Surprise: Reducing Red Tape Saves Time and Money

The Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, recently released a report highlighting incredible cost and time savings that the government has realized through regulatory change and administrative process improvement.  The report, which is an update on burden reduction, highlights efficiencies gained from the beginning of the Trump administration through the first quarter of 2019.

While the administration has been criticized for meddling in regulations that would allow companies to act as bad corporate citizens, this hasn’t been the case across the board.  There has been significant success in saving money both within the government and in industries like healthcare by moving to a more outcome-focused way of working.

The biggest impact was probably to the Department of Health and Human Services, which aimed to reduce administrative burden by soliciting RFI responses related to the topic.  The regulatory changes resulting from this information are estimated to save $5.7 billion and 40 million work hours for the industry through 2021.

Some of the things that have been streamlined seem like obvious solutions.  The Department of Homeland Security no longer has to submit an acquisition report to Congress that contained information already provided through other reports.  This saved the agency 3,000 hours of work per year.  Other groups, like the Department of Housing and Urban Development moved to automation, leveraging robotic process automation (RPA) for preparing financial statements to reduce 2,000 hours of employee time.  GSA used RPA for activities like opening mail and filling in forms to save a staggering 230,000 hours of work.

They key to these examples of time savings is that it allows employees to be reassigned to higher value work.  Many organizations have work that can be viewed as a necessary evil, or something that we’d rather not complete.  Ideally, if these tasks aren’t adding any sort of value, they can be eliminated, but if they’re necessary, automation can reduce the human cost associated with them. 

When hiring staff, it’s hard to imagine aiming for workers who would be best used for repetitive tasks like filing or opening mail.  By reducing administrative burdens, talented staff can be reassigned to make best use of their knowledge and skill for innovation, problem-solving, and interactive tasks.

This was the thought we had at Extract when we created software that can automatically retrieve or redact information from documents.  At most, staff should be verifying that the information we found is correct, and at best, they should be freed from manual data entry tasks completely.

If you’d like to learn more about how our platform can reduce burdens in your organization, please reach out today.

About the Author: Chris Mack

Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.