5 Things to Consider When Looking for a Managed Business Services Partner

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5 Things to Consider When Looking for a Managed Business Services Partner

Congratulations! You’ve just made the biggest decision of your life! You’re going to leverage a partner to help scale your business. A partner who can focus on execution and tactical processes, while you focus on your core operations and business strategy! That decision alone greatly impacts the strategic direction and scalability of your organization.

But ok, maybe it’s not the biggest decision of your life or even your professional career, but it is a decision that comes with a lot of ramifications if the partnership is not set up correctly from the beginning. It’s also one that holds tremendous potential to accelerate the success of both parties.

With that decision made, now comes the really hard part. Selecting a partner. Selecting the right partner can be scary, daunting and overwhelming. Luckily for you, the Managed Business Services market offers many options.

To help you move from decision making to partnership execution quickly, here are five quick tips to consider when choosing a partner:

Ensure cultural alignment. Untangling a web of cultural differences can often break a relationship. Be sure to ask about the background of the team assigned to your account. Get to know their strengths, personality types, and a bit about their community culture. Host multiple working sessions where both sides can share stories and collaborate in a safe environment and be sure to address any cultural concerns up-front.

Assess technology requirements. Technology is critical to all types of businesses. Take a moment to consider what technology your business needs, what technology you want a partner to provide and what technology you want to share across your combined teams.

If you choose to leverage your partner’s technology, they must have an up-to-date technical environment and roadmap in order for you to get the most out of the work that you are placing with them. The way they leverage automation will drive accuracy and productivity.

Be sure to also question how they harmonize their digital workforce with human capital. The two must be set in the same strategic direction.

Understand their diverse portfolio of services. You may only have the need and means to engage a partner for administrative services now, but as your business grows, you want to ensure your partner can support that growth allowing you to scale quickly.

Consider what other services they offer, and what the process is for an expanded engagement.

Define a competitive pricing structure to meet the demands of your business. Cost savings are often the driving force behind the decision to engage with a managed services partner. It is imperative to consider the terms and conditions of the contract including the full total cost of ownership.

Look for flexibility as the partnership grows and processes are streamlined, but be aware of additional fees or penalties related to a change in scope, engagement size or strategic direction of the engagement.

Define communication channels. While there is power in social media and e-mail, nothing beats face-to-face meetings where possible and phone or video conversations where face-to-face is not possible. You will learn a lot about the partner’s communication style, culture, organizational leadership, discover potential concerns, and get a glimpse into the overall experience of working with them in the future.

Approach these conversations with curiosity and transparency. Listen for the meaning and spirit behind the questions they raise. A potential partner who expresses a true interest in your operations, your strategy, and your business is one you want to get to know more.

In all of this, be sure to take your time, engage with many potential suitors, ask questions, then ask them again, and when you feel you’ve narrowed your choice, document it all and have fun building together!

Small-to-medium sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike rely on Liberty Source as their managed business services outsourcing partner. For more information on how to unlock the power of a managed business services partner, contact us today.

As a top-tier onshore managed business services provider, Liberty Source has a social mission to provide sustainable careers to military spouses and veterans. Liberty Source provides organizations with high-quality, cost-effective solutions by utilizing digital innovation along with a cognitive service layer which is essential to enabling accurate and meaningful business decisions. We serve as an extension of our client’s business operations, providing lower-cost, assured accuracy, and scaled deployment through culturally-aligned expertise.

Top 3 Benefits of Outsourcing with a Social Impact Firm

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Top 3 Benefits of Outsourcing with a Social Impact Firm

While outsourcing is a multi-billion dollar industry, the Impact Sourcing (IS) industry accounts for only 12% of the overall outsourcing market, according to the Everest Group.

Impact sourcing is a socially responsible alternative to traditional outsourcing. It is a business process delivery model that seeks to employ high potential, yet socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. Companies who deploy impact sourcing intentionally hire and provide career development to individuals with fewer opportunities due to social status, geographic location or something more. While many organizations take note of IS, few understand the value it can bring to their organization or understand how to engage with an IS partner.

The benefits of IS are vast. Here are the top three reasons to engage with an IS partner:

Consistently high quality
IS firms focus on quality and customer service first. They typically experience lower attrition and have a more motivated workforce than traditional outsourcing firms.

Cost savings
Due to factors like geographic location and intentional process improvements, IS firms can offer more meaningful long-term savings than traditional outsourcing organizations. This allows your organization to focus on its core business operations. By engaging with a firm that focuses on operational excellence and quality delivery, you can confidently move forward with your strategic plan knowing that the non-essential business processes and services are being taken care of.

Social Impact
We were all taught as children to leave the world a better place than we found it. IS allows us to leave the world in a better place through employment, training and ultimately economic advancement to those who need it most. Additionally, IS can have a positive impact on revenue as consumers report that they are more likely to work with and purchase from companies who are socially responsible.

At Liberty Source, we have chosen to tap into the pool of over 700,000 talented, educated, culturally aligned, and committed military spouses. In fact, according to the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership, 24% of military spouses are unemployed and is the top obstacle for financial security among military families.

