With time, the operational costs remain high and the quality of the products and services provided is not able to surpass the competition, so in order to avoid having that happening in your business, follow these 4 steps enlisted below.
In order to assume the market’s leading position, first you need to optimise the company’s processes on a constant basis. This because, as the competition grows in size, only the most well-prepared are able to keep their activities running for years.
Many can even blame the crisis or the competition itself, but as a matter of fact the companies are often the ones accountable for the situation! They prefer to stay immovable, they have ended up attaching themselves to ineffective processes and they weren’t able to cope with adversity.
With time, the operational costs remain high and the quality of the products and services provided is not able to surpass the competition. That way, the road towards bankruptcy is a certainty.
In order to avoid having that happening in your business, follow these 4 steps enlisted below.
Identify the stages
The optimisation’s first stage is all about finding out what kind of activities are part of a specific process inside your company.
It’s worth remembering that the processes qualify themselves as continuous sequences made of facts or operations, which present a certain unity or are capable of reproducing themselves quite often in time.
Furthermore, it’s important to identify if every procedure is actually able to produce a product that suits internal and external customers.
Let’s talk about the purchase of a certain supply, for instance. Your steps are:
Supply request, done by a collaborator or a team;
Request analysis, carried out by the purchasing sector;
Carrying out a pricing research and a budget gathering;
Consolidation of comparative table of prices;
Presentation of results for purposes related to purchase management;
Purchase approval, fitting one of those budgets;
Request’s negotiation and consummation;
Request follow-up and supplier registration;
Receiving and registering the delivered product.
As you can see for yourself, this involves a set of sequential stages. The outcome is a product for an internal customer – the collaborator or the team that has requested the supply.
Analyse the processes
There are several ways to cope with the processes:
you can consider that, beyond being expensive and ineffective, they attain more headaches than great results. With that, you decide that they must be deleted, inevitable;
in another case, you identify poor processes, but you realise that there’s room for optimisation;
it’s also possible to realise that some operations are adequate and effective, yet they can be optimised nonetheless. In that situation, it’s interesting to take measures to enhance them;
there are also those ranked with a high level of price-performance ratio and efficiency. In that case, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
In order to know what sort of situations you’re going through, answer the following questions:
What are the processes’ intermediate goals?
What are the final goals?
What are the results for the company?
How many collaborators are involved?
Are the services of those internal sectors necessary?
Does the operation involve outsourcing or external services?
How is the information flow?
What is the cost of each stage?
These are just some of the possible questions – and your company can adapt them to fit into its reality.
In this stage, the information found in previous steps is all gathered in order to enact an action plan that optimises each one of the processes. It should encompass the following items:
You need to find ways to reduce the operational costs. There are several measures that can be taken, such as:
look after outsourcing opportunities: what are the activities that your company cannot carry out with excellence, but can actually be developed by specialised partners?
Minimise stages that are just bureaucratic: sometimes, in processes, we include cycles that really don’t add anything to the company. They must be deleted and, this way, the collaborators involved are realigned to much more productive tasks.
In this case, we once again put the focus on the company’s internal resources, mainly the human ones:
is there some unproductive collaborator in any given process? Would he be more useful in another?
What are the specialities of each one of my workers? Is any of them out of place?
Do tasks present very high indexes of reworking? Why does that happen? How can you solve it?
Here, one tries to implement a quality control routine, in which results are measured and optimised on a constant basis. To do that, write down the following measures:
establish quality indicators for each one of your operations;
create a periodical and frequent quality verification routine;
suggest an interdepartmental working group, whose goal is to look for solutions for optimising processes.
A lot of strategies which are outlined to improve processes will derive from technological solutions. They provide several functionalities, they save a lot of working time and they narrow the room for human errors.
The ERP systems (or corporate resource planning) are capable of updating the stock, the cash flow and the requests, all at the same time.
There are also CRM tools, which automate the relationship with the consumer and they make it possible for you to never lose an email marketing campaign again or a contact with an important customer.
So, we suggest that, during the optimisation project, you include ready-to-be-chosen technologies, the best suppliers and the need (or the absence of it) for a ready-made or tailored solution etc.
After those stages, you will have an in-depth knowledge of the several processes of your company, verifying all the chances for change and identifying where you can act more effectively. Then, it will be time to implement the ideas previously set in the plan.
For that, you must know all the prerequisites of the changes that you want to deploy: in terms of logistics, human resources, special organisation, supply chain, etc.
After that, one needs to verify, along with everyone involved, the preparation of each individual to welcome those changes and their opinions on the process. Only then you will be able to detail an action plan.
The planning must encompass the process implementation dates, the transition details, the leaders, etc. So, pick a manager to closely monitor the running of that stage and check how your team is adapting itself.
If the outcomes happen to be positive, keep enhancing it. But if its fruits are poor, don’t be afraid to start over.
By following these steps, you will not struggle to optimise the company’s processes, for sure. After all, all you need is a proper direction, an accurate planning and a strong willingness.
That way you will be able to attain a high level of efficiency and leave your competition behind at all times!
Do you want to keep improving your company’s processes? Then check the best digital tools to make your business grow!