Is outsourcing the answer? It depends on the question


As the advice industry continues to evolve and find ways to reduce costs and free up time, outsourcing is often held up as a widely accepted mechanism to achieve both. That’s only true in some circumstances.

Outsourcing has come a long way in a few short years. From overseas accounting providers delivering services to Australians at a fraction of the cost of a local provider, to engaging overseas communications teams to man phone lines, the idea of shifting a process to outside a business in the pursuit of efficiencies has become commonplace.

Outsourcing, fundamentally, is the transfer of work. That can be to an external service provider, or it can be moving work from an adviser to another member of the support team. In both instances, it’s important to note that the transfer of work doesn’t reduce the work being done, it moves it from one person to another.

That means that outsourcing may deliver cost reductions as you find cheaper places for the work to be completed. But for businesses that are restructuring to build the advice business of tomorrow, more important than outsourcing is analysing and reviewing processes to reduce the amount of work that needs to be done in the first place for your planning team.

This point is critical. Do you have any idea of how much time a task takes your team to complete? 

When you sit down to try and do the same work that your administrator or outsourced team member does, to try and understand the experience, it comes as a shock how much time is actually sunk into any given process.

For example, if a financial planner moves work to a paraplanner, it may cost the business less than the adviser’s time would cost, but it’s still taking up the same amount of time for another person to do it. The financial planner is simply moving the same number of hours from their workload to someone else’s within the business. To find real efficiencies, financial planners must look for ways to eliminate or streamline the process being undertaken. 

The first thing to review is where automation can help. Can manual work be revisited and automated? Is there a system that can be introduced to reduce the amount of research, review, fact checking, insurance premium sourcing and product comparison?

Technology today needs to be focused not on the transfer of work, but the fundamental reduction in the amount of work that needs to be completed.

Asendium slashes the amount of time it takes a financial planner to create advice, by populating multiple key documents at the same time, reducing double handing of data.

Asendium clients can use outsourcing through one of our key partners for those processes that are perfect for cost reduction such as the implementation of advice, while using the remaining team’s hours in more effective ways. Why have your team contacting insurers for quotes or manually generating quotes online, when they can be on the phone, engaging and learning more about your clients? Or stepping up to more technical strategy work, to allow the financial planner to spend more time with clients, or business development? 

As the industry is changing, so too is the technology universe that serves it. The practices that continue to grow through these times will be the ones that have harnessed the power of technology.

To find out more about Asendium, click here.

Is outsourcing the answer? It depends on the question
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