Following the financial crisis, there are signs that small and midmarket companies are beginning to rebound with improved economic activities from rising housing prices to lower unemployment. The question is whether companies can sustain their growth amid stiff competition in an interdependent marketplace beset by compliance and regulatory hurdles.
The upshot is that many startups and fast-growing companies are expanding their operations globally with the help of new financing or enlarged sales pipeline, prompting them to step up their hiring plans. In a recent webcast with multimedia portal Middle-Market Executive, Mike Dinsdale, chief financial officer of Docusign, said the 11-year-old digital signature developer is struggling to keep up with strong customer demand by looking to hire 30 to 40 new employees a month.
Labor statistics tell a more sobering story about these fast-growing companies. The number of US firms with fewer than 500 employees has risen over the past decade, but it fell from a peak of six million in 2006 to 5.66 million in 2011 in the wake of the recession.
More worrisome was the fact that the number of firms with between 20 and 500 employees actually shrank from 640,000 in 2001 to 560,000 in 2011. Although some might have grown to a bigger size, many others might have simply downsized or ceased to exist when they failed to keep up with the competition.
As the pyramid illustration demonstrates, small and midmarket companies often have no choice but to grow fast and become part of the uppermost pyramid if they want to survive and stay in business.
At the same time, many of these small and midmarket companies now face considerable business process challenges ranging from perennial cash crunch to a whole host of financial, healthcare and workplace compliance and regulatory issues that could curtail their ability to succeed.
To mitigate such risks and put these small and midmarket companies on a sustainable growth path, Apparancy has developed a new set of tools that could upend the traditional way of managing business processes.
Leveraging Cloud delivery, Apparancy is packaging the best attributes of its business process management and workflow engine, along with purpose-built compliance support as well as the latest social media and mobile technologies, to provide its customers with a scalable solution to handle HR, payroll, forecasting and requisitioning requirements on a real-time basis. For example, its integrated alerts and social media cover all aspects of mobile communication.
Under the Apparancy model, every process is logged, tracked, verified and auditable in order to help customers meet multiple compliance requirements that could result in spiraling overhead expenses if unchecked. Apparancy is affordably priced on a monthly subscription basis and it’s easily accessible via the Cloud, compared with expensive Business Process Management software that could take years to implement.
Because of its robust document management capabilities, Apparancy monitors information exchanges between key stakeholders, while accommodating frequent workflow changes(task reassignments among project participants for example) with the use of flexible messaging and directory services, all of which can be archived to meet stringent auditing requirements. Currently Apparancy is set to launch the first of these Cloud-based business process management tools designed for healthcare payers and providers, helping them address new compliance requirements stemming from the Affordable Care Act.
Gone were the days when small and midmarket companies had to improvise their own business processes just to handle auditing requirements sometimes blind carbon copying every piece of outgoing email to a separate folder that could prove to be cumbersome and unmanageable in the long run.
With the advent of new compliance-centric solutions like those from Apparancy, customers are better equipped to navigate, specialize and ultimately master the science of combining effective workflow with best-practices business processes that could pave their way to the top of the pyramid or make the “middle” a more sustainable and viable business environment than it has ever been in the past.