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The importance of streamlining internal processes

by admin on September 15, 2008

I’m posting this in both our Marketing Your Business and Quality Process blogs, because I deem it that important to your company. When it comes to how a company can most improve itself and make itself a viable commercial entity, especially in hard economical times and in a very competitive marketplace, the best place to look is within.

Processes tend to start out with the best of intentions and they deteriorate over time. This deterioration happens for a number of reasons:

  • Lack of Technology – Perhaps when you started this process, the only way to make every side of your company work was to key in data 2 or 3 or 10 times. This redundancy not only is a waste of resources, but tends to dull down morale. Putting new technology in place often remedies this problem.
  • Lack of Employee Competency – Often times, an employee will be the downfall of a process because they simply don’t have the training required to make the process work or they are otherwise overworked/incompetent/frustrated/distracted.
  • Cost cutting Measures gone Awry – Often times, cutting what seems like a benign corner ends up being a major downfall to the overall health of the process.
  • Failure to embrace new methods – The phrase “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is prevalent in business.

So now that you know why processes fail, let’s work to streamline some of the processes in your operation.

  • Examine why your processes fail. The list above may give some clues. Perhaps there are other clues in why the process fails.
  • Research, research, research. This can be an internal research into external solutions or you can hire a consultant with the expertise you need. Either way, research multiple solutions to your problem and make the decision that is best both short time and in the long haul.
  • Budget for change. Almost anything you do to drastically improve a process is going to come at a cost. Make sure you budget for this change. If the budget can be amended immediately, do so. If you have to wait for a new fiscal quarter or year, do so. Just make sure you have money budgeted to make the big changes.
  • Understand that change takes time. No one can possibly make a company-changing shift without the time to allocate resources, properly train and roll out the program. This might be days. It will more likely be months. No change happens instantly, and all parties involved need to know that.
  • Don’t embrace the afterglow. As soon as your new processes are in place, don’t just accept that everything is better. Run checks on how much more efficient you are. Look for problem areas. Get employee feedback. Your eyes and ears on the process are your people, and trust their feedback.
  • Plan the next big process improvement. After you have rolled out your new process and gotten feedback, plan the next big step. Companies that succeed are companies that are always looking to improve.

Streamling internal processes can be challenging, but it’s necessary to improve efficiency and make the most of your company’s resources.

{ 1 comment }

Amorina November 11, 2008 at 3:39 am

Keep up the good work.

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