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4.8. Customer benefits and staff

In addition to the functions attributable to the value added, there are tasks which can be assigned to the framework, which with the combination of capital (finance) and work (personnel) as well as the dispositive factor (organization and communication) organize and sell a benefit for the customers. Some of the framework functions relating to the benefit for the customer are already starting before the value added process. The functions discussed here are not directly linked to the functions already discussed in Sections 4.2 to 4.7.

In the task of coordinating the factors of production, capital and labor, to create added value, this section first considers the factor labor. These include tasks to ensure the effectiveness of the work.

4.8.1. Research and Development (40 + 41)

Research is the search for insights that do not immediately lead to a new or improved product or a new or improved process. Product development and process optimization build on this. These functions already include the search for ideas. Therefore, structures should be created in which employees can present their suggestions for improvement in an uncomplicated way. Also suggestions made by customers should be passed on by the sellers. Subsequently, these ideas would be evaluated by technicians and the results recorded. Even negative reviews could be picked up on later ideas.

The development of new or improved existing products should offer the customers a new or better benefit, so that the company can earn more money with new sales. But only the construction with the preparation of the individual work steps leads to a networking with the functions of the value creation process. Research Development, on the other hand, can be the buyer of data and services of the other agencies.

Nevertheless, research and development do not take place without any connection to value creation. The research subjects are influenced by the market research (2) and the marketing policy (0). Priority existing products are modernized and gaps are closed in the offer. Also, the necessary investment in a market launch should be limited. Research and development projects that could be produced with the existing equipment are more likely to be approved. To check this, the machine master data (29) must be used.

Without research and development, there is a latent risk of being surprised by innovations from the competition. With outdated products you would not be able to survive in the competition then.

4.8.2. Process optimization (42)

With new or better methods, the quality can be increased or the costs can be reduced. This is not about improving the products. In the procedures, employee suggestions can often be very helpful. Technical and organizational improvements can be differentiated.

Technical improvements are often based on new technologies being offered on the market. Most of the companies are waiting for experiences of other entrepreneurs. During this time, the providers advertise and inform very intensively and the companies can form an opinion. If they wait and then decide to introduce a new technology, the implementation must go very fast to catch up with the competition. Now you have to know very well which organizational changes will follow from the technical improvement.

Of course it is possible that small technical improvements are also developed by our own experts. But often you improve organizational processes. However, organizational improvements should only be made in coordination with the organizational structure (63). It has to be taken into account that changes can have a sequential effect on other processes elsewhere, which also have to be regulated.

4.8.3. Logistics (43)

Logistics is particularly important in the procurement and delivery of goods. Therefore, it can not be clearly assigned to a function group. A separate fleet of vehicles would serve not only trucks but also cars from salesmen and executives. Here, however, it would also be necessary to coordinate orders with carriers on the road, rail, water and in the air.

Own vehicles are worthwhile only if they are also used appropriately or if the type of activity requires a high degree of flexibility of transport. The size of the vehicles must be appropriate. Logistics planning requires an overview of the regular shipments and their dates. The task is to carry out the transports at the right time on the one hand, but also to bundle them on the other hand so as not to undertake unnecessary journeys with semi-empty vehicles and, if possible, to have no empty trips on a return journey.

If you decide against your own vehicles, you must have a good overview of the range of transport services. It should be established in advance contacts with carriers, which can be commissioned at short notice. If they receive more orders, they will also give priority to the entrepreneur. This avoids the risk that urgent transports could not be carried out in the short term. But it must also be dispensed with short-term price advantages. This does not preclude a market observation, with the result of which then price negotiations are conducted and in the longer term also new contacts can be established.

4.8.4. internal service and company building (44 + 45)

In-house services for which auxiliary cost centers are usually set up in cost accounting can be complex. They represent overheads (38).

