Lieber's bucket list

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cutting costs isn't just about eliminating products or people, says Miriam Lieber, president of Lieber Consulting. It's also about tackling business operations. Two of the biggest problem areas: wasted time and uncollected receivables. Fortunately, improving one can improve the other, she said.

Set employee goals

Work with employees to set goals so that they have a concrete idea of what is expected of them, said Lieber. Employees do a much better job when they have something to reach for.

"For example, let's say you decide your AR is out of whack," said Lieber. "So, to set the goal, I would look at each bucket--30, 60, 90 and 120 days. Figure a percent improvement, like getting a reduction in the 120 days to get it down to 20% or less. Once they achieve that goal, they can move beyond it to the next one."

Automate documentation

Your employees may not mind faxing documentation requests, but it's a huge time suck, said Lieber.

Instead, providers should consider e-faxing--point and click and it's sent. The potential payoff makes it well worth the expense, she said.

"By virtue of adding efax alone, providers have stripped days of waiting for documentation from weeks to days or sometimes hours," she said.

The sooner you get your documentation, the sooner you can bill, said Lieber.