Your clients may be struggling in ways you would never conceive. IT services professionals are the experts at anything computer-related, from delivering quality solutions and support to securing their clients’ infrastructure. It requires a completely different skill set to address more business-focused issues, and not every MSP has those capabilities.
Those who have that rarer combination of tech and operational talents have a real advantage ‒ and a major opportunity to land new SMB customers and better support their current clients. Today’s business leaders have a lot more issues to contend with than their predecessors. While IT services are still a crucial part of their operations, SMBs need support for a variety of new and increasingly more complicated processes.
It’s all about efficiency. With labor costs rising and competitive forces tempering margins in many industries, many organizations have to run lean and mean operations today just to survive. For those companies, automation is no longer an option ‒ it’s become a progressively more crucial component of their business plans ‒ and most don’t have the skill set to make it work.
The implementation problem has little to do with tool availability. With the breadth of current innovations and speed of development, there is a solution for nearly every business need today and an endless number of companies willing to customize the applications. If you can’t find a good option to solve your client’s particular challenge, look harder. Chances are good that someone has already created the prescribed solution or one that can be easily tailored to meet their specific needs.
A larger challenge for the SMB is finding process improvement experts. Automating poor procedures simply speeds up those inefficient methods. The first two steps when making productivity improvements is identifying and then streamlining the most time-consuming processes. Organizations get the biggest ROI from automation when they trim the labor-sucking part of their operations.
Consider this: cutting one-minute from a task that employees repeat sixty times each day will reduce their labor costs by one hour. Multiply that number by 240 or 365 (the latter when your client’s business never closes), and their payroll costs drop significantly. Companies with an average employee salary of $20 per hour would net between $4800 and $7300 savings each year by trimming one hour per day!
How many of your clients need help with improving their efficiency? With some attention to their workflow and new productivity tools, MSPs can be an invaluable resource for SMBs in search of labor-saving ideas.
Generate New Revenue Options
Vertical market specializations present a prime opportunity for building a process improvement practice. For example, physicians’ offices are a dynamic work environment, with a host of people of differing skills (i.e., doctors, nurses, receptionists, claims personnel) performing a variety of patient support services. A high standard of care is required.
Unfortunately, emergencies can easily disrupt the schedule and workflow, forcing employees to improvise on a fairly regular basis without upsetting their patients. Doctors frequently get delayed, which may require office personnel to call and reschedule patient appointments and shuffle employee work schedules. Those actions increase stress and add hours to their workday.
MSPs with experience setting up medical offices understand that technology can help. VoIP applications can automate the call-back and scheduling processes, even in emergencies, and provide a number of notification options to keep patients in the loop. Those technologies reduce labor costs and, when properly implemented, lower the anxiety level for staff members and patients.
An MSP well-versed in healthcare offices can build on those types of efficiencies. For instance, consultants may observe office operations and make best practice recommendations that streamline processes for each employee. Optimal placement of computers, printers, and equipment saves valuable time in a medical office ‒and not just in the front office.
MSPs can prove their real worth by streamlining and automating the patient care side of the practice. Helping doctors and nurses minimize their steps and automate various processes is improves healthcare delivery and, based on the higher salaries of those professionals, costs savings can really multiply.
It’s all about the workflow. MSPs can provide similar support for many types of their clients, including law offices, banks and credit unions, restaurants, and car dealerships. With many states raising their minimum wage requirements, many businesses are looking for new ways to improve efficiencies and keep payroll costs down. How can your team help?
Acquire the Skills
Workflow improvement is more than a goal; it’s an opportunity for MSPs to develop closer relationships with their clients and land new contracts. Some IT professionals may feel these types of discussions are outside their “wheelhouse,” but they can readily develop or acquire those talents to address the needs of various verticals.
For example, an MSP firm that wants to understand and support the efficiency requirements of municipal governments could hire a recently retired city administrator as a part-time practice leader. Providers who target the healthcare or legal verticals often recruit office managers from similar types of organizations.
Those people are not hired for their IT skills but based their understanding of the business, customers, and best practices. MSPs can leverage that “street cred” and those relationships to pitch workflow support and technical solutions for those particular clients. They essentially connect the dots so IT professionals can build successful new practices.
Acquiring the tools to improve workflow is the easier part. MSPs are well-versed at system integration and implementation, and with the help of channel-centric vendors like
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