In trade and in many services, especially hotels and restaurants, the condition of -the premises is part of the customer's benefit. In the manufacturing industry, it is a basis of the ongoing processes. If janitors today are referred to as a "facility manager", e.g. the waste disposal to be a management task. For rental companies, this area is more important. Auxiliary cost centers are often set up for the company buildings. Then all costs including personnel would be converted to the area used and redistributed to other cost centers after the use of space. In this case, weighting factors can be used, with which the intensity of the roughness is taken into account. This would e.g. Storage rooms have to bear a significantly lower proportion of the cost of space than e.g. Office space.

Also in the building services should there be a cost control and clear responsibilities. Some small repairs could also do a home improvement and a job to a craftsman would be almost as time-consuming, as if they themselves would be carried out. So it makes sense to name someone for janitorial tasks, but they can also have a different function. In addition to minor repairs, this area of responsibility would include winter maintenance, consideration of waste schedules, care of the front garden and control of the heating system. For cleaning buildings, however, most mini-jobbers are employed or a cleaning company is commissioned. But the facility manager would take care of the quality control.

It is also important to deal with safety issues such as fire safety or hazardous substances (such as asbestos). The regulations issued to make mostly sense, but cause trouble and cost for many companies. Specialist companies use their knowledge advantages to sell expensive luxury refurbishments as an alternative. As with legal issues, a person is needed who can read the problem and then have a say.

However, there are also other service units whose costs can be distributed by reference quantities to other organizational units. The procedure would be comparable to the company building. Differences in settlement can be that the benchmarks can also fluctuate and then be billed monthly. Multi-level structures can also exist if service units themselves receive services. There are various billing techniques for this.

4.8.5. Education and training (46)

Employees must be able to provide the required service not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. For this they must be trained or at least trained. Management needs to gain an overview of the knowledge and skills required for operations and the level of training of its employees. This means that a suitable person can be found quickly even in future requirements. Possible gaps should be closed by training. The foreseeable retirement of older employees is to be addressed by the training of young people.

The level of knowledge of the employees could be available in a file in Human Resources (39). The necessary knowledge should be recorded in an organizational manual in the process organization (63). They must be requested when creating in the departments and updated about once a year. This documentation of the organizational processes also helps with the adaptation of the processes as part of process optimization (42) in other organizational units.

On-the-job training can also be anticipatory in order to prepare for expected future requirements at an early stage.

4.8.6. Recruitment (47)

Greater qualitative or quantitative gaps are closed with recruitment. For this purpose, employees are hired who have already acquired the required qualifications elsewhere. A prerequisite for recruiting is that there is a need that can not be covered by education and training.

A cost-benefit analysis is needed to decide whether to recruit personnel. The benefit of a worker is the profit on the orders that could not be done without this worker, minus the costs of recruiting and training. For workers in the overheads sector, determining the benefits is not easy. If staff can be recruited from the competition and bring along knowledge that does not exist in their own company, the benefits would be very great. In other cases, education and training in your own company is usually cheaper, because good practice must be offered for the recruitment, which may not be offered to one's own employees.

Other costs of recruitment are the material costs for advertising and personnel costs for personnel selection. There is also a training period in which the new employee is not yet very productive, but already gets the full wage. In order to make the right decisions, information about these factors needs to be collected.

4.8.7. Leadership (48)

The effectiveness of the work should also be promoted with motivation, leadership styles and leadership techniques. This is where the limits to psychology are reached. An observation in a system of numbers is not possible. One can only observe the results of the company and assume that the personnel management has an influence on it. The thought follows u.a. Responsibility reporting as reporting by areas of responsibility. Similarly, one can observe productivity ratios. But there are never any monocausal explanations for good or bad results.

A measurement of good or bad leadership needs to include further observations. This also includes feedback from employees, but they should not be overstated. A laissez-faire style could produce good employee ratings, but the measurable performance would suffer. Even if one finds further measurable quantities and can form a mosaic out of many individual parts and can evaluate the leadership behavior, no optimization is achieved. A good atmosphere in a team that promotes successful work is not only influenced by the leaders, but by the personality of the simple employees. Sometimes there is a good mix of equal and dissimilar characters that complement each other harmoniously, while in other teams of a different composition conflicts are more likely to be encouraged. Even an accounting 3.0 is overwhelmed here.

