Working Smart: Improving Efficiency Through Streamlined Processes

working smart improving workflow efficiency streamlined processes

You’ve heard the saying of “working smart, not hard,” right? That statement came to be because businesses were operating in inefficient ways that were costing them unnecessary time and money. Unfortunately, businesses are still enduring such unnecessary processes. 

Market research revealed that businesses lose 20 to 30 percent in revenue due to inefficient business processes, yet and still, these very same businesses settle with their unresourceful methods. Some companies will even try to repurpose some of their processes that technically get the job done but it’s still the wrong solution being used in the wrong way. Think of trying to hammer a nail in the wall but you don’t have a hammer, so you use the heel of a shoe or some other heavy object. 

These inefficient operations and misapplications will eventually catch up to you in the long run and cause business disruption. That reason alone is why it’s best to implement functional and effective processes to make operations run smoother, which will, in turn, boost employee productivity and sales

Take a look at how you can work smarter and not hard through streamlined business processes. 

Analyze The Processes You Currently Have In Place 

The only way you’re going to know how to improve your current processes is to take a deeper look at the processes you’re currently working under. Start out by looking at what’s currently working for your business (there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it’s unnecessary). You also want to be careful in this area because if you present too much change all at once, it can be overwhelming to your employees. 

A big help in determining areas of weakness in your business will be to let your employees tell you. You may have systems in place, but for your employees following those processes, they’ve more than likely discovered easier ways to get the job done in less time and with less confusion. Have them fill out a survey or even set out a suggestion box for them to state ways to streamline certain processes. No one will know better than your employees, who are actually using the business processes. 

Invest In New Technology 

A lot of people don’t like change, especially when it comes to technology and automation. Lots of businesses have repetitive processes that can indeed be replaced by automation. Studies have shown that there have been 800 million jobs lost due to automation, meaning many people’s roles could potentially be replaced with the right systems in place. 

As a business owner, this may be hard for you to do, but you’re running a business; it’s nothing personal. There are programs like JD Edwards Software specifically designed to take the “middle man” out of certain processes, allowing for a more efficient way to manage supply chain, view reports, and manage financials (among many other things), all in one enterprise resource planning application. 

This will require employees to learn this application system so this won’t mean terminating a large volume of your employees but it could mean crosstraining to help your employees grow in other areas that were replaced by technology. 

This introduction to new technology and the streamlined processes they produce is ultimately creating new job opportunities for your business. As you move forward in your hiring, these streamlined processes will become the standard of operations for new hires. 

Evaluate And Document Progress Made 

Despite having analyzed your weak areas in the beginning, it’s still a matter of trial and error. For every new process you implement, keep track of it by watching the numbers and talking to your employees to see how they like the change or if they even notice one. This is what’s going to help you determine whether or not the changes you’ve made are more efficient than the previous way things were done. 

Improving work efficiency in your business doesn’t have to be painful or drawn-out. By taking the time to do a thorough evaluation of your business’ areas of improvement, the streamlined processes you put in place will be able to reveal whether or not they work. Engaging with your employees on the matter will give you another angle of perspective to go on as well as from a systematic view as well. 

If you see that your business can be more efficient in certain areas, don’t just “make do” with your current processes, especially for financial reasons. Your investment in efficiency today will pay off in the long run of running your business.

Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer, Partners, & Blog Outreach Services