For many businesses one of the most time-consuming jobs is administration, and within administration human resources can take up much of the time. Small to medium-sized enterprises tend to suffer most because they rarely have a dedicated admin team.
The problem of admin affects all industries, but it is the construction industry that often finds itself having to dedicate the most time to dealing with a backlog of admin because of its reliance on external contractors. The construction industry relies heavily on employing contractors to carry out specific tasks and every contractor will invoice the company upon completion of their work or, if they are a long-term contractor, they may invoice every week.
It is very important that companies respond quickly to admin issues affecting their contractors; good contractors are hard to find and if they are not paid on time or feel that they are being messed around they will seek an alternative company.
Fortunately, it is possible for most companies to make a few simple changes that will streamline administration to make all processes faster and more efficient. Most importantly, these changes will ensure that contractors are managed more effectively; companies will not only make cost savings but will also improve the quality of care that they show towards their contractors.
Streamlining through automation
The automation of administration brings many benefits. Automation is far more efficient than manual administration because multiple tasks can be completed at the same time and processes can be carried out outside normal working hours. For example, if a company has 50 contractors on its books that invoice weekly, an automated system can process payments after their hours have been confirmed, thus saving hours every week. Other tasks can be automated in a similar fashion, such as regular orders, the company diary, and logging customer services.
Effective allocation of resources
Businesses spend hours managing administration processes. Payments is the largest area, especially the reconciliation of payments between vendors, agents and contractors. Automation of this process allows core business staff to spend more time on areas of the business that increase production.
Even the best administrators make mistakes. Computers do not suffer from the human errors that invariably lead to hours spent investigating and resolving. A business that processes everything correctly first time looks more professional and builds trust with customers and suppliers.
Allow managers to manage
Especially in smaller businesses, managers need to be on the frontline of the business, managing projects, contractors and customers. Any time spent helping to resolve administration problems can affect company productivity and profits.
Staying ahead of the competition
Every market is more competitive today than it was a decade ago and customers look not only for the best price but also for the quickest job. Automating administration helps to cut company costs and can reduce the time taken to complete projects, and this can help to win new business.
In-house automation can be a costly and time-consuming process to set up, often defying the very purpose of automation, but many companies today are outsourcing administration. An Umbrella Company can take on administrative tasks almost immediately. Outsourcing to a skilled team of accountants and administrators takes all the stress of running a business away from frontline managers and this is usually good for business.