4.8.8. Social (49)

The effectiveness of the work can be disturbed if the performance of the employee is affected by personal problems. It might make sense in individual cases to support the employee with reasonable effort in overcoming such problems and thus to eliminate the disruption of the effectiveness. The amount of the expense or the repayment of a salary advance would be visible in the bookkeeping.

If the employees have a reasonable expectation that the employer would help them in an emergency situation, this will create loyalty. The inhibition threshold for insincerity and a bad work ethic increases. Social responsibility can therefore be seen as an investment in this loyalty. As with an intangible investment, an attempt can be made to measure the cost of this social responsibility and to assess the value of loyalty. Here, too, an appropriate level of care should be sought. Excessive generosity creates habituation effects and no longer promotes the solidarity of employees with the company.

4.8.9. Internal communication (50)

Meaningful communication channels between employees as well as between supervisors and employees also serve the effectiveness of work performance. They, too, evade observation in the context of the system presented here and a valuation in monetary units. However, the contents of the EPR system may be subject to internal communication.

For this formal communication, a determination must be made as to which information should be accessible to which employee. The necessary and helpful information should be accessible in principle. Confidential information should in principle be blocked unless it is necessary for the task being performed. It is further to distinguish between visible and sent information that is created for the addressee. This can be done with monthly reports. Many companies are also moving to store such reports on an intranet, where they can be viewed after completion. Because not every evaluation should be accessible to every employee, this communication requires a sophisticated system of authorization codes.

Informal communication can hardly be influenced by the company. One can only try to prevent with the necessary openness of the formation of rumors.

4.9. Finance, organization and communication

The use of capital as a factor of production first converts money capital and physical capital by buying capital goods and consumer goods. This takes place in the value creation process. The functions on the frame are mainly used to model the value creation process. For this purpose, monetary units are used as a general equivalent, making different goods comparable. ("Since all other commodities are only special equivalents of money, and money their universal equivalent, they behave as special commodities to money as commodities." Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol. 1, Hamburg, 1867, quoted from the Institute for Marxism Leninism at the Central Committee of the SED [ed.], Marx-Engels-Werke, vol. 23, Berlin / GDR 1962, p. 104). Although Fig. 23 on page 96 does not show intensive networking of the finance area with the functions in the value chain, it is already a general equivalent because of the ubiquitous valuation in monetary units.

In the part "organization and communication" of the framework is predominantly the dispositive factor of the enterprise management settled. It relies on data in the value creation process and rather creates presets instead of data.

4.9.1. Cost accounting and data acquisition (51 + 52)

Traditional accounting is initially a data collection point. Meanwhile, this task has been largely automated. This task is therefore increasingly decentralized fulfilled by the data collected at the place of their creation and transmitted via an interface in the accounting software. There remains a coordination task and a collection of the remaining data, which have not been entered elsewhere.

The benefits for the customers can only be offered in the long term if the returns are greater than the costs. This condition applies to every single product. In individual cases, cross-subsidies can be justified. The evaluation of the costs of each individual service and the comparison with the revenues are the central tasks of the accounting system from the point of view of customer benefit.

According to the management approach, according to which the bookkeeping should follow the view of the company management, the accounting with the data collection should actually be settled in the internal accounting.

4.9.2. Controlling and Planning (53 + 54)

Cost accounting and controlling are assigned to internal accounting. While the cost accounting object-oriented, the payers (= products) has in view, the controlling wants to orient a target control. The formulation of goals and the observation of their implementation is specified within the hierarchy according to tasks (= persons) and within the financial year by periods (= months). Controlling is therefore predominantly period-oriented, even if in concrete applications (for example investment controlling) objects instead of task areas can be the subject of consideration.

