Management is always looking for the best return on investment (ROI), but in recent years the demand for improving efficiency and better returns on budget has grown louder.

With so much innovation, best practices are changing at an alarming rate. The reality that time is money has never been truer in this current day. The problem really is, how can organizations catch up fast?

Some organizations adopt a board management solution for their members to deal with meetings. This type of software offers some time and logistics savings by centralizing information, and enabling remote and “on the fly” meetings through some form of online portal. However, they generally don’t provide much support for the organization as a whole, and in some cases, can even increase the workload for staff and meeting administrators.

Speaking of which, there’s no denying the role the back office plays when it comes to preparation and follow up after the meeting. Many back office tasks are time-consuming manual processes. And in organizations where there are multiple collaborators and approvals involved, inconsistent formats for information and a lack of standard business processes, the inefficiencies can multiply.

Inefficiencies Out of Habit

Pile of paper The ability to automate back office operations can lead to a healthier, happier and more productive organization. This is simply because automation helps to avoid redundant tasks, improves speed and efficiency, reduce errors and escalations, and allow more time for staff and administrators to focus on higher value tasks.

Perhaps the simplest illustration of inefficiency is the use of paper.  In this day and age, do we really need to use paper for our daily operations? The answer is simple. No.

We can see its biggest drawback when an error occurs. Sometimes no matter how careful and diligent we are, errors still happen. Reprinting is the only solution. In the moment, we might not think of it as an issue because we are functioning on a deadline and under huge stress. But later, we realise we actually used an excessive amount of paper and staff resources for just ONE meeting. Printing and re-printing has become a habit of doing business. But it’s a bad habit, and a waste of manpower.

Like paper, there are so many little ways that efficiency can be improved. The ability to maximise limited resources, to become more sustainable, is what defines success for the whole organisation.

Board Management Software vs Meeting Management Software

Board portal or meeting management software, “which is right for my organization?” To answer this question, the focus should not be whether the benefits are for the participating board members or the supporting staff, but what the true objective is.

Most of the time, the real objective is, “how do we maximize ROI on all of our resource spending?”

In that case, a general board management portal actually does very little to continually increase your ROI. A collaborative meeting management solution, on the other hand, often does more than a board management software – it offers tools for the board members and comprehensive business process support to the back office as well.

Putting together meeting agendas, collecting relevant documents, communicating to board members, internal and external stakeholders and scheduling are all time-consuming tasks. With a meeting management solution that supports each stage of the meeting lifecycle, the more meetings you have, the greater the accumulated ROI.

The Back Office and the Board

A 3D puzzleA significant increase in ROI is achieved when back office efficiency meets strong internal communication. Simply put, an organization that can do so gives the board the insight they need to make important strategic decisions. Together, these two pieces can keep your most valued metrics rising.

Automating back office processes and compiling crucial information saves both back office collaborators and board members time. The time once spent on repetitive, time-consuming tasks is invaluable in boosting productivity and improving results.

The right solution, then, goes beyond board management software. What’s really needed is a comprehensive meeting management solution.

The True Value of a Meeting Management Software

An effective meeting management solution provides more than a set of automation tools. It provides a framework for back office processes and collaboration. That framework gives collaborators the environment they need to work efficiently and gives the consistency to work interchangeably between contributors.

Accessibility requirements are another complication that the right meeting management solution can address. Finding the right solution can save tens of hours of work on staying compliant with tightening accessibility legislation like WCAG 2.0 and AODA.

The best meeting management software offers accessibility and transparency for all. In collaboration and project management, having access to docu