In today’s fast-paced business world, the establishment and maintenance of efficient processes are vital. These processes, ranging from project execution to customer engagement, are the foundation of any successful organization.
Since we are talking about process, I figured we can begin with the definition of the word process: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
So there should be a set of actions that get done, and when they do, they have a specific outcome. In order to improve a process we need to start with a clear explanation of what is the outcome that is expected from the actions someone is expected to take. This helps everyone understand if they are achieving that particular end (or outcome) and not get too narrow-focused on the actions, forgetting the reason they are doing it in the first place. Then there should be a set of actions that get done which result in that outcome.
This can seem super simple, but is often overlooked when trying to work these things out in a business and so people spend a lot of time doing busy work that doesn’t actually lead to the outcomes you want.
Now, let’s look at the role that software plays.
Is software THE solution?
Software people will tell you that software is the solution to efficiency of processes. We have plenty of people in our own company who are part of our software division. They love what they do and do a great job.
But, the question is, “Is software THE solution to business efficiency?”
The answer is no.
Software is a reflection of what happens in a business
The first step towards process enhancement is identifying the areas you are going to work on the processes for and looking at them as a flow. We have a graphic we use in our company to show how a business flows from a lead through sales, delivery of products or services, collecting reviews and repeating this process:
Establishing the Process
So when you want to improve the efficiency in a business, start with outlining what needs to happen in real life. As you do this, you will find points of confusion, questions, decisions that shouldn’t have to be made (because a process should have been established for it) etc.
You will need to get these actually cleared up first. When you do this, your efficiency will improve right away. When that has been worked out, then software can be applied to the processes and allow you magnify the results of having worked out the processes.
Areas of Efficiency
Every single part of a business has processes. Just to give you an idea, here are some areas of a business you might have been thinking about and some that you might not have been thinking about requiring processes and efficiency:
- Delivery and Fulfillment
- Inventory Management
- Executive Duties
Using Software for Efficiency
Now that you have clearly defined the processes that need to happen, you can start to look at how software will help you with the structure of those processes.
There are many existing software tools out that can be used, or in some cases, you may decide to build your own.
Going back to the flow graphic that we shared above, our recommendation is to implement the software tools that will help you actually implement the flow that you have in your business.
Keeping this in mind will help you not waste a lot of time trying to use software to overcome the lack of