For businesses, planning for the future and preparing an annual budget can be stressful and frustrating, even in a typical year.
But 2020 has not been a typical year. Between a pandemic, supply chain disruption, political and civil unrest, and a roller coaster ride of shifting buyer and consumer needs, companies are struggling right now. Trying to budget and forecast between a cavalcade of crises while hoping for a COVID-19 business recovery is not only tricky, but dangerous. As things stand, it can be difficult to know what next week will bring, much less next year. A single crisis can put a company at risk.
That doesn’t mean we should close our eyes, ignore budgeting and hope for the best. Instead, we should take steps to reduce and manage expenses where we can. We need to put in place measures that can protect against out-of-control costs. Leaders should look at normalizing business processes where possible while protecting core operations. Steps like this are not only good business, but a benefit for your customers as well.
That’s where Managed Services can help.
A Quick Look at Managed Services
With Managed Services, a company will turn to an outside provider to deliver essential services for a segment of business operations. The provider handles the day-to-day execution of the service, supporting essential operations. This allows internal resources to focus on higher-priority, more-profitable activities.
Today, as business functions have gotten more complex, smart managers are using Managed Services to support operations. IT, payroll and HR, purchasing, and marketing are all areas where companies can leverage the expertise and resources that Managed Services offer.
These same managers are finding Managed Services provide benefits to annual budgeting.
Benefits of Managed Services for Budgeting
Many businesses struggle when it comes time to set a budget. Without having either an oracle on staff or critical data on expenses, a budget ends up more guesswork than science.
A Managed Services provider can help with budgeting. Not only can they provide better insight into expenses and costs, they can also reduce business expense uncertainty while providing lower-cost options for operations.
Here’s where budgeting with a Managed Services provider can benefit your business.
Access to Data
Most Managed Services providers assess how a service is currently delivered and then identify an improvement strategy. By leveraging data and expertise that most businesses don’t access, the provider can reduce costs, increase efficiency and deliver better service. This is the value of Managed Services.
It is this data, critical to the improved processes and efficiencies, that becomes the basis of more accurate budgeting. With the data, the company knows the true cost of services and processes. Rather than lumping costs together, often incorrectly, the provider can break out costs for better visibility into expenditures.
You can eliminate built-in cost uncertainty. Instead of guesswork, your budget is built on an accurate view of expenses.
Many companies are shocked to discover the savings provided by Managed Services.
Often, the goal of the provider isn’t just delivering a service but identifying cost savings and efficiencies. The provider can leverage market knowledge and a wide network of supplier connections to fill the need at the lowest possible cost.
Project execution is another area where Managed Services can provide cost savings. Rather than using higher-cost internal resources to execute a project, or paying an expensive fee to outsource, a provider offers the low-cost manpower you need to get the project over the finish line. They are a flexible, on-hand solution to ensure your team can execute work.
Using a single supplier or just contacting freelance resources may seem easy, but it can lead to overpaying and budget bloat. The provider network can reduce overall supply costs for the business.
Because a Managed Services provider offers better visibility into costs, they can give business leaders more control over expenses. When you can budget and bill correctly, you can track and record costs better.
The provider also offers the business protection against cost escalation through a wider supplier network, shared resources and industry knowledge. You have easy access to specialty expertise, even during times of need or emergency. With the provider, you can avoid overpaying for essential supplies or critical expertise during a crisis and minimize market and price fluctuations that can destroy a budget.
Staffing and Flexibility
For many companies, Managed Services is an excellent solution to staffing issues. Managed Services provide on-demand flexibility and business expertise that are difficult for a business to keep on-hand.
Hiring and training new employees can be risky and expensive, especially for an essential but little used service. Trying to match resources to need can lead to problems — overstaffing that can bloat a budget, or understaffing that can lead to lower productivity, frustration and overworked employees. Employees end up handling multiple duties they aren’t comfortable with, and productivity and efficiency suffer.
Specialized and technical expertise can magnify these issues. The additional resources of the provider offer a flexible solution to resource needs. The company doesn’t overpay when problems arise and can still meet the needs of customers and business goals at a significantly lower overall cost — savings that are reflected in the budget.
Getting Started with Managed Services
A business will often engage and implement Managed Services to overcome a problem — a gap in IT coverage or a supply chain issue — only to discover additional benefits.
Price and expense control are surprising initial benefits often cited by managers. With better data and more visibility into expenses, the company can better see the true cost of operations, which can lead to more accurate budgets and better forecasting.
If you would like to learn more about Managed Services and discover how other companies are leveraging expert resources from a provider, then contact GO2 Partners today. Talk to one of our project managers about the challenges facing your company and see how Managed Services can help your team better focus on core competencies to grow and improve your business.