Spouses of men and women in the military don’t have the flexibility to pursue their own careers. They move often, and not always to locations where jobs in their career field are plentiful. This contributes to patchy resumes and feelings of discontent. Many employers struggle to structure a work environment that suits the needs of a military family, particularly during deployment. Additionally, spouses with professional licenses (legal, health care, education) must pursue, and oftentimes sit for exams, in each state the military moves them to. Constantly preparing for new exams, without actually practicing in their chosen profession, further delays and complicates their professional growth. With their career aspirations hindered, spouses may pursue graduate education in lieu of finding a job, only to end up “overqualified” when they are back in the job market.

There are variances in the types of impact workers that outsourcing firms choose to focus on, but the goal remains the same for organizations that engage in IS. It is the opportunity to fulfill Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), portfolio diversity, and cost-parity all while freeing the internal teams up to focus on core business activities.

What’s your corporate social responsibility mission? Are you leaving the world in a better place?

About Liberty Source:
Liberty Source is a top-tier onshore managed business services provider with a social mission to provide sustainable careers to military spouses and veterans. Liberty Source provides organizations with high-quality, cost-effective solutions by utilizing digital innovation along with cognitive services which are essential to enabling accurate and meaningful business decisions. We serve as a direct extension of our client’s business operations, providing lower-cost, assured accuracy, and scaled deployment through culturally-aligned expertise.

A Brief Guide to Successful Digital Transformation

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A Brief Guide to Successful Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation (Dx) can rapidly deliver a multitude of business benefits when implemented successfully. At its core, Dx streamlines the repetitive and tedious tasks that steal human capital from focusing on more meaningful work. A Dx initiative may include robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), automated intelligence (AI) or a combination of the three.

Business processes are the foundation of an organization. They represent a necessary grouping of activities that are required to operate and scale any organization. A strong set of business processes has the ability to create value by saving internal stakeholders time and exceeding increased expectations, however a poorly designed set of business processes serves as a barrier to efficiency and growth.

As a managed services firm that fosters a holistic approach to RPA implementation, we have developed a few guidelines to consider when starting your RPA journey.

Avoid disaster by understanding the business processes before automation

Oftentimes, a process made sense at the time it was created but it wasn’t designed to scale as the organization matured and the landscape changed. This is why merely purchasing an RPA tool and installing the software isn’t enough to fully recognize the business benefits of automation.

When undertaking a Dx initiative you must understand the reason a process was created and its intended purpose. Just because a process has been put into place, doesn’t mean it was well-designed or scalable.

Automating a process just because you can and without a thorough analysis of the baseline workflows, is a recipe for disaster. Before any automation takes place, take note and document the current processes, as they stand. Re-designing processes while implementing RPA will increase cost-savings and overall operational excellence.

Unlock human capital by scaling digital workers

Unlocking the full potential of any Dx initiative must include the harmonization of innovative technology and the human workforce. The key to truly achieving economies of scale in any Dx journey is to foster human-in-the-loop interactions where the human workforce enters a process when the automation stops. The human workforce is no longer required to engage in the defined repetitive tasks but is now free to provide cognitive insight such as exception handling, communications, and decision making.

We have a finite number of human capital hours available to us. We must use them wisely and to their full potential.

Harness your data

Data is king. A positive by-product of deploying Dx to streamline your processes is the immense amount of data being collected. This new data can be mined to evaluate process health and provide greater insight into improvement opportunity.

This data can assist in your continuous improvement goals if harnessed and analyzed correctly. Through leveraging the insights produced, you can gain a better understanding of organizational structures, potential leakage and operational workflows to create greater efficiency and scale necessary to accomplish your strategic goals to truly transform your business.

Avoid culture shock

The need for communication is often overlooked. Communicate with your employees early and often to help them understand the value of a Dx initiative, their role in the project (if any) and the impact on their place in the organization post-Dx. Without proper communication and expectation setting, a valued employee has the potential to upend an entire transformation initiative. Involve your team early and often.

Develop strong corporate governance

Establishing strong governance in your Dx efforts ensures successful implementation. This includes defining the process discovery approach and prioritization of opportunities to maximize the value delivered to your business. A few things to consider:

  • Establish the right governance structure: Engage key stakeholders to set the strategy and be accountable for delivering the transformation results. Typically this is comprised of representation from the business, IT, internal audit, the sponsoring Dx implementation team and executive sponsorship.
  • Define the objectives of the governance board: Identify how the group will ensure consistency and visibility of demand management decisions, including demand generation, benefit realization, continuous improvement efforts, and delivery.
  • Build and manage a clear demand pipeline: Determine how potential opportunities will be evaluated against the areas that matter most to your business. While standard questions and toolkits are available, take some time to tailor items that drive value to your business. Define a clear methodology to move from ideas to execution to production.
  • Monitor performance: Determine how progress and health of digital assets will be measured. Just as you do with your people strategy and business continuity planning, you must ensure an appropriate contingency plan is in place if a bot fails.

Food for thought

Investing in Dx can propel your organization to new heights. Therefore, it is essential to have a Dx strategy, an implementation plan and a culture which embraces change to optimize the power of a newly integrated workforce. To remain competitive in today’s global marketplace Dx can’t be put off until tomorrow. Your customers deserve it, your organization demands it and your future employees expect it.

