Ever-growing businesses are also ever-changing; they aren't sticking to the old ways of doing things and are the ones who actively improve their functions and processes.
The processes that were useful, say ten years or even five years back may not be relevant today because since then, your business may have grown significantly; you would have added more employees, customers, and systems into your ecosystem. More so, the industry has also progressed. Hence to keep up with all of this, there is a need to constantly evaluate your processes.
Business process optimization is the process of taking your existing processes and improving their efficiency. It helps you identify the lags in pertaining processes and enables you to look for ways to improve them.
Steps of Business Process Optimisation
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how this activity enables you to find and fill the cracks processes.
- Observe and Prioritise:
It may happen that you would have observed that multiple processes of the business have become outdated and need your attention. However, you need to narrow down and pick one at a time to avoid mishaps.
Prioritization of processes can be done based on which functions are the most time-consuming, have many bottlenecks and directly impact the revenue/growth of the business. It could be that your production cycle might be too time-consuming while, at the same time, the customer onboarding process is a little slow.
Here you will have to prioritize according to which process is hurting your business more.
- Break down the process and locate Cracks:
Once you have prioritized the process, the next step shall be to break it down step by step. Let’s say you prioritized customer onboarding over the production cycle. It would be best to chalk out a flow chart before you find any fixes for the process. A flow chart helps you evaluate the process at every stage, making it easier to pinpoint flaws.
So your customer onboarding process may have the following steps; the customer downloads the app, goes through the onboarding screens, signs up, and starts shopping. While doing this, you might realize that the emails part of the process are still manual, causing the process to move slower.
Once you break these steps, you may notice that the emails part of the process is still manual and is probably the reason for the slow process.
- Look Out for Solutions and Implement them:
Once you have identified where the problem lies in the process, it becomes much easier for you to look for a solution. Earlier, where you had to manually send out emails to users to either finish their signup process, congratulate them for their sign up or nudge them for their first purchase, now you might think of reducing the manual work here.
You will look for tools to automate these repetitive emails, lower your employees’ burden, and fasten the process.
- Monitor and Re-evaluate:
Now that you have successfully bridged the gap in the process, your onboarding cycle should move faster. This is the stage where you monitor the changes implemented and evaluate their performance.
It is essential to monitor the changes made to understand if it has actually improved the process or not. You can compare the speed of the process before and after making the changes to conclude your decision.
This was one of the simplest examples to explain the process of optimizing repetitive business processes. However, many times, these breaches into the business may be so deep that you would not notice them from the surface until you dig deep and evaluate.
How Business Process Optimisation Can Help You Grow
Constant assessment of critical business processes can help you in many ways, both monetary and otherwise.
- Makes you Competitive:
To stay a step ahead of the competition is any businesses' definitive objective. However, if you fail to keep optimising the processes, you will definitely be left behind. Because it not only helps you apply new techniques and strategies into your business but also helps you leverage technology.
For instance, let's take the same example of improving the customer onboarding process; you could enhance its efficiency because you did the analysis. However, your competitor may not have even considered automating emails yet.
- Helps in Risk Management:
Constant assessment and reassessment of current business processes help you identify potential threats that may be hurting the company. For instance, not until you assess your sales process will you ever know if it has leakages or could be improved and mitigate losses.
It helps you make sure that all the processes are working at their best and there are no hurdles. And if there are, you will find and resolve them through this practice.
- Optimal use of resources:
Analyzing processes help you think through your current way of doing things suggesting the scope of improvements. An example of this could be that you may notice queries piling up on the customer team leading to an extended turnaround time but only when you conduct business process optimisation will you find out this and look for solutions to better use your support team.
Wrapping up, Business process optimization is a crucial activity and which most businesses try to put at the back burner essentially because it could be time-consuming. But avoiding it may mean that you are bleeding money in processes that don't serve you; let's chat and find a middle ground for this and thus help you scale.