Be under no illusions, the private sector is run mainly with profit as their main goal, as with almost any business. It is therefore a big reason why there is so much investment in that sector compared to the public sector, which is funded by the tax-payer and is more accountable for what is spent. The way organisations in each of these sectors are run are therefore very different, however, there is much they can learn from each other. While businesses in the private sector can be seen to be more frivolous with their money, public sector organisations are a lot more careful with their spending with the aim of getting the absolute best deal for the tax-payer, to whom they are accountable. This, however, leaves them with little room to improve and innovate, at least at a reasonable pace. Public sector organisations often lag in many areas, especially when it comes to improving their processes to become more efficient. We shall have a look at a few things a public sector organisation could learn from those in the private sector.
Digitalisation of services
Private companies have been very quick to digitalise because it is crystal clear what benefits it brings–a more streamlined process in almost every area of their business, leading not only to savings, but also to increased revenue. On the other hand many governmental offices and state-run hospitals are still very reliant on paper records and manual inputting. Not only is this very inefficient, but it is also costly. For example, sharing records between hospitals is essential to give people the best care possible, but this is made more difficult when records are not fully digitalised and not easily accessible online.
This would be especially useful in countries where corruption is rife. The less human contact there is in a process, such as taxes and permits, the better. This leaves less opportunity for tampering, and maintains the integrity of the organisation. Private companies have long since been automating many processes for this purpose and to improve efficiencies. For example, booking appointments with private companies are usually much more hassle free than compared to the government. Online booking systems make it quick and easy, and upon arrival at their offices, a meeting room booking system is in place to allow you to enter and head directly to the correct room. The same cannot be said within many public sector buildings.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The private sector has been using this for many years now with the purpose of gathering data on customers in order to analyse how best to serve and engage with them. The public sector could certainly benefit from using such software dedicated to this in order to engage with their constituents more effectively, gathering feedback on areas of governance that need improving upon.