How creating systems and processes can simplify your business
Every business has various systems and processes in place. These are the tasks you do and the order in which they are done. Over time, you might review your systems and make refinements, tweaking your processes to cut out redundant steps, or adding layers to the system as your company grows.
You might have a system in place for taking orders with various processes to make sure the tasks are not just done, but they are done in the right sequence. Having a system for this means the tasks are carried out in the same sequence each time, using the processes which you create in advance.
Your order process might be to receive an order via email or telephone, then check items are in stock, then confirm the order to the customer, then take a payment, then dispatch the product and reorder the item if needed.
But each process can also be broken down into steps. Perhaps you have multiple sales staff with individual e-mailboxes to check for new orders. Perhaps checking if items are in stock involves someone driving to the warehouse or viewing a stock spreadsheet in the office. Perhaps payments are received in cash, which then needs to be taken to the bank by a certain time of the day.
From the customer’s point of view, they have placed an order with you, but in behind the scenes many steps may need to be taken to deliver what they have asked for.
I specialise in helping companies identify their processes, right down to the micro-steps and I help you get into the nitty-gritty detail of what happens, when, by whom and why. This is a process in itself and it often leads to uncovering timewasting activity, finding redundant steps, increases staff productivity and consequently helps you save time and money.
This is where spending a little time “working on your business”, rather than “working in your business”, really does help.
Having systems and processes in place means:
- Work is carried out to a consistent standard.
- If a member of staff is absent, another employee can carry out their tasks.
- Training new staff or temporary workers is much easier.
- You can measure performance and monitor changes.
- Customers receive the same level of service every time they use your company.
Having an outside opinion can identify things which you take for granted, but in reality, they are things you no longer need to do. If you are waiting until 10am for a cheque to arrive in the post before making calls to chase clients for outstanding payments, you may find this is no longer required and you could skip this step and start chasing outstanding payments first thing. In fact, you might even choose to automate payment reminders by text or email, saving human hours on a recurring task.
Regularly reviewing your systems can highlight areas where you can make changes and identify better ways of doing things.
Do you feel your business would benefit from a systems overhaul or a process review? Contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to work with you to make sure your business is running at peak performance.