Liberty Source is a top-tier onshore managed business services provider with a social mission to provide sustainable careers to military spouses and veterans. Liberty Source provides organizations with high-quality, cost-effective solutions by utilizing digital innovation along with a cognitive service layer which is essential to enabling accurate and meaningful business decisions. We serve as a direct extension of our client’s business operations, providing lower-cost, assured accuracy, and scaled deployment through culturally-aligned expertise.

5 Myths About RPA

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5 Myths About RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been around for almost two decades. Despite its long history, the use of RPA in general business practices is growing rapidly. The value it brings organizations small and large is expansive and is expected to grow exponentially over the next 3-to-5 years. Gartner reports that the use of RPA grew over 63% last year alone. While the possibilities for leveraging automation are endless and the opportunities are exciting, with any new technology and innovation comes uncertainty and fear of the unknown. This fear of the unknown often stifles growth and long-term innovation.

When an organization takes a step back to think of RPA from a business evolution perspective, the value-added benefits begin to unfold.

In an effort to provide clarity around RPA, Liberty Source debunks a few myths about RPA.

Robotics Process Automation is comprised of a set of physical robots
Hollywood thrives on dramatizing the use of human-like robots on the movie screen, however the use of RPA is vastly different on the computer screen. RPA is software that enables lean processes by performing routine, mundane processes. RPA software, or a ‘bot’, is oftentimes referred to as a virtual or digital worker. A bot is created for a specific and repeatable task or business process and is curated by using a series of algorithms. Without automation, these repeatable tasks hinder the human workforce from providing culturally empathetic insight and cognitive decision making to broader value-added strategies and processes.

A human workforce should be free to use their deep cognitive abilities on more meaningful work, while RPA should be implemented to handle the tedious, repeatable, everyday tasks.

RPA is only needed in tech-heavy organizations
RPA is actually best suited in people-heavy organizations. Operations which require constant human interaction should leverage RPA to reduce the time spent on repetitive and standardized tasks, freeing their employees time to focus on customer interactions and problem solving.

Behind every implementation of RPA, should be an understanding and basic design of the business processes required to run a department. This documentation should be owned by the operating unit overseeing the processes, not defaulted to an IT department in a tech-heavy organization.

The use of any RPA software can be easily trained to applicable end-users, not just to leaders within an IT Department.

RPA will eliminate human roles

RPA will NOT and does not take work from the human workforce, it merely changes the way in which humans work. RPA increases productivity by eliminating the defined repetitive tasks and reinforcing human insight. It enables the workforce to do what humans do best: build relationships, apply cognitive insights, and evaluate barriers to success.

RPA is not designed to eliminate jobs. Process automation will remove a few roles that are defined, rule-based and narrow in scope, thus empowering organizations and employees to re-evaluate value-added opportunities, changing job responsibilities to focus on the development, maintenance and success of the RPA component within the function.

Once RPA is deployed, we don’t need to do anything else
RPA is not complete automation. Therefore, humans are needed to provide thought and decision-making to identify exceptions within the processes and train the system to manage these exceptions. Allowing the software to evolve into the best version possible for the business function. The human layer in automation is also called the cognitive service layer which is the key ingredient to successful RPA implementation.

The perfect mix of digital innovation and a cognitive service layer sets the foundation for business evolution that provides optimal return on investment.

RPA does not understand complex tasks

If a process or task can be defined, the bot can be taught. Before implementation of any RPA software, the processes should be documented and mapped, uncovering the rule-based and logical nature of even the most complex task or process. Through breaking down the most complex process you will find ways to successfully implement new automation.

RPA is designed to perform tasks based on data and instructions provided by a human. No matter how completed a process may be, by breaking down the process into smaller bite-size tasks permits the bot to learn and the human to analyze.

With these myths debunked, rest assured that RPA is a tool that provides value-added benefits. Liberty Source is here to help you on your journey of unlocking the potential of RPA and maximizing your ROI.

Diversity Impact

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Diversity Impact

Ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sex. Important words, typical words associated with diversity. Unfortunately, these words aren’t enough and often lead to divisiveness at varying levels within an organization. They lead to an arbitrary focus on quotas and compliance rather than focusing on opportunities for growth and scale.

These words alone don’t adequately describe how diversity impacts an organization or why diversity is necessary. We’ve been drilled with the fundamentals – diversity produces more creative solutions to complex problems, diversity creates a greater sense of belonging for a greater number of employees, and in turn diversity leads to greater financial returns. But little energy is spent discussing why diversity leads to such great returns and how to cultivate a culture which embraces diversity.

Innovation through diversity of thought

I find it fascinating that as a society we’re still struggling to execute and embrace a diverse workforce. I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason we struggle, is because we haven’t come to appreciate the true concept of diversity and the ways in which it benefits the bottom line.

Thought, experience, perspective, personality. To me, these words go farther to describe why diversity enables corporate growth opportunities. They are actionable words which can be used in recruiting talent, developing corporate culture, mentorship and innovation.

