How To Achieve Business Efficiency: Start With The Basics

Published by Kathryn Anda, PEPworldwide on 30 December, 2014

Have you ever counted how many processes your business uses each day? More importantly, have you ever taken the time to ensure all are documented and up to date?

Business efficiency is achieved when processes are clear, redundant steps are eliminated and automation is introduced.

It all starts with the basics. Here are some steps to consider ensuring your business improves its processes and enjoys greater efficiency and productivity.

Document your processes

Using any number of available tools, spend the time to document your processes. Ensure each step is spelled out, no matter how small or complex it may be. Make sure that everyone who is involved in performing the tasks has an input to completing the documentation. If your procedures are already on paper, review them with the same fine toothed comb.

Analyse every step

There is a very good chance that during the documentation step, you came across areas where opportunities for improvements significantly stood out. You may have noticed bottlenecks where workflow is grinding to a halt. There may be repetitive steps, which clearly are a poor use of time, or there may be redundant steps, which are no longer required due to changes in procedures or industry regulations. These need to go!

Seek feedback and consider redesigning

It is time to seek feedback from those who perform the job being reviewed. There is a very good chance that the employees will have valuable opinions to share on how processes should and could be performed, where they see errors or delays and also they may have suggestions for how to automate or eliminate steps. Based on this information, coupled with the information you’ve extracted based on the review, it is now time to redesign the process to eliminate the problems you have identified.

Communicate changes

Ensuring you have buy in from those directly involved is critical to the success of any process. When introducing changes, ensure the ‘whys’ and ‘what’s’ are communicated and be clear on the inefficiencies that are being eliminated. Take time to conduct training where necessary. Where adjustments to teams or structures are a result, there will be an added requirement to support those affected through the necessary adjustments.

Every business can enjoy efficiency gains by addressing existing processes and reviewing them with a view to improving them. By planning the process carefully and allocating time to deal with any teething problems, you’ll introduce great changes and enjoy significant productivity improvements. It is well worth remembering that process documentation and reviewing can be time-consuming and not always easy.

There are occasions where greater benefit will be felt if you call upon a team of people who have the experience to introduce efficiency into your business. They will ensure that customer service is not impacted during the changes, allow for flow on effects in the work process and help to identify other bottlenecks that may require their own review.

Looking to improve your business efficiency? Chat to PEPworldwide today.

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