We’d all love to think that in our business, we are doing everything perfectly. Our customers and employees are happy, our businesses are thriving and we don’t need to consider changing what’s been working the whole time. As creatures of habit it’d be nice if that were always true.
But all too often, there’s room for improvement in some form or another. Whether that be in an outdated process that needs revamping, a company that’s rapidly growing and as a result has out grown some of its old ways of doing business, or a process that just wasn’t well defined to begin with.
1. We could all use a business audit - If we are so much as considering business process improvement in the form of consulting services or even a departmental revamping we must be doing something horribly wrong, right? Well, not necessarily; perhaps, we should just be reevaluating our businesses every so often and ensuring we are living up to our potential. Truth be told, if we just dig a little deeper we can more likely than not find some room for optimization, and consequently improvement. From something as simple as a work cell rearrangement, or something as complex as an entire department’s processes being restructured; there are always things to tweak, to get a little more from our efforts.
2. Better hear the voice of the customer - Some times when we step back and reevaluate our business processes, way of doing business, etc. We can better hear the voice of the customer, and more efficiently give them what they want. After it’s all said and done, that’s really all that matters. When we know what the customer values, we can cut out some of the unnecessary, non-value added tasks and leave what really matters most. Of course not all non-value added tasks can be cut out, but when we cut out the ones that are not necessary we realize numerous benefits. We usually see reduced operating expenses, which results in more money being available to place back into the business into things that matter. Second we have a shorter, more streamlined process in which we can see faster turn around times, cycle times, and a better quality of service or product our business offers.
3. New ways to do old things – Some times as our companies grow and change we are called to adapt and be versatile. This may translate into changing our business strategies, and our way of doing business with it. I’m sure most of us would look pretty funny wearing an outfit we wore when we were 8. Just like us, our companies grow and change. Change can be uncomfortable, and down right scary at times. But it is necessary at times, companies like Apple and Google didn’t get to the level of success they have today by remaining stagnant and unchanging. When we are fluid and adaptable, we are better able to thrive and be more profitable.
Whatever you may call it, whatever form it may take it, it is imperative in todays business environment to ensure your process is optimal. Process improvement sets you on the road for operational excellence, efficiency, and productivity.