Organizations that lack diversity of thought, experience, perspective and personality, suffer from a ‘like me’ mentality where the organizations leadership isn’t challenged, isn’t forced to think broadly, nor do they take the time to consider alternative solutions to their business challenges.

Are you an industry laggard?

Organizations which fail to embrace diversity of thought, experience, perspective and personality, struggle to understand alternative views held by their customers, to understand the varying types of risks their business faces, or to have an appreciation for why alternative perspectives are important. These organizations often experience high turnover, slow growth and ultimately do not reach their full potential.

Organizations which embrace and implement diversity of thought, experience, perspective and personality, are better positioned to make insightful strategic decisions based on the different perspectives each employee brings to the table as compared to organizations who fall into a ‘like me’ mentality. The root of diversity is to spark debate, leading to better solutions and innovative ideas which position your organization for future success. Organizations which effectively execute on creating a diverse workforce are aligned for long-term growth and success, while those who don’t toil away, never making progress and always wondering why they’re falling behind.

Thoughts on thinking differently

As you (hopefully) seek to embrace diversity and make a concerted effort to integrate diversity into your organization, I offer you these thoughts:

Live authentically
Your employees, your customers, your investors and your competition are watching you. Creating a goal which states you value diversity looks good on paper, but if you aren’t authentically living up to that value proposition people will see through it and believe you to be disingenuous. Take the time to speak to your team members about the type of organization you’re creating, about the value of cultivating different viewpoints, let them see you work through an operational challenge with someone who possess a different mindset. Give your team members an opportunity to work for and with leaders who are different from you. Live authentically and take visible actions toward accomplishing your goals.

It’s more than a checklist
Don’t create a checklist or governance process based solely on the physical attributes of a person. Create an insightful selection process which must be followed before you begin to identify new talent. An insightful selection process will look different for each team, however the most critical element is to consider the mix of strengths you need to be successful such as:

  • Creative thinking
  • Analytical thinking
  • Introspective thinking
  • Entry-level experience
  • Years of experience
  • Collaborative personalities

Don’t create a checklist simply based on how you preserve a person to look, act or pray. Create a process which will cultivate the mix of strengths needed to move your organization from where it is today, to where you need to be tomorrow. Remember no one person possess all of these strengths.

Embrace the power of individuality
Let those around you be their authentic self. It’s through embracing the power of individuality that you will unlock the true potential of your organization and create a sense of belonging for your employees. Through that sense of belonging your employees will be committed to bringing their best self to work every day.

Be Purposeful
Actions speak louder than words. If you don’t have diverse backgrounds across your teams, from the top down, the organization won’t care what words you’re using. They will believe that your lack of intention in surrounding yourself with people who look, act, think differently from you represents how you really feel, and the words you’ve used hold no value.

Key takeaways

I encourage you to take the time to assess your current team and the needs you have for this team in the future. Have you surrounded yourself with people who constantly agree with you, who never challenge your ideas or positions, who seem to always have the same answers or thought process you would have? Do they all fall into the same category on the physical diversity checklist? When you look around the table at a team meeting, do you see different versions of yourself? Creating a diversity mentality is not a one and done activity. Diversity must be constantly assessed and fed with new, relevant, information.

Ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sex. Words we need to understand the very baseline of what diversity is.

Thought, experience, perspective, personality. Words we need to evolve our thinking about what diversity should be.

Let’s create an equal playing field that integrates physical diversity, with intellectual diversity and finally begin operating as a collective community seeking to reach our true potential. After all, not all diversity is skin deep.

Implications of Poor Data Quality Management

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Implications of Poor Data Quality Management

Dealing with Dirty Data – Implications of Poor Data Quality Management

It’s no secret that data has an impact on the future of an organization based upon the vast insights that can be derived. However, if decisions for the organization are being made based upon inaccurate data, the missteps that can occur have the ability to debilitate the future of an enterprise.

Having recently worked with an entertainment company whose corporate executives had been told they had $400M in cash locked up in their organization, we’ve seen the devastating aftermath of poor data. After an extensive investigation and cleansing of any irregularities, or anomalies, the data actually revealed the company had less than $100M in cash to unlock. Needless to say, heads were on the line as much of the newfound, never to be realized, $400M had already been spent in the minds of the corporate leaders.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, it is critical to establish data quality standards and governance principles to ensure accurate data based upon the integrity, validity, accuracy, and consistency of your data. So, what are the top implications of poor Data Quality Management?

Inefficient Operations
Once the integrity of an organization’s data is in question, stakeholders will begin to double check the data themselves resulting in wasted time, increased workload, and slower time to completion and decreased quality. Because they don’t trust the data, they spend their time hunting for inaccuracies, correcting errors, and searching for more reliable sources, instead of analyzing, and building stories based on the data.

Data scientists and information technology departments should spend time curating new projects and overseeing the strategic direction of the enterprise, not cleaning and organizing the data.

Strategic Missteps
Business leaders and other decision makers rely on data to make important decisions that can change the trajectory of the business. Strategic decisions based on data that prove to be inaccurate, such as penetrating a new market, investing in a new product, or spending money on a new acquisition, can send your business in a downward spiral that will be difficult to recover from.

