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Blog

Blog September 21, 2015

Ride the third wave of outsourcing

I hear discussion about the threats and possibilities of digitalization every day. I encourage people I talk with to utilize digitalization – also in financial administration processes. The benefits can be reaped more quickly if your company has a partner. Together, it is possible to set objectives such as robotics, familiar from the industrial sector, or extensive automation.

BPO – outsourcing the entire business process

IT services are outsourced more often than financial administration tasks. In the first wave, companies learned to acquire IT infra services from partner companies. Now, there is much ado about software as a service (SaaS) – the second wave of outsourcing. In addition to the above, the third wave covers both processes and people. The new concept of business process outsourcing (BPO) is based on standardized operating models, which are a prerequisite for top performance. Pioneering companies are turning to partners that can offer the third wave of outsourcing, meaning comprehensive solutions.

 

Lego setting an example in standardization

Time and again, I've heard the claim that the processes of each company are unique. When these processes are then looked into, they are almost 90% the same, regardless of the company or its field of operation. A survey by the Hackett Group* showed that the efficiency of pioneering companies is based on extensive standardization. Lego blocks are an example of the power of standardization – after all, they are one of the best-known standards in the world. They have withstood the test of time and yet adapted to changes.

 

Standardization ensures cost-efficiency

Efficiency can be improved and the cost-efficiency of outsourcing preserved in the long run only through standardized operating models. In financial administration, standardization ensures a quick transition as there is a ready-to-use concept to begin with. Basic routines can be automated. Our customer organizations can benefit from all of our development work at the same time.

End-to-end brings the process together

Standardization does not apply to only one element but to the entire process, end-to-end. Following the same logic, pioneers use only one ERP, one calculation principle, one account scheme and extensively standardized processes. Why is this? Because full benefits can only be achieved through scalable operations and automation of routines. The imminent fourth wave is based on this belief. When that wave breaks, robotics and extensive automation will be utilized also in financial administration processes, which are believed to be so unique. Are you ready for this wave?


Juha Heiskanen


Director, Financial Process Services, Enfo, tel. +358 50 444 6684,

juha.heiskanen@enfo.fi
 
Juha Heiskanen is in charge of the strategy for financial process services and the development of the concept at Enfo. He is an advocate of standardized operating models in financial administration and of overall process management. Juha has plenty of experience of extensive revision of financial processes in customer companies from a number of sectors.
 
* The Hackett Group: Your Journey to World-Class Starts Here, European Best Practices Conference 2015.