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Growing or cutting costs? How to get the most out of your automation

Not only is it more difficult for staffing agencies to supply enough temps due to the tight labor market, internal vacancies are also difficult to fill. Automating processes is more important than ever. Whether you want to grow further or focus on cost savings. How do you make sure you get the most out of automation?

This is what colleagues Dolf Hendriks and Janieke Bouwman write about in the June 2023 Flexmarkt magazine.

The signs that more is possible

You've probably already taken a step in your automation and already have a good foundation in place. But are you still coming up with workarounds? Are a lot of manual operations still needed? Are integrations not running smoothly or not at all? Or does the thought of a compliance audit make you sweat? These are all signs that there are still opportunities for further automation. 

For example, we connected a back office service provider that already had a good foundation of automation. Yet they chose to go one step further with our midoffice solution. This allowed them to save another 40% in overhead costs. So it's worth exploring whether you can optimize even more or better than you do now. 

Automate the exceptions

Exceptions make it difficult to automate further. Sometimes the software is not adequate enough or you do not yet get everything out of your software package, leaving you with manual work. 80% automation may seem like an excellent result, but 20% manual work is still a lot. Especially when processing large volumes, you can make the difference in just that 20%.  

"80% seems like an excellent result, but 20% manual labor is still a lot"

You will find that 20% in the exceptions for complex processes, such as importing supplied hours files in different file types. Or when calculating the correct allowances based on a collective bargaining agreement and hirer compensation. 

For example, the collective bargaining agreement for professional freight transport (TLN) is one of the most extensive and complex collective bargaining agreements in existence. If you interpretate it fully automatically and error-free, you can save enormous amounts of time here. We recently heard from a client in the transport and logistics industry that they now need 9 fewer time clerks because of this automation. An enormous savings. 

Look beyond one system

The days when you could do everything with one software solution is truly a thing of the past if you want to get the most out of automation. By choosing specialists in the market, you have the best of all worlds. The specific functionalities allow you to go one step further in your automation.

This does not necessarily mean that you have to switch to a new system; in fact, most solutions in our market link very well with each other. Notice that you are running into limitations within your software? Then look at other solutions you can add to your IT landscape to take your automation a step further. 

Invest in good integrations

Working with different systems requires good integrations. By not 'investing' we don't just mean the cost of establishing the integration, but also a well thought-out plan on how the systems should work together. Which system has the 'truth', which information do you send through and which not?
By having your applications work together smartly, you can move toward an IT landscape that allows you to further drive the growth of your organization or to save on overhead costs. 

Involve your software vendor in your plans

Software solutions for the staffing industry are made very specifically for the industry. A software supplier has knowledge of the market and can think along with you. Our platform has been around for more than 20 years and hundreds of staffing organizations worldwide use it. That knowledge is invaluable to our customers and was also the reason for one of our customers to abandon an in-house developed software solution. 

A partnership will take you much further. So don't just start planning internally for how you want to grow the business using IT solutions, involve your current or future software vendor. 

In conclusion, automation determines success of your organization

All in all, automation plays a crucial role in the success of your staffing agency, both for growth and cost savings. By continuing to look for opportunities to further automate processes, address exceptions, integrate different systems and collaborate with software vendors, you can maximize the benefits of automation and gain competitive advantage in a challenging job market. 

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Since January, we have merged with our parent company Textkernel. Our website will transition to Textkernel website at the end of April 2024. Until this time you can still find relevant information about our mid-office platform.