Financial Loss
According to Gartner, an average of $15 million per year is lost due to poor data quality. We encourage you to also measure the annual financial costs of poor DQM for your operation. It is beneficial to discover the data error rate in your industry and compare it against your internal data error rate to gain the overall big picture of where your organization lies in the spectrum of costs associated with poor data quality. Imagine the savings, investments, and financial stability that you can bring to your organization by improving the quality of your data management.

Lack of Focus
Too much data can cloud your vision, making it impossible to remember your strategy or the mission you set out to achieve. With the abundance of data available, it is imperative to cut through the noise to reach a timely conclusion. Not only is data plentiful, but it is almost obsolete the minute it is reported. Time is of the essence.

The benefits of improving the quality of data go far beyond building trust, productivity and reducing costs. They extend to employee engagement, your reputation with consumers and focusing on the right strategy for growth. The goal should always be progress toward better data and improved decision making for the sustained long-term growth of your organization.

The accelerated adoption of digital platforms by companies of all sizes, operating in all industry segments, combined with the automation of common business processes, is driving increasing volumes of data for business leaders to curate, validate and organize. The explosion in the generation of data not only presents analytical challenges but also steals valuable time from the strategic operations of many organizations. Liberty Source’s harmonized approach to automation and human capital uncovers the underlying pain points that are impacting your organization and curates a personalized data experience to improve your data quality management.

Liberty Source’s data solutions are tailored to our client’s unique needs. We meet these needs through understanding our client’s strategic direction, assessing their use and need for data and ensuring alignment on the expected outcomes. We provide the cognitive service layer essential to enabling accurate and meaningful business decisions.

Hybrid Service Delivery: Safeguard your Bottom-line During a Pandemic

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Hybrid Service Delivery: Safeguard your Bottom-line During a Pandemic

The severity of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is becoming painfully obvious to many organizations around the world. The lasting global economic impact that this crisis will have remains to be seen yet has already changed the way we live and work. This past week, in particular, has changed the very way that businesses operate and has forced them to re-think contingency plans. Unfortunately, not all enterprises have the ability to switch to a work from home model, especially in an offshore business service delivery model. The established business continuity practices of moving operations from one center to another located thousands of miles away aren’t enough to satisfy today’s operating demands. The impacts of COVID-19 are felt globally and despite the resulting economic slow-down, work must continue.

One can often point to economic circumstances, seasonality of your business, or other external factors affecting your market position, however even in times of economic downturn, your talent, including outsourced talent is what will make you stand out above your competitors and help you to overcome the downturns faster than others. During an unprecedented circumstance such as COVID-19, having both an onshore and offshore operating model with partners who understand this, and stand ready to face all challenges with you, ensures peace of mind and safeguards your bottom-line during a pandemic.

When we look at enterprises that align to a hybrid delivery strategy, we begin to uncover their ability to maintain capability and productivity despite the circumstance. However, knowing what to look for can be quite a challenge.

As you undoubtedly will begin to question and design life after COVID-19, it’s vital to understand the attributes of an onshore service delivery partner that are necessary to safeguard your bottom-line during a pandemic. While we can’t predict what the world will look like in a few months, here are a few points to consider:

Dedication to the health and well-being of all employees
The way your partner treats their employees will have a direct effect on how well those same employees approach the work they’ve been assigned as well as how they treat your consumers and business stakeholders.

Ability to meet client needs while executing onshore BCP
You must understand how much downtime your partner will need to activate their chosen BCP. The resulting will be a direct hit to your operating capacity and your bottom line.

Top-tier remote technology infrastructure
In a world where we must act quickly and pivot often we must all have a responsive technology platform. Our ability to pivot quickly and ensure continuity of service will depend greatly on our ability to stand up remote access on the fly.

Flexibility and experience with dispersed teams
Most operating centers are governed by boots on the ground. Leaders feel they need to physically see each employee in order to believe the employee is being productive. The effects of COVID-19 and work from home mandates are going to truly test this philosophy. Some leaders will make it through and adjust their approach. Others will fail and experience great attrition after this has passed.

Resilience in a time of world panic
Now is the time when your best leaders and partners will rise to the top. Those you can rely on will be steadfast and strong. They will listen to your fears, understand your needs and create a plan to help you through. Most importantly they will provide hope that your operations can withstand the test of time.

How Harmonization Leads To Higher-Value Workstreams

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How Harmonization Leads To Higher-Value Workstreams

It’s human nature to be afraid, unsure of how digital transformation (Dx) fits in our analog lives. We project our fear onto the Dx before us and instead of leveraging its potential, we make small, incremental changes to our processes and our products, while keeping an arm’s length away from the scary new technology threatening our lives and our livelihood.

The extent to which Dx will replace jobs performed by humans is unclear, but it is clear that Dx is changing the way we work. To alleviate the mounting anxiety, leaders must create a clearly defined strategy to harmonize their new workforce.

