In the first part of this blog series, I reviewed the expensive – and often embarrassing – errors that stem from bad or out-of-step event detail data, the (flawed) human element, and a common business concept called the 1-10-100 rule. Now, we’ll look at some of the costly quality assurance issues, efficiency repercussions, and how to solve the problems.
The Cost of the Safety Net
A common element of cost burden that is often overlooked is all of the structure, staff time, and process put in place to make up for error, which occur within a disconnected or loosely connected information system. Common quality assurance issues include:
- Quality Control Costs: Costs of QC systems/staff to detect and correct errors. Some customers also engage in-house staff to sample and confirm the quality of the BPO vendors’ output.
- Downstream Error Costs: Costs incurred in downstream processes because of errors caught and corrected before the end-customer is affected. As an example, a midsize event organizer manually process approximately 5 to 10% of its exhibitor order data due to common errors as data moves from their order-taking process to billing.
- Uncaught Error Costs: Costs incurred in remediation steps once an end-customer is affected by one or more errors. For example, if an incorrect AV order is issued, the customer may call to complain about the mistakes and the staff will have to immediately offer a fix – regardless of whatever else they are doing and often with limited options.
- Soft Costs: Hard-to-quantify and not immediately evident costs that are incurred due to back-office errors. Soft costs may include: lost revenues due to low customer satisfaction, operational losses due to bad decision-making based on erroneous data, or regulatory risk caused by incorrect processing or recordkeeping.
- Billing Error Costs: When information must be manually updated in several databases, changes and details fall through the cracks. This very often leads to smaller items or change orders not getting reflected in the final billing, with that potential revenue forever lost.
Hobbled Staff Efficiency
There is a tremendous amount of wasted staff time within inefficient information systems. Take, for instance, the workflows associated with show or exhibition organizers. Changes to exhibitor contact information, booth preferences, floor plan placement, payments, etc. happen routinely throughout the event management process. Disconnected systems can only push information one way, from one stand-alone database to the next application in the chain. These databases get out of sync when staff has to go back to update information, re-communicate the new details to multiple departments or individuals, and verify that the details are correct (and not lost or ignored).
Juxtapose that with organizations that operate off a single database and a united system. Seamless event management systems can provide a single customer ID number and a single customer order number to help track changes from the sales funnel to the show floor. Applications that share a single database can also pull information back and forth throughout different stages of the process.
Audit your staff and processes to determine how much time is spent on entering and re-entering data into your systems. In terms of efficiency, single database systems give staff the ability to enter new information once and have it immediately available to all departments in real time. It eliminates the need to go back and reconcile data in multiple systems and drastically reduces errors.
In a recent survey, Ungerboeck Software customers who transitioned from multiple stand-alone systems to a unified Ungerboeck solution reported saving three to ten hours per week, per user. That time savings can either offset costly overtime hours, or be put to better use selling or taking care of clients.
By eliminating the need for duplicate data entry and data reconciliation across multiple systems, you drastically reduce the administrative costs – and the chances for headache inducing, embarrassing customer moments. You’ll also increase employee satisfaction as your events teams spend less time behind their desks and more time doing the jobs they love – meeting with customers and planning exceptional events.
How do you think your business could benefit from a unified event management platform? Want to learn more? Click here to set up a consultation.