Signs Your Business Needs Process Improvements

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

So, what are the warning signs to look for in your business that may suggest it’s time your business need process improvements?

It’s important to understand that process improvement isn’t just 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 for your business many years ago, may actually cause difficulties for your business today.

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1: You Don't Understand Your Workflows

Every business has a particular way of completing tasks. Over time, these evolve into processes that are communicated and interpreted by team members. When you take the time to look at the way your business and staff are operating, you may identify inconsistent processes. This, in turn, may be a sign that you’ve outgrown your current processes, and your business needs process improvements.

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 the operation. Data entry is one key aspect of business where the move to an automatic process will always be a business process improvement. Manual data entry tasks are time-consuming, repetitive and increase the risk of human error. If you are receiving data and manually entering it into a system, this is a good sign you need to automate your processes.

What to look out for:

  • Details from emails are being copied and pasted into other systems
  • Receiving a notification from one system and manually updating another
  • Once a task is completed, you need to notify another team member via email

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, paper typically found in a school or office environment comprise the largest category of paper product consumption. This includes copier paper, computer printouts and notepads. Heavy use of paper-based systems most likely means your processes are manual.

What to look out for:

  • Difficulty locating the right document when you need it
  • Filling out forms on paper
  • Visitors signing in with a pen and paper sign-in sheet
  • Increasing costs of paper, printing and storage

4: The Same Issue is Causing Multiple Complaints

Are you receiving repeated complaints about the same issue? Whether it’s from employees or clients, a repeat of issues can indicate a process breakdown and can give off a negative effect on your business’s reputation.

What to listen out for:

  • “I always get a transfer 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 with which version of a 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 is met. 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
  • Staff working on the same document at the same time
  • No central location to store your documents

Are you ready to improve your processes?

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.

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