Develop your duel strategy

  • Without a thoughtful duel agenda (digital and human) any strategy you deploy will be one-sided and fail
  • We no longer live in a world where human skills out-power digital capabilities; the two go hand in hand

Define expectations

  • There is a lot of hype around Dx, its potential and its fail points
  • The capabilities Dx offers are not one-size fits all
  • Spend the time developing expectations for your organization; otherwise it won’t be the Dx that failed to deliver, it will be you

Business outcomes

  • Customers are demanding new solutions to ease their daily activities, provide insights, and drive decision making for the future
  • Your Dx strategy should be built with this in mind as demand increases for solutions which provide a ‘when I want it, where I want and how I want’ product

Organizational outcomes

  • Dx is hyped for its external implications to your organizations stakeholders and customers, however it’s also about creating a more engaging work environment for your Human talent
  • When implemented properly, Dx will free up time spent on menial tasks while also creating flexibility for people to work when, where and how they want to deliver the most desirable business outcomes

Understand motivations

  • You have to understand the “why” of your Dx initiatives
  • And your people won’t buy-in to the “why” of your Dx initiatives unless they understand the “why”!
  • Naysayers have the potential to pull your strategy offline, sabotaging your efforts
  • Dedicate the time necessary to uncover the motives and drivers of others
  • Use this information to your advantage as you set your strategy and communicate milestones
  • Engage them in defining the future, empower them to make incremental improvements, and work alongside them to create disruptive advancements, forever changing the trajectory of your industry

Exploit the softer side

  • DX is specifically designed to understand and learn the technical aspect of any profession
  • However, it falls on its proverbial face when presented with the concept of uncertainty
  • Human talents such as navigating change, creative thinking, visualizing the future and empathy are not yet matched by any Dx initiative

Life-long learning

  • Dx played a large role in reducing the concept of ‘jobs for life’
  • Leaders today must cultivate a culture of learning, ensuring employees have new and creative opportunities to advance their skills, creating a liquid workforce allowing employees to learn, flex and evolve

Organizational mapping

  • Create and communicate the future organization; including leadership, accountability, span of control, inputs, information flow and capacity planning
  • As you develop your future organization, you should find that your most valuable assets (your people) will be redirected to higher value workstreams
  • This clarity will help to align your Human talent with your Dx efforts, giving all stakeholders an understanding of their position within the new organization, reducing questions and unrest

We are at the tipping point of unleashing the formidable power of a harmonized Dx and Human workforce. It is up to the Humans in this equation to embrace change and optimize the power of the new workforce.

Author: Cindy Gallagher

Does military and business have a common ground?

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Does military and business have a common ground?

VIP Interview with Cindy Gallagher, Liberty Source CEO.

Cindy Gallagher joined Liberty Source in 2018 as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. As a Navy spouse, she was one of the company’s pioneers in 2014. Liberty Source has established the onshore managed business services model as a competitive alternative to captive and offshore shared service centers, while creating long-term sustainable careers for military spouses and veterans. We ask her about her experience in the field of modern outsourcing business and how leadership skills and values that come from the military field can be adapted to business reality.

What is the role of women in today’s business? What are the aspects of modern business and life that women can make the biggest difference in?

Today, women are corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, data scientists, individual contributors and board members. There is no limit to the role women can, and should, play in business. Unfortunately, business history demonstrates a clear delineation of the value organizations have placed on male vs female leadership. Women are still all too often giving up family life in order to prove their worth to the business community, and yet, despite this dedication, they struggle for equal leadership positions and equal pay.

Today, women leaders are well positioned to rewrite the storyline related to the intersection of a successful career, family life and the value of a blended leadership team. Women and men both seek to find harmony between the demands of a long, successful career, and a happy, fulfilling family life. There is still a widespread belief that this is primarily a women only challenge and that women with families can’t devote the necessary time to excelling at work. Luckily, that mindset is starting to change and we are seeing more and more organizations place women at the leadership table, and more and more men taking on family related responsibilities. It is often found that organizations which embrace women leaders have greater diversity of thought, resulting in a stronger corporate culture and greater market share.

One of the biggest differences women leaders can make is to not give up on their dreams. It’s easy to give up on a dream, but a lot more rewarding to push through and achieve it. We must also continue to celebrate the benefits of a diverse workforce and inclusion at all levels of the organization. We have a responsibility to coach and mentor young men and women on this topic, shaping the future for those who come after us, and working to create parity at all levels of the organization.

My son was asking me this morning about my work and about this interview. When I told him that one of the topics we were discussing is the role of women in business he inter-

rupted me and said “why does that matter, it’s just the same for men and women”. I love his response because that is an indication to me that the next generation won’t see a difference in the capabilities of men vs women. My hope is that the next generation is telling a story of leadership, talent, sustainability and harmonization, not one of men vs women and the struggle for equality.

Please tell me what does it mean for you to be a true leader nowadays, and how has it changed since you started your career?

To be a true leader means to motivate people. To compel people to be better than they are today, to leverage their strengths, to dig deep and find new opportunities to challenge the status-quo. We must let our teams take risks, we must be ready to course correct if they go astray, and we must always offer alternative solutions to complex problems. We need to coach, teach and guide. We can’t give all the answers and we can’t be in every meeting or situation with our teams. We must instead be role models in our words and in our actions, treating each of our team members with equality and giving them comfort in knowing we are there for them every step of the way.