With the approach of capturing data in quantity and monetary units for the past and the future, part of the planning task is opened up for a machine settlement. There are still different expectations for future volume development and price development. The then mechanically created plans must still be checked by people for their plausibility. It is also human decisions as to whether the projected data of the future is also intended, or whether the probable development should be intervened. This is especially true when early warning systems are developed that are intended to alert in time to undesirable developments.

4.9.3. Financing and Taxes (55 + 56)

The task of the financing is to keep the goods-money cycle out of the company's added value. Financial planning is required in order to be able to use financial instruments in a targeted manner. Funding by feel and estimated size would require greater liquidity reserves and, hence, financing. On the basis of financial planning, financial instruments are used to cover financial requirements and to meaningfully invest financial surpluses. The company must also have an overview of the current financings, their terms and the rates to be paid. Bookkeeping 3.0 keeps this data available - assuming that the user has access authorization.

Companies are subject to different taxes. The fulfillment of various tax obligations must be organized. These include the filing of tax returns and tax returns as well as proof of the amounts entered there from accounts and receipts. It is also possible to arrange tax audits in which accountability is required.

The filing of tax returns can be automated today. Tax returns require a prepared annual statement. The data to be entered in the tax forms can be calculated automatically according to the model of previous years. At a minimum, a list generator (see section 3.4.5.) Could be set up accordingly. However, it should always be checked whether the tax forms have changed and perhaps asked for additional information, or whether a tax-relevant issue has re-emerged in the company.

4.9.4. Financial Reporting and Investor Relations (57 + 58)

Bookkeeping companies have to draw up annual financial statements and publish them if necessary. The figures reported there must be able to be proven from the bookkeeping of accounts and supporting documents. For listed companies there are further information obligations to the stock exchange supervisory authority.

The addition of accounts to balance sheet and P & L items has long been a completely automated task. Currently it's about checking the correct rating of all items and updating them. For this, checklists should be created and processed.

Significant shareholders and lenders, in addition to the data subject to disclosure, want more information about the company and its economic situation. Here, the information available to the management must be summarized and passed on regularly or on request. It is always selected which data should not be forwarded. Therefore, a balance sheet analysis must be performed in this function. It must be recognized, which conclusions in investor can draw from the communicated data. If possible negative conclusions are recognized early, one can mitigate these reactions in accompanying explanations.

4.9.5. Public Relations (59)

A company that has a bad reputation will find it hard enough to find customers. That's why it makes sense to look for a good reputation with public relations and not only to promote the products. There may also be exceptions. Who e.g. As a telecom company, it is primarily for fraudulent providers that it has to be publicly identified with these dubious businesses.
Henry Ford is credited with the sentence: "Half of my ad spend is thrown out. I just do not know which half. "In public relations activities, there are always many ideas on how money can be spent. Since it is not expected that they will have a direct impact on business development anyway, it is almost impossible to control performance. The quota of thrown out money can therefore be well above the estimated by Henry Ford 50%.
In addition to the inclusion of image promoting content on the corporate website and the delivery of press releases to newspaper editors occasionally events (events) are carried out, which can be perceived by the public as a positive. This could be open days or the celebration of a company anniversary, which should then be perceived positively by the public. Positive effects are also expected, e.g. a sports club is supported (sponsoring). How big such effects can be and whether costs and benefits are appropriate is a matter of individual case.
Public relations directed at the general public must be distinguished from lobby work, which aims to establish contact with politicians and influence political decisions. An important company, with good links to local politics, can sometimes achieve that e.g. a development plan is adapted to the needs of the company. In federal politics, a comparable influence is often exercised through associations. So far can go so far that an association makes the relevant employees of a ministry for a legislative procedure formulation suggestions, which are then also in the bill of the government.

