Thursday, December 23, 2010

Outsourcing your back office...(Part 2)

The Bad:

1. Work Done Offshore - Most outsourcing businesses use Offshore workers. That can mean:

  • The workers on your account are often going home when you are coming to work due to the time zone differences.
  • Problems with command of language and being able to understand them in phone conversations because of their accent and English language skills.
  • Privacy issues. Your financial information is half way around the world.
  • The thought you are sending jobs overseas rather than keep those jobs here in the US to support our economy and local businesses.

2. Other issues even if outsource firm uses employees who work here in the US:

  • Most business owners can’t get past the thought of not having that employee at their business location.
  • Many small business owners do not trust technology and the Internet.
  • Many people like paper and have trouble with converting from touching that paper and huge stacks of files to having secure access to all their records from anywhere.

The Ugly:

  1. If you are disorganized it won’t work.
  2. If you need everything right now it won’t work.
  3. It will force you to change the way you operate to move from last minute crisis management to long range planning and heading off problems before they occur.

The End Result:

It forces you to get out of doing administrative chores and frees your time so you can concentrate on your unique ability. Most people start a small business because they are good at what they do. However, running a business takes so much more than technical product knowledge. An outsource firm will help you bridge that gap and become the behind the scenes advisor to running your business. As your outsourcing solution we don’t have all the answers, but we know who to call to get the answers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Outsourcing your back office...The good, The bad, The ugly & The end result.

This is a guest post by Bert Doerhoff CPA of 
Bert runs Accubiz which provides outsourced accounting services for small businesses.

Before I start this post, let me give you the fine print disqualifier. Our firm specializes in using US employees to outsource complete administrative back office duties for small businesses. Therefore understand my viewpoint may be somewhat slanted.  

The Good:

1. It doesn't cost-it pays to outsource - The biggest thing most people have to get past is that outsourcing isn't always additional overhead. In many cases it is a significant savings. When you look at such things as workers comp insurance, only paying for the time you need rather than hiring full time, the cost to recruit, train and hire, etc. It costs the average business several thousand dollars in lost productivity, training, etc. every time you hire a new employee. Not to mention, every time you lose an employee, there is one more person out there who knows all about your business. 

2. Hiring & training - As a small business owner it is tough to hire, train and monitor someone to handle accounting issues you yourself have no training in. The outsourcing firm specializes in this work and only hires experienced experts to handle your account.

3. Embezzelment - The majority of embezzlement issues come from trusted employees who handle the cash and the accounting records. Having an outside party handle the accounting gives a separate third party control to monitor those in your office who handle cash.

4. Current accurate financial information - Often your accounting records become the lowest priority for someone in your office and so they are generally not current. When you outsource, the accounting is always current. When information does not flow you will be the first to know.

5. Access to experts that don't charge for every phone call - Most small business people are afraid to call their professional advisors for fear of getting a bill every time they call. When you outsource, you have access to those advisors on an ongoing basis.

6. Don't just plug the numbers - Most small business owners try to train a clerical person to handle the accounting records. When you outsource you deal with people who are trained to spot errors and problems so they catch things when they don't make sense. 

7. Backup of your business records in event of disaster - As a part of outsourcing all your accounting records and supporting documents are converted to electronic images and are stored offsite on secure servers. If you have a flood or fire, the effect on your business will be minimized because the business of business can continue without interruption. 

8. Fringe benefits, vacation & sick leave & who covers the business -The firm that handles your outsourcing is an independent contractor so you don't pay health insurance, don t pay payroll taxes and all the other fringe benefits on them. When your bookkeeper is out on vacation in a small office it can be a crisis because there is no one there to handle payroll or respond to customer inquiries. With outsourcing those issues are covered every business day.

9. Reduced computer software and update costs - Your business has to buy software to track all your accounting records and then every year you have to pay update fees to make sure you have correct payroll tax tables, access to new features, etc. When you outsource those costs are all paid by the outsource firm because they already invest in those items.

(The bad, the ugly & the end result - in the next post)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Innovative Solutions For Assembly Line Packaging Warehouses

There are several types of packaging machinery that ultimately maximizes performance for greater efficiency and productivity in the plant. To acquire innovative packaging solutions, manufactures have the choice of packaging machinery that includes technical capabilities, labor requirements, worker safety, maintainability, and serviceability. Among them they also have the option to choose a reliable and adaptive machine(s) that are reasonable capital cost, able to fit in the designated area, and provide for flexible use.

When looking at machines that are more intuitive, companies should consider the energy consumed as well as the overall quality, any specific qualifications that are needed, and the throughput factor. In addition, the efficiency, productivity and ergonomics of the system are equally important. Companies should keep in mind additional add-ons and costs to the machine if they might consider these options at a later date.

With many systems on the market, there are packaging machines available in the general types.

- Author by Line: Lauren Horn