Corporate social responsibility driven mission of Liberty Source is surely inspiring and important – how does it help you find new clients, if at all?

Liberty Source was founded on the belief that business operations can, and should, be blended with a meaningful social purpose. For us, that social purpose is creating long-term, sustainable careers for US military spouses and veterans. In the competitive managed business services landscape, we believe dedication and commitment to our social mission is a market differentiator.

Military spouses and veterans are dedicated, self-motivated and possess an unmatched fortitude, as compared to the traditional civilian workforce. These are qualities all employers demand, yet struggle to find. Liberty Source is focused on creating a culture for military spouses and veterans to grow, learn and leverage their inherent strengths. We understand the unique challenges of military life and are able to provide benefits to

support these families, whereas traditional corporations must appeal to a broad base of employees, often leaving military families feeling lost and misunderstood.

We have found that clients turn to us first for our social mission and commitment to a uniquely underserved population, and then for our ability to provide a blend of services, our cost structure and for our dedication to client service.

Our vision is to become the largest US based impact sourcing firm by transforming the way corporate executives engage with the outsourcing industry and revolutionizing the career paths for military spouse and veterans. Our clients buy into and engage in this vision directly.

We stand by our dual mission strategy and believe this is a true market differentiator for us:

1. Commercial Mission: To run a profitable outsourcing business by earning the trust of our clients and delivering reliable, flexible and competitive on-shore business services.

2. Social Mission: To provide long-term sustainable careers for military spouses and veterans, throughout and after their military service.

Does Liberty Source hire former military commanders too? And if yes, how does this “rigorous & hierarchical” leadership work in a very agile outsourcing & shared services world?

Liberty Source seeks to hire military spouses and veterans regardless of the position they held while in the military. Our talent pool was trained by the US military to accept nothing short of top quality during their time in the service. This training stays with them in their post-service life, including their time at Liberty Source. The training they received in the military and leverage while at Liberty Source, translates to top quality performance for our customers. Former military officers and service members alike provide rigor around the integration of new processes, and maintain control through a structure governance process throughout the life of a client engagement.

The military also trains its service members to prepare for the unknown. On the battlefield things may not go as originally planned and those in the fight need to think on their

feet in order to divert the enemy and win the battle. This flexibility and strategic thinking plays very well in the outsourcing and shared services world. In the outsourcing world, each client will have their own goals and objectives. They’ll have their own way of doing things, which may be different to the way some in shared services were classically trained. The team at Liberty Source is able to quickly identify these nuances, understand our client’s perspective and assess a path forward which will be most beneficial for a long-term engagement with the client. Our clients value the skill sets and fortitude this community brings to their relationship with Liberty Source. They know they can trust our team and rely on us to press forward and resolve problems.

The same is true for the military spouse community. Military spouses must be detail oriented, flexible, organized and able to provide structure as needed. These strengths are critical to a successful shared services career and are all strengths we leverage at Liberty Source.

Would you shortly describe client profiles that are particularly receptive and inspired by the CSR driven mission of Liberty Source?

Demand for our services typically comes from CFOs, corporate controllers, shared services executives, data analytics leadership and strategic procurement executives. These leaders are focused on finding the best value for their operations, including skill set, location, cost and more recently social impact.

There are several organizations supporting diversity in the corporate supplier base, including the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC). The GISC recently published an interview with the Rockefeller Foundation which highlights their challenge to the managed business services industry to hire 100,000 new impact workers by the end of 2020. Through our customer centricity focus and our commitment to military families, Liberty Source provides corporate executives with a simple solution to their cost and skill set demands, balanced with their need to fulfil this social challenge.

Additionally the Veteran Jobs Mission, here in the US, is a coalition of 200+ companies who have pledged to hire 1 million veterans by 2020. Several of our current clients are members of this coalition, and we are looking to expand our footprint with other coalition members, offering them a unique opportunity to demonstrate and fulfil their commitment to this important mission.

Your company provides outsourcing services from an onshore location, which supposedly might be not price competitive. Please tell me what is your Value Proposition then towards your competition. And who is actually your competition?

As you know, the managed business services industry is highly competitive. managed business services firms have historically positioned themselves for growth based on offering a lower cost labor market and the

south of Washington DC. We look at our price competitiveness from a total cost of ownership perspective, which includes the cost per widget or annual employee cost (depending on the client engagement), along with travel time, lower retraining needs, and management structure. We also compare our cost structure to others within the US and are able to provide clients a clear cost reduction from their captive operations.

In addition to cost, our competitive advantage includes the strengths of our people, our ability to leverage technology, our proximity to our clients and our cultural affinity. We bring the strengths of the US military to the commercial marketplace offering our clients resiliency, strategic thinking, dedication and hunger to serve.

Military spouses must be detail oriented, flexible, organized and able to provide structure as needed. These strengths are critical to a successful shared services career and are all strengths we leverage at Liberty Source.

promise of business transformation. Liberty Source is a US based firm, which is actually more price competitive than you might think. We are headquartered in Hampton, VA, on an old Army Base named Ft Monroe.

