4 Ways to Identify and Fix Inefficient Processes [Guest Post]
Getting rid of inefficiencies is top of every corporation’s list of things to do. Every company has inefficiencies, which often cost the company money in the long run. Knowing how to identify and fix these problems is extremely important to ensure the continuation of your business. Here are some tips to get started.
4 Ways to Identify and Fix Inefficient Processes
1. Do a Thorough Investigation
The reason that many businesses fail to identify all of their inefficiencies is that they find one or two, fix them, and then consider the process done. When you are investigating inefficiencies, it is important to find all of the possible items you can. Get your managers together and have a think tank to list all of the inefficiencies. Get all of your executives together to see what they can come up with.
It is also very important to involve lead employees to ensure proper coverage throughout your business when identifying inefficiencies. Put all of the ideas and areas identified together so that you have one complete list and then move on from there.
2. Think Rationally About What to Fix
You cannot fix all of the problems that your business has. Not only is that just not feasible due to time constraints, but it would also drain your business of cash and assets.
It is important to take the all-encompassing list that you developed from your thorough investigation and categorize items based on several criteria. Of course, you will want to pull out items that are very cost efficient and easy to do, as well as high impact areas that have the ability to save the company both time and money. You will also want to consider the magnitude and breadth of that effect.
For example, if you have an idea for a remediation or process change that will save $5 per hour and it will improve the process over 15 different departments, that is worth more to your company than an improve that saves you $50 per hour total. Looking at the aggregate is important when considering changes.
3. Use Case Management
PNMsoft defines case management as “the methodology whereby knowledge workers handle unstructured casework.” Generally, projects are well-defined and consist of several different steps that employees know. When it comes to remediating inefficiencies, the work can be unstructured and will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis.
This is where case management comes in. It is important that you put together all of the “cases” that you have to work on and assign workers to them. This will keep things moving and the identified inefficiencies remediated.
4. Consider the Help of Software
Software can be a lifesaver when it comes to fixing the inefficiencies in your office (and they will make the remediation of the inefficiencies more efficient as well!). Getting some sort of case or project management software that is available to everyone on the project is key to sharing information and making sure everyone knows exactly what they are supposed to be doing.
Several new websites and programs allow you to customize the home page of the site and make it work for the types of projects that you are doing. Interactive dashboards and simple task descriptions will allow everyone, regardless of technical knowledge or educational background, to know exactly where the project stands. Up-to-the-minute statistics and summary pages will keep management informed as to your progress as well, making everyone happy.
Finding and fixing inefficiencies in businesses is extremely important to do. Due to the costs and time associated with mapping out the areas that need to be fixed, as well as the resources that have to be expended to fix them, many companies to go forward with this process in a haphazard manner. By thoroughly investigating your business, being intentional about the areas you want to fix, working with case management, and enlisting the help of software, you can get rid of those inefficiencies and increase your bottom line.
Guest Author Bio
Carol Evenson is a business consultant specializing in process automation and internal management. She has worked with Fortune 1000 corporations and now consults with organizations within the US and UK.