I'm looking at trying to make my business more efficient. What can I do to optimise my business processes?
How you go about optimising business processes depends upon several variables.
Different industries will have different requirements and different sized businesses have different levels of resources that can be used.
You also need to thoroughly understand your current processes before you can start to change.
To optimise your current processes, I suggest you take stock of what you are doing by developing a process map.
A process map outlines what activities your business currently does, who is responsible for doing these processes and details all the inputs and outputs of the process.
From this map you can get a good understanding of each process and how it interacts with other processes in the business.
There are several methods that can be used to create a process map, however generally the mapping process will create a visual representation of the business processes.
When you are developing your process map it is good idea to get input from staff, as quite often there can be a difference between written procedures and what really happens.
To improve, you need to really understand what is happening within the business.
Once you have a developed your process map (or maps) you will be able to start to consider issues and potential solutions.
The map should help you to identify if there is wastage in the process or pain points such as bottlenecks.
Continue to talk to your staff as they will know where the current processes are not working as well as they should.
Different approaches can be taken to resolving any pain points and inefficiencies in your current processes.
If you think a current process is pretty good, you may only need to focus on a couple of specific areas of the process to see improvements.
If you think that the process needs a total overhaul, then you should develop an ideal state for your process map, so you have a defined end point to work towards.
It's also important to consider how increasing digitisation could impact your business processes.
With so many technology options to choose from nowadays, how could new technology be used to optimise your current processes?
Or maybe increased digitisation means there's been a change in your physical premises, which would require you to reshape your processes.
Once you have made a process map and implemented changes it is a good idea to test it to see if the new process is working as well as it should. You may find you need to change parts of it.
That's the thing with improvement, it is something that you should be continually striving for.
If you would like to find out more about process mapping and its uses, please contact Findex on email@example.com
While all reasonable care is taken in the preparation of the material in this article, to the extent allowed by legislation Findex accept no liability whatsoever for reliance on it. All opinions, conclusions, forecasts or recommendations are reasonably held at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice. Findex assumes no obligation to update this material after it has been issued. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material.
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