6 Ways To Optimize Business Processes and Acomplish More
If you analyze inefficiency in business, you’ll come across many factors that build up over time. Businesses often create processes without careful planning. As a result, things keep happening in an informal, wasteful, and undocumented way.
Progressive organizations have always been focused on the efficiency of their work processes. Whether you own a small business or run a large organization, you are likely to be facing challenges and operational inefficiencies in some of your business areas.
As your business grows, so do your business processes. Sooner you adapt and optimize your business processes, the better. Just take a quick look at how things really work within your organization.
If you have been doing most things in a certain way for a long time, it’s a clear sign of poor business process optimization. For example, if you’re not helping your team to optimize the way they handle their daily tasks, your task management processes aren’t efficient and, thus, need some serious improvements.
Likewise, there are so many other aspects of your business that should be done in a way that creates opportunities for better business results. In this post, we’re going to help you identify business processes for optimization. We’ll also talk about types of business processes, challenges and potential solutions. Let’s get started!
Find out how Global Office Data Hub can help Optimize Your Business.
What is a business process?
What exactly is called a business process? Regardless of the size of your business, there could be dozens of business processes that your stakeholders participate in on a daily basis.
Simply put, a business process is a sequence of tasks performed by a group of stakeholders to achieve an outcome. For example, handling customer support requests or new client onboarding are a couple of examples of a business process.
Business processes are everything you do as a business owner or employee over the course of a day, week, or month. From answering phone calls and responding to customer emails to delivering goods, everything you do involves a process. Here are some key features of a business process:
In a competitive environment, your business can’t use outdated ways of managing various business processes as this approach leads to employee and customer dissatisfaction. Imagine you have to onboard a new client and you don’t have a modern tool to automate the process.
Your prospective clients or customers wouldn’t be too happy about your old-fashioned approach. A continuous effort to optimize your business processes is the only way to keep your stakeholders happy and achieve sustainable growth.
Types of business processes
We can categorize business processes into different shapes and sizes depending on their intended purposes. It becomes easy to evaluate and optimize a process when you treat them in accordance with their nature. Here are three prominent types of business processes:
While an increasing number of companies are shifting their business from physical to online stores, their core processes remain the same.
Core processes, as the name suggests, are essential or primary processes. They involve all the activities you need to perform to develop and deliver your product or service.
Your core business processes comprise a broad range of strategies. However, the prime objective of these processes is to deliver value to your customers and other stakeholders. When you make your core business processes work together, it helps you maximize your profits and achieve your goal with ease and speed.
Before you think of business process optimization strategies, be sure to identify your core processes and analyze their efficiency. One poorly optimized core process can negatively impact your overall performance. The following are six examples of core processes for small businesses:
- Product development
- Sales and marketing
- Project Management
- Customer Support
Here is a quick definition: support processes support your core processes. For example, if you manufacture something, your HR department doesn’t have to do much with the production but it is responsible for hiring talent with the right skills needed to run your production operations.
So, we can say your HR is your supportive business process. Likewise, financial management is also a support business process. Other examples include:
- Vendor management
- Risk management
- Corporate governance
- Facility management
If we take a close look at the support business processes, organizations share some similarities. For instance, all organizations need an HR department to hire and retain employees. However, support processes are complex when it comes to large companies as more people are involved.
The management processes involve planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling all the functions of a business. In simple words, management oversees all the processes taking place within your company. For example, making sure your team is achieving its targets is a management process. Likewise, ensuring your workplace is safe and compliant is a managerial responsibility.
Management processes also involve identifying opportunities and challenges. Like support processes, management processes aren’t directly linked to income generation. Strong management processes make your business sustainable and resilient.
What are optimized business processes?
Do you run a business in a competitive environment? If yes, you have to understand the meaning and importance of well-optimized business processes. You’re doing certain business-related things in a certain way. The question is: can you do them better? Is there a strategy to improve the way you and your team perform various business tasks?
Regardless of your industry, you must strive to make your business processes more efficient and manageable with actionable insights on how and how well you can perform a process. A business process optimization plan focuses on continuously identifying, evaluating, and resolving business process problems.
