week you may need 20 payroll associates to keep up, which means you pay them and their labor is really a fixed cost no matter how much you delude yourself otherwise.  So you live through Wednesday with your payroll pack, only to find yourself on Friday with a lot of Facebook going on at the old office.  Sure, you can be different and break out the “flex time”, four day work week and those part-timers from the local university to manage.  There is a better way.

Let us shoot you this crazy idea just to prove there are many ways to utilize global resources to solve problems.  Instead of twenty onshore in a fixed cost model, you access college educated talent abroad and keep the best you have with a new focus in life, your customers.  Your true subject matter experts can answer the hard questions, provide proactive customer service out of nowhere and do the things they really want to do in support of the team and your business.  In addition, they are part of a collaborative model with team members to support them 24/7.  You still meet your production requirements and have adequate staffing based on current volume, while your best put their best forward in high value mode.

Oh, we almost forgot, you would also save a ton of money!  In addition, your cost model is much more flexible to the short and long-term ups and downs of your business and your labor is semi-variable at worst.  And hey, we will throw in Service Level Agreements that you set contractually, and guarantee them.  You will have real-time dashboards and measurement of things you probably didn’t see before and be able to enforce accountability and see documentation at a whole new ISO level.

The deviation of the HR Service business can be challenging, but it only takes some forward thinking to tweak your model towards your customers and not spreadsheets or “OK” buttons.  It isn’t always about multi-million dollar technology investments with promises of a gazillion percent ROI, the simple things may do just fine.  So get a partner like Cognet HRO that can get you there without a passport, but you are welcome to come on over if you like, you here.


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