The news of an imminent M & A event for your organisation is an anxious time for those involved in the operational or administrative side of the business – like customer service.
The immediate and sudden expansion of your organisation after a merger or acquisition is likely to mean a corresponding, sudden jump in your department’s workload. Even if you are trying to collaborate with your new colleagues, unfamiliar processes, communication issues and system incompatibilities may hinder your efforts, reducing your departmental efficiency and creating errors within your ERP.
All of this will work against you and compound the biggest threat in any takeover activity – the threat to your department.
Order entry errors, a backlog of paperwork and customer-related issues all paint your department in a negative light – just when you’re under the most scrutiny. Immediately after the merger or acquisition, the new management will want to make sweeping, strategic level changes across the organisation that have immediate impact. The fact that it’s the M & A itself that has caused many of the issues in your department, may not be a strong enough defence.
Therefore, to avoid a scenario where your department’s very necessity is being questioned, you need to approach the M & A well-prepared.
Automation: Your First Line of Defence for Change
You’ll be in a much stronger position to withstand organisational levels of change if your department is working at maximum efficiency, and adding tangible value to your organisation before – and after – the event. Here’s how automation allows you to do just that:
- All document processing, like sales order entry, can be automated to instantly remove time-consuming, manual tasks from your team. With fewer errors ending up in your ERP data – and more time for value add tasks, such as cross and up-selling – your department will be more efficient and more valuable to the organisation. And, you’ll be able to manage sudden increases in order quantities, without any detrimental effects.
- With automation, you can more easily optimise your container allocation, allowing you to deliver your products in the most efficient configuration. Even with significantly more products shipping than your department has dealt with before, automation vastly reduces the likelihood of error, as shipments can be cross-checked and validated against accurate master data.
- Greater visibility and control. The further you go with automation, the greater your level of accuracy and compatibility with other systems and departments. In fact, if you digitise your entire department, all the data within your ERP system will have a higher degree of accuracy, all your procedures will be scalable, and you can implement monitoring systems that sense-check your activities to prevent order errors.
Ultimately, if you implement automation BEFORE your organisation goes through an M & A exercise, you’ll be in a much stronger position.
While it’s unlikely that you will get more funding for recruitment ahead of a M & A, activities that improve the efficiency, and therefore profitability, of the organisation are more likely to get financial support. Rather than be a threat to your department, an upcoming merger may be what you need to create the department that you want.
Of course, alternatively, you could just put your head down, hope for the best and keep your fingers crossed that senior management don’t outsource customer service completely.
Defend your department with automation
Stand your ground, and build a department that’s resilient to change: Transform your customer service department today.