4.9.6. Legal issues (60)

Only larger companies have their own legal department with at least one permanent lawyer. You do not have to be a full-time lawyer and you can also represent a company in court, unless you are a lawyer. This includes a distinction between lawyers who work alongside their law firm and conclude blanket service contracts. They then advise or represent the companies without having to settle these activities separately.
Even if smaller companies do not choose either option, the availability of current laws and the ability to identify and read legal questions are important. It is now possible to download a wealth of legal texts and other legislation from the internet or to view it online. It is recommended to update the texts stored in a library on your own computer and available offline at the latest every 3 years. For legal issues, someone should be responsible for making an initial assessment and, if necessary, seeking help in a targeted manner.

4.9.7. Philosophy (61)

The values and objectives pursued in addition to the business profit making should be formulated in particular as a guideline for the employees. They then provide an orientation as to when, in individual cases, the company's economic interests may also be acted upon. The corporate philosophy is essentially influenced by ethical ideas of leadership. For a successful company, it is easier for intangibles than economic problems for a company. Apart from this realization, the bookkeeping can contribute nothing to the corporate philosophy.

4.9.8. Structure and process organization (62 + 63)

The organizational structure determines the hierarchical structure of the company. Here the following terms must be distinguished:
Task:                    A recurrent part of the operational performance.
Job:                       A set of tasks that a person (job holder) should complete.
Cost center:        A sum of tasks to be assigned to the same function in the operational service

                             creation. A position holder can be assigned to different cost centers.
Department:     A group of bodies that form a common organizational unit.

The organizational structure is also mapped in Reponsibility Reporting. It can follow the principle of action (distinction according to the type of activity) or the object principle. The object principle can in turn be based on products or sales areas. When the object and the principle of performance are combined, we speak of a matrix organization. This means that a department manager has two supervisors. The responsibilities must be clearly defined. Possible competitions, e.g. which products should be primarily produced in the event of bottlenecks require clear patterns of behavior.
The documentation of work processes is the basis for rationalization measures, which is why the participation of the employees concerned is usually limited. They also want the freedom to organize their work in a meaningful way. If health and safety requirements or quality requirements are to be met, specifications will be accepted sooner. If the cooperation of colleagues is needed and the scope is kept within limits, the small service route is often chosen - past the hierarchy. Often there is an asymmetrical distribution of information: the boss knows the least!
A formal process organization is necessary if someone relies to a considerable extent on the work of other agencies and this can no longer be organized informally. Content of such regulations is: Who delivers what by the latest when!
Therefore, there can not be a comprehensive process organization for entire companies. Rather, processes are organized, and the more complex they are, the more important it is to have a good organization of processes. However, it is recommended to document the documented processes in an organizational handbook in the form of a loose-leaf collection, which in the meantime can also be digitally structured.
If the company management wants to counteract the asymmetrical distribution of information, an overview of the most important processes can be created from the job descriptions with the tasks fixed there (if necessary, they would have to be prepared). This should then be followed by division of labor (from whom comes what, to whom goes what?). Possibly. this has to be asked of the employees. The result can be recorded in an organization manual. It is not an end in itself, but serves as a basis for recognizing rationalization potentials.

4.9.9. EDP and archiving (64 + 65)

Electronic data processing is actually a tool and not a function. However, it has now become independent and in large companies are usually maintained their own departments to keep this tool operational. Even small and medium-sized companies have to face these tasks.
Archiving offers many opportunities through digitization. The former storage in paper form had to observe storage regulations and to maintain a system according to which the document can be found again using a combination of document type and document number. With digital archiving, document type and no. with one or two initial letters and a subsequent digit sequence of the file. The latter can begin with the final digit of the year. Scanned original documents in graphic format (.jpg) and associated processing notes can be saved under the same name in text format (.txt).

The digitization can already be done with the opening of the post office. The former mail distribution could be replaced by a message that mail stored under certain document numbers has been received and is to be processed by these employees. The original mail or other documents should be kept for some time. For outgoing mail, the file itself can be generated by the author. In order to safeguard the retention obligations, it is also necessary to organize the archiving of incoming and outgoing e-mails.