Friday, October 16, 2009

Process Optimization : How We Work

Business process is how the day-to-day work gets done. It is the hundreds of routine, daily tasks that need to happen for you to make money. It is the steps involved in completing a sales transaction or purchasing inventory. It is everything done by everyone in your business.

When was the last time you examined the processes inside your business? Do you really know how an order is handled?

Processes have a tendency to change over time. When workers encounter a new situation they try to fit that change into their existing framework. This often leads to a poor fit and a breakdown in workflow efficiency. This organic growth can cause a nasty ripple effect through your business.

Poor workflow can lead to a number of problems. Does your business experience unexplained breakdowns? Do you spend too much time fighting fires? You might have a ponderous business that is in serious need of process optimization.

The first step in process optimization is a thorough analysis of everything. It means interviews with all employees, watching them perform their normal work and encouraging them to identify ways to make it better.

Once that's done, you can pinpoint the keylogs in the flow. We then determine if automation or process redesign is the better solution. We work with the people involved in the process logjam to identify the best ways to reopen the flow of work.

Lastly, we document everything. Give your employees useful manuals for performing their work and they will happily implement your changes.

Over time, people adapt their work to new situations. This can lead to problems for other workers down the line. If your business is suffering from repeat problems that are difficult to identify, then process optimization is the way to improve business efficiency and eliminate problems.

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