Managers and executives responsible for the back-office, the non-customer facing area of an organization that processes the goods and service requests of its customers, have been overlooked for a long time.

There are no industry associations for back-office professionals such as the CCNG, a member network for Contact Center, Customer Service, and Customer Experience Management Professionals; the SHRM: Society for Human Resource Management for HR professionals; the AFP: Association for Financial Professionals for finance executives; and so forth.WFO-Back-Office-Infographic-01_resized

In addition, these functions have purpose-built solutions to help them be more effective, such as workforce optimization for contact centers, talent management solutions for HR, and core banking systems for financial services.

However, the tools available for the back-office have primarily focused solely on the distribution and movement of work items, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business process management (BPM) solutions. There are few solutions designed to help them manage the work, and the people, and the processes, and help make the lives of these executives easier. Solutions that help them:

  • Understand how their staff are executing the work
  • View all the work types and activities performed
  • Calculate their true capacity needs
  • Schedule resources to execute the work on time at the lowest cost
  • Identify opportunities for improvement, such as process bottlenecks and training needs
  • Be proactive with comprehensive, real-time actionable reporting.

Fortunately, this is changing. In the last year or so, four analyst firms have written reports specifically addressing the challenges of managing back-office operations, including Aberdeen Group, IDC Financial Insights, Ovum and Frost & Sullivan. View the infographic, “Why Back-Office WFO? Why Now? The Analyst Community Speaks,” to learn how the back-office is growing, the cost of not optimizing the back-office, and how back-office workforce optimization “takes a fresh look not only at cutting down on waste and inefficiency in the back office but also tackles quality, service levels, process compliance, resource allocation, and workforce management better.”1

 

1Frost & Sullivan, Profiling the Back Office Workforce Optimization Market, Nancy Jamison, January 2015