Ft Monroe was decommissioned in 2011 and is now a National Monument. It is the largest stone fort ever built in the US and it hosted many US Presidents including Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, James A Garfield, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and Harry S Truman. Ft Monroe is steeped in American History, which you can feel the minute you step foot onto the property. It is also located in a very cost competitive part of the State of VA, approximately a three hour drive

Tell us a bit more about Liberty Service. What does your existing pool of clients look like? What is your exact offering? How many employees does Liberty Source have now and where? What are your growth plans ? Where do you want to be in 3-5 years from now?

Liberty Source has just over 200 employees. Our clients today are all multi-national corpo rations who came to us seeking an onshore alternative to serve their US market.

Our model of employing military spouses and veterans enables us to scale very quickly. Those who are familiar with military service understand the mobility and flexibility which is required of military families. In the US, a military family could be asked to move every 2-3 years. They may move to a different state, or across the world. Our model allows our military spouse employees to keep the work they are doing for Liberty Source no matter where their family is stationed. This flexibility not only ensures we are meeting our social mission, but it also provides longevity and consistency for our clients who can rely on the team members assigned to their account for a very long time.

Liberty Source currently delivers a suite of services which include finance and accounting, data sciences (data research, data curation and analytics) and project management. Our services are transaction based, judgement oriented and analytical. We add value to our clients’ organizations by first understanding and preforming a process in the same manner as our client, immediately adding a layer of cultural awareness they may not have in other locations. We work closely with our clients to understand their objectives and long-term growth plans to create a tailored, fit for purpose service delivery program which is unique to their operating model and internal goals. In providing these services we are able to earn the trust of our clients, and therefore the privilege to introduce new service offerings throughout the life our engagements.

We work closely with our clients to ensure a smooth transition; addressing their concerns, understanding their goals and remaining flexible throughout the process. We seek to integrate clients quickly to ensure they reap the benefits of an engagement with Lib erty Source from the very beginning.

Over the next five years we project a 4x growth in our business. Our target clients are those who have proclaimed their support for the US military service men and women, and those who are seeking an alternative to sending work offshore. There will always be specific bodies of work that make sense to send offshore, however there are also certain bodies of work that corporations look to keep closer to home. We aim to be the onshore complement to those businesses which are sophisticated in their outsourcing capabilities today, as well as be the strategic partner for those who are just starting to dip their toe in the outsourcing waters and want someone to stand beside them along the way.

Having military spouses as your workforce is different to a typical managed business services provider. What are your top 3 challenges & opportunities within the People Agenda?

There are over 750 thousand military spouses and millions of military veterans looking for post service careers. Over 88% of military spouses have post-secondary education and all veterans are educated, job trained individuals, however they are often overlooked for steady corporate roles due to their military commitments. These commitments include relocation every 2-3 years. For a military spouse this results in a resume that may appear spotty as they must change jobs every 2-3 years. This does not translate well into the commercial environment. As a result, military spouses and veterans experience unemployment and underemployment rates which are exponentially higher than their civilian counterparts.

Our commitment to people includes continuous training on customer service, commercial leadership and evolving technical trends. We have embedded commercial experience into our leadership teams to ensure we mentor and coach our team members in the right way; harmonizing civilian commercialization with the structure and strategic planning of military service.

We seek to instil job related confidence into our employees, working with them to understand their long-term personal and professional goals. We seek to provide long-term sustainable careers for our employees, which implies we are able to expand our footprint with our clients, constantly challenging the status quo related to the impact a service provider is able to have on a client’s operations and long-term objectives.

Technology revolution is a fact in our industry, what is the approach of Liberty Source to technology adoption ?

In this headlong rush to intelligent automation, we believe there is more opportunity than ever to layer judgement based, culturally empathetic work on top of process automation. To build upon our current base of services we must learn to work with automation, not against it. We must leverage the power of automation to help future proof our organization and meet the expanding demands of our clients.

As we explore automation opportunities, we believe the greatest payback will be found in the digital transformation of the entire operation, not a single-threaded robot over a single process step. The quickest automation wins will be achieved in automating those process steps which are the most cumbersome, transactional and error prone for a human to process. However the longer-term impact will come from analyzing the process end-to-end and repositioning our human workforce at all points where judgement and empathy are required.

The life cycle of a Liberty Source engagement which is enhanced through automation follows a standardized growth cycle:

1. Human touch, transaction based engagement.

2. Automation assumptions identified, inventoried and discussed with the client.

3. Partner supported automation build.

4. Digital workforce management and exception handling.

And finally, do you have any experience with specialists and leaders from Poland? What do you think about our skills & capabilities? Do you see us joining 1st league of Global Leaders soon, next to our colleagues from US, UK, NL and India?

I have worked with leaders and teams in Poland for many years. Prior to taking the role at Liberty Source, I opened a captive operation in Poland to serve our European operations. We selected Poland in part due to the cost structure, but more so due to the leadership, experience, work ethic and transformation capabilities of the Polish workforce. Even though I’m not part of that organization any more, I am proud of what the team in Poland has been able to accom plish and their impact on the larger outsourcing and shared services marketplace. There is no doubt in my mind that the Polish market will continue to expand, the capa bilities of the talent will continue to evolve and the global marketplace will see Poland as a formidable player.

Liberty Source