So, are you ready to make your business process more logical, efficient, and less expensive. Technology has been playing a key role in helping companies automate repeatable aspects of business processes while removing bottlenecks.
Think of a business process for a moment, let’s say team management. Have you ever wondered whether or not your team management process is efficient? Most of your business processes can be streamlined and optimized with the help of a smart tool.
For example, GODH is an incredible tool that can help you optimize your team management, communications, task management, and delegation processes. However, you need to do some homework before you bring in technology and other strategies to streamline your business.
How to optimize business processes
Now, if you’re reading this post, you probably want to learn more about optimizing business processes. Even if you’re operating your business smoothly, there is still plenty of room for improvement. All you need to do is think out of the box and see what else you can do to bring about a positive change.
Sometimes old habits and fear of change stop us from implementing process optimization strategies within your business. Use the following step-by-step, well-thought-out guide to optimize your business processes with ease:
Examine your existing process
Business managers and entrepreneurs often ignore the steps it takes to get something done. If you examine a process, you’ll be able to identify so many simple and small tasks within the process.
To uncover the waste and inefficiencies, you have to dig deep into your business processes. It might be a good idea to have an outside expert to analyze your processes and ask the right questions.
When you break down a process into multiple constituent steps, you’ll be able to see steps that are a complete waste of time and the ones that add value. Examining your existing process will help you identify steps you should eliminate or automate.
Ask yourself the following questions: what is the most efficient way to organize a process for better productivity? Is there any tool you can use to optimize the business process?
To make life easier, use business process modeling methods. This will help you define how your current processes flow through various steps and departments. Process mapping is also a valuable technique to locate and analyze areas of inefficiencies.
Regardless of what technique you use to analyze your existing business processes, don’t forget to get feedback from your stakeholders. Your employees, clients, customers, and partners are in a better position to give you first-hand information on communication breakdowns, bottlenecks, and other time wasting activities within a process.
Single out one process that is alarmingly inefficient
Point out a process that you think requires immediate attention. If you’re not sure what to pick, go to your employees or clients and ask them to identify processes that sound less efficient. The objective is to highlight tasks or activities that take the most time and consume the most resources. It could be task management processes or a communication system.
It could be your employees struggling to communicate properly because there’s no central communication system to help everyone keep on the same page. Or, it could be your managers failing to set and monitor tasks in an efficient way. Maybe your marketing team is working hard but still unable to generate quality leads.
Once you pick a process, the next step is to choose a task within that process that is likely to produce immediate ROI. Remember, optimizing even a tiny task can bring in remarkable results for your business. Get feedback from your workers and clients to determine the weakness of that process.
Here are some examples of common business processes:
- New hire onboarding
- Task management
- Invoice approvals
- Team management
- Vendor management
- Appointment scheduling
Set your process optimization goals
The next important step is to set your process optimization goals. Why do you want to optimize that particular process? Define both short-term and long term goals of optimizing a process. Be sure your goals are measurable.
For example, if you want to make your task management more time-efficient, define how much time you can possibly save by optimizing the task management process. Talk to your team and stakeholders and let them be a part of the optimization process.
Find Out if the process you choose qualifies for automation
So many entrepreneurs and business leaders keep exploring strategies to optimize these processes without investing too much time and resources into research and complex problem solving. This is where automation emerges as the best solution for most of your repetitive tasks.
An increasing number of companies, both small and large, now use tools that automate almost every business process you can think of. From work management to HR and accounting to marketing, every process of a modern business can be automated and optimized.
Before you consider automation to optimize a certain business process, make sure your budget allows you to implement automation software. Also, it’s possible to use one automation tool and automate multiple business processes. For example, GODH is a tool that automates:
- Team and task management
- Setting appointments
- Delegating responsibilities
Take action to optimize the process
So, here is a quick recap of what you’ve done so far: you’ve picked an inefficient business process and determined your optimization goals. Also, you’ve examined your existing way of performing that process and determine whether or not an automation tool may help.
If you think your business processes can be optimized with advanced tools and you have the budget and resources to train your employees, go ahead and start implementing the tools. Try to pick a tool that fits your unique business needs and budget.
Need an example? Let’s say your hiring process makes your hiring manager spend too much time on applicant tracking, sorting through resumes, and narrowing down the list of prospective candidates. What if an HR software can perform all these tasks in seconds? A SaaS HR tool can have the capabilities to filter down resumes and automate the rest of repetitive tasks.
No matter what process of your business you’ve decided to optimize, make sure to treat the change like a project. Most importantly, when changing manual way of managing tasks to automated task management,
Test vigorously before full-scale implementation of a platform
Test how the process works after the implementation of an automation solution. It’s important to test a process optimization solution before full implementation so that your business doesn’t suffer down the road.
Related:Combining project management and six sigma best practices to better understand and optimize critical business processes
Importance of efficient businesses processes
Regardless of the size or shape, all companies acknowledge the value of efficient processes. Nevertheless, so many of them have workflow inefficiencies. Unfortunately, one inefficient way of doing something in business can negatively affect your resources, bottom line, and the quality of your products or services. Here is a brief list of consequences of inefficient processes:
- Increased costs
- Missed deadlines
- Decreased productivity
- Hindered operations
- Uncompleted tasks
- Decreased customer satisfaction
We just talked about a 6-step guide on how to optimize business processes in order to achieve your business goals. However, this job is more time-consuming and complex than you might think. But considering the great significance of optimized business processes, you have to take these steps and run your business in a more efficient and profitable way.
Challenges business face when optimizing processes
If you’re ready to optimize your business processes, get ready to tackle challenges that you might face during the implementation phase.
We live in a fast-moving business world where your success relies on how you respond to emerging needs. But when an organization decides to make some necessary changes to improve operational efficiency, they’re likely to face resistance from the advocates of status quo. Why? Because change is not comfortable. People have to come out of their comfort zone to facilitate the change.
However, the good news is that you don’t have to do much in order to break the status quo. All you need to do is find business process optimization tools that are easy-to-use, intuitive, and less expensive. Show your employees how a smart tool like GODH will make things easier for everyone involved.
Poor Team Collaboration
You simply can’t optimize your business processes unless you take your team into confidence and make them work towards a shared goal proactively. For example, if you want to use a management tool to uplevel your team management, your team must be willing and eager to participate in the process.
While you need to provide them with learning sources and training, your employees must be ready to collaborate and carry out a smooth project execution. It would be a great idea to have a collaboration tool that streamline communication across business.
Lack of resources
Limited resources are probably the biggest challenges for small companies that want to improve sales, marketing, task management, HR, and other aspects of their business. In most cases, entrepreneurs and managers end up allocating resources in a way that brings no good to business.
To make your business process optimization efforts cost-efficient, be sure to invest your time and find the right tools that are not only affordable but also easy and relevant to your business needs.
Some business processes can be complex and hard to optimize. If you’re finding it hard to wrap your head around a process, don’t hesitate to seek professional consultation. Today we have automation and management software that can handle some of the most complex business processes with ease. All you need to do is find the right business management software.
You surely need to train your employees and familiarize them with new processes and tools. But it’s challenging to implement an effective training program, especially if you have a limited budget and you can’t afford to hire training staff. Again, a simple solution to this problem is choosing business tools that don’t have a steep learning curve.
Business success is a combination of leadership and tech
Whether you want to boost your marketing ROI or need to remove operational efficiencies, you must be looking for an ideal combination of leadership and technology. From planning to implementation and monitoring, you need effective leadership and right tech tools. This will dramatically improve the effectiveness of your business process optimization efforts.
Take control of your business processes with GoDataHub
GODH is a perfect example of modern technology that can play a critical role in your business success. We do have so many other tech solutions when it comes to optimizing business processes, but GODH is not only affordable and easy-to-use but also a feature-packed product that can streamline a variety of your processes.
Unlike other applications that were born either as solutions for managing customers or task management, GODH was born out of the desire to improve and optimize the business process.
That is why along with task management, GODH features communication tracking (both within your organization and with the clients), internal documentation creation, and automation with snippets and appointments to name a few.
Feel free to take a one minute tour[a]to learn more about GODH and how it can optimize and automate your business processes