10 Ways to Improve Operational Business Processes
Operational business process improvement requires business professionals to identify pain points in their existing business processes. Replacing an outdated process with a new process can help create long term best practices and optimal business success.
Why You Should Improve Your Business Operations
Business process improvement includes process automation and reaching operational excellence by finding the best way to use your business's available resources. Benefits of business process improvement include-
1. Enhanced customer satisfaction- Over 90% of customers report they will take their business to a competitor to avoid working with a company that relies on outdated technology. Updating processes in accordance with current technological advancements will not only retain more customers but will free up more time for employees to focus on their customer service capabilities and customer satisfaction objectives.
Through process automation, employees will spend less time on tasks that can be electronically completed and more time interacting directly with your customers. Continuous improvement of your business's customer satisfaction protocol may include increased response to customer requests and creating customized customer experience solutions.
2. Better compliance- Many businesses spend a lot of time, energy, and money on strategic planning for compliance. Compliance violations are not only costly, but they can also result in the complete shutdown of your business. Compliance can be kept through the supply chain with technologically compatible systems.
A business process improvement best practice is using a third party consultant to make sure your business is compliant. Businesses decrease resources spent on strategic planning by using an automated system that will update in accordance with new regulations. Business professionals can also access real time reports and data from these systems whenever necessary.
3. Increased productivity- Employees spend an average of 520 hours per year on tasks that could have been effortlessly automated. Outdated technological processes like Excel spreadsheets or an access database take up hundreds of hours of employee time that could have been better spent. The first step to increase productivity of team memberslong term is through process automation.
Through process automation of low-skill level tasks, your employees can focus on improving the customer experience and on more advanced responsibilities. Project management capabilities are improved for all team members involved when team members are not forced to do unproductive work that could have been automated.
When you improve processes you increase both the employee and customer experience your business offers. Not only will your customer experience improve but your employees will likely have higher employee satisfaction levels when they are not being frustrated and bogged down by menial tasks.
A current process that requires employees to spend their time searching for documents or engaged in manual data entry is likely to deter top talent employees or decrease their morale over time. With more availability to engage in problem solving and decision making your employees will improve business productivity overall.
4. Technological improvements- 90% of IT personnel involved in decision making say that using legacy systems stop them from adopting new technologies. A business that focuses on a constant improvement process is more likely to encourage the integration of new technology into their current processes.
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10 Tips on Improving Your Business Operations
There are many ways to improve your business operations, including the following ten tips.
1. Plan ahead- The first step to starting a productive day is thinking ahead. Before your day begins, write down ideas and plans. Make sure to consider pain points and success stories from previous shifts to look for where there is room for improvement. Project management and process management are important to consider as part of your day plan.
2. Check in- Take time to consciously consider each current process and if it is in line with your business objectives. One of the best ways to do so is to keep a copy of your business plan readily available to review and make sure that you are staying true to your original business plans.
3. Reach out- Customer satisfaction and customer experience should be focal best practices for your business. Reach out to customers often, whether to provide success stories that remind them why they partner with your business or to request feedback. Make sure to encourage team members to do the same.
4. Stay competitive- Make sure that your rates are competitive with the market. If you do decide to raise your rates, notify your customers that you intend to do so at least a month in advance.
5. Cut costs- If there is unnecessary waste occurring in your business's process flow look for ways to cut those costs. Process mapping and six sigma are both improvement methodologies that help find areas of improvement.
6. Address pain points- Pain points will drag down your productivity over time. Again, improvement methodologies like process mapping and six sigma are greatly beneficial to providing continuous improvement to your business operations.
7. Measure performance- Create key performance indicators and benchmarks to check in with business performance over time. Beyond analyzing a current process and instituting a new process you must make sure that these process improvements have a quantitative value over time.
8. Involve employees- A great business focuses on the employee and customer experience as well as looking for ways to improve both. Considering that your employees are your biggest investment, look for ways to include them in decision making and problem solving exercises.
9. Expand business- Continuous improvement requires always searching for a new opportunity for your business. Beyond understanding what processes work for your business, think of ways that you can transfer a new process into fresh markets.
10. Find a balance- There is much more to life than improving business operations. Make sure your business best practices include efforts to establish a work life balance for both yourself and your employees.
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