Improve Your Businesses Processes
As your business grows, it’s no surprise that the general processes should be changing with it however, it can often be difficult to see where you should be starting with improving the fluidity of the business in line with its growth. As a small business, it can be simple to keep track of the daily, weekly and even yearly activities that are needed to run smoothly but if you grow and multiply the demand for improvement within your business continues to increase as do the expectations.
Not only does your business change as it grows, so do technologies such as new conveyor belts from CSL being released, or new software is released for dealing with invoicing and accounts. Don’t forget about your competition either, as you grow they grow, are they keeping up to date? An excellent way to ensure that you are keeping up to standard is to have an effective way to establish continuous improvement. It’s a sensible idea to start putting together a plan for completing an annual check (at least) of any improvements that can be made.
Things to Consider can include:
- Information technology- Do the computers and systems do what they should be doing? Is there something that could make it run better? Has everything been updated?
- Employee development and training– It’s essential to ensure that your employees are regularly updated with practice, providing training also helps to improve employee retention rates as they often feel more valued.
- Customer service satisfaction- How does your company deal with customer queries or complaints? A considerable amount of companies are starting to look into advancing to using tools such as live chat online, is this something you could consider?
Regardless of the process, you need to have a few simple steps to follow, have a go at using these to start with:
Is There A Need For Change?
The first step you should take is to identify what areas (if any) need to be changed or at least reviewed. You could look to completing a process audit; it will highlight any potential risks with your processes and enable you to pinpoint an area that should have immediate attention. It will also allow you to prioritize the actions you need to take from most serve to work progress. When completing this stage, you should also review how each of your processes impacts your business, resources, and stakeholders.
Once you have identified the problem areas and decided which processes you are going to improve, you need to analyze the current procedure by looking into it in more depth. This way, you can fully understand the process, and any goals you set will be kept realistic rather than saying you want to up productivity by double. You should think about these sort of areas when completing this:
- What is broken- Think about the process and what the potential problem could be (don’t worry if you’re wrong, it can always be changed back)
- Which steps in the process could be severe- Try to think about any actions that could be putting a halt to moving forward and try to remove them.
- Which step requires the most time to complete- Are there any ways that you can cut specific actions down?
- Which step causes the most delays?- Is there a reason for this?
- Are there any steps that impact costs or quality- Maybe a lot of fo mistakes get made because of lack of training or equipment is you to the job.
Gain Support From Both management And Employees
Whether you are feeding back to management or are the management yourself, you still need to gain commitment and support from others within the business to stand fighting chances of achieving any changes. Possibly considered the most critical area of improving your businesses processes as everyone needing to be involved. At this stage, you need to present how vital the need for change is and how it impacts the organization. It is essential that any management understand the need for changes to ensure they will support recommendations that have to make. You can then go full swing with getting the rest of the employees on board.
The final step is to secure a plan in place for making the improvements. So you’ve analyzed the data, proven the problems now you need to think about how to improve the areas successfully. You should include things such as:
- What the problem is.
- Why it’s a problem.
- How they should be improved.
- Possible problems that could arise.
- A plan of action for making the changes.
Possible changes could include:
- Increasing the speed of delivery
- Upgrading your computer systems
- Moving employee IT portals over to the cloud
- Enhancing your remote working practices and pastoral support
- Changing your product input mix
- Resolving supply chain issues (such as inadequate demand planning and forecasting)
You should always make sure you are setting realistic and strategic goals when it comes to any business process improvements, Do you have any other tips that you could share in the comments section below?