Decluttering Today’s SMB Office Manager Assignments

Office managers are often held up as the glue that keeps the whole operation together, and it’s true.

Mon Aug 29 16:10:00 EDT 2016

Your title may change from one business to the next – office manager, secretary, receptionist, office administrator, administrative assistant – but what doesn’t change is the job itself, and the role it serves the company as a whole. Office managers are often held up as the glue that keeps the whole operation together, and it’s true.

If you’re in that role, you know all too well the many hats that the job requires on a daily basis: filing, scheduling, billing, mailing and plenty more. All of the seemingly minor logistical duties that, if they weren’t done on time or in a proper manner, could bring productivity screeching to a halt.

All too often, we see these duties spread out across too many people. Depending on the size of your company, that may be a necessary step to take; maybe there’s simply way too much going on at any given time to expect all of the responsibilities to fall on a single person’s shoulders. But, spreading these responsibilities around too much can end up creating a lot of headaches for all involved, and potentially costly ones.

If it’s up to a single office manager to file documents or schedule meetings or manage on-time billing, then they are the one and only point of accountability in making sure those tasks get done. On the other hand, if you have several people in charge of these things, you could end up with conflicting results.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Let’s look at billing as an example. Not every company is an Amazon, capable of absorbing the shock of a hypothetical loss one quarter and rebounding in the next. If your business’ stability hinges on making sure invoices are generated, distributed and paid on time, then missing one of those deadlines can have significant consequences.

Designating these tasks to a single manager or two might seem like it could be overwhelming, but consider the alternative: multiple people within the company assigned to the same task, with little or no coordination on when invoices are being produced, when they’re being sent out, ensuring they’re being sent out at all (and to the right recipients) and who is confirming payment. It becomes all too easy to miss an invoice, and as a result miss a payment, because no one was sure about who was doing what.

This problem extends to every aspect of the office: from booking a conference call to organizing important documents to mailing out parcels with the right labels and to the right addresses. If there are too many people assigned to the same role, not only do you create unnecessary redundancies for some of the office’s most basic functions, but you create a lot of overlapping responsibilities that make it hard to determine who, at any given point, should be executing a certain task.

A Tech-Centric Solution to the Human Error Dilemma

Of course, the problem can sometimes exist in both directions: assigning too many tasks to too few people might be too unreasonable of a workload. If one person has to do everything, then all it takes is that one person to make one mistake and throw the whole system out of whack.

The answer, then, isn’t to spread out these tasks among more people or consolidate them to one or two employees. Instead, integrate intuitive software systems that can act as a check on human error and streamline these tasks, so that no matter how many people you have working on the same assignment – whether it’s shipping, filing or billing – you have a system in place that can track each process from beginning to end, providing up-to-date transparency and accountability.

Pitney Bowes SendPro® integrated shipping solution can do exactly that, providing multiple users with a single account to use for all of their USPS®, FedEx® and UPS® shipping and related expenses.

Read our white paper, “The Art and Science of Shipping: How the Increasingly Complex World of Shipping is Being Simplified,” for more on how software is streamlining what used to be unnecessarily complicated sending processes.