The concept of process improvement in your business might seem daunting and time consuming for some. However, being proactive in identifying, analyzing, and implementing existing business processes can optimize your business performance, meet best practice standards, improve compliance, and the overall experience for both staff and customers.

It’s important to understand that process improvement isn’t a set-and-forget task. It’s something that is continuously evolving and changing as the needs and goals of your business change. What once worked, may now cause difficulties for your business today. So, what are the warning signs to look for in your business that may suggest it’s time to improve your processes?

1 – You don’t understand your workflows

Every business has a particular way of doing things. Over time, these ways evolve into processes that have been communicated and interpreted by team members. When you take the time to look at the way your business and your staff are operating and identify inconsistency in the way processes are run, it may be a sign you’ve outgrown it.  

What to look out for:

  • Each team member is working off their own process
  • There are no documented procedures accessible to staff
  • The business is working off spreadsheets
  • You often hear questions on how things are done

2 – You’re manually entering data

Being hands-on with your business is a good thing, but that doesn’t always apply to every phase of operations. Data entry is one key aspect of business where the move to automatic processes is almost always better. Manual data entry tasks are time-consuming, repetitive, and increases the risk of human error. If you are receiving data then manually entering that data into a system, it’s a sign you’ll need to automate the process.

What to look out for:

  • Details from emails are being copied and pasted into other systems
  • You get a notification from one system and manually update another
  • Once a task is performed or a process completed in a system, you need to send an email to notify another team member  
link to policy implementation training

3 – There’s paper – everywhere

Look around your workplace. Can you see piles of paper, walls of filing cabinets, and overflowing desk drawers packed with documents? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, printing and writing papers typically found in a school or office environment such as copier paper, computer printouts, and notepads, comprise the largest category of paper product consumption. Heavy use of paper-based systems probably means your processes are still being done manually.

What to look out for:

  • You find it difficult to locate the right document when you need it.
  • If you need to fill out a form, you’re filling it out on paper.
  • Your visitors are signing into your workplace with a pen and paper sign-in sheet
  • The cost of paper, printing, and storage is increasing year on year

4 – The same issue is causing multiple complaints

Are you receiving repeated complaints around the same issue? Whether from employees or customers, repeated issues can indicate a process breakdown and can have a negative effect on your business reputation.

What to listen out for:

  • “I keep getting transferred to different departments and no one can answer my questions”
  • “I can’t find a particular form”
  • “Where can I locate this document?”
  • “I’m still waiting for approval to move forward on this”

5 – Version Control Issues

Do your employees struggle to know which version of the document is most up to date? You may also find that your business is spending disproportionate amounts of time managing version control records manually. Document Management is important in avoiding duplication of work, double handling, and ensuring compliance with the most current legislation in regulated industries. When managed manually, the more revisions, versions, and people involved, the higher the chances something can go wrong.

What to look out for:

  • Team members referencing outdated information
  • A change in workplace legislation that wasn’t implemented
  • Staff working on the same document at the same time
  • No central location to store your documents
link to policy implementation training

If any of these signs sound familiar, it’s time to look at process improvement measures in your business.

Businesses don’t have the time to do everything manually. As a business ourselves, we understand the need to automate. So, we created a system to make day to day procedures a little bit easier. Our solutions are easy to use and extremely efficient, with simplicity always at the core of what we do. To see how dita can help streamline your business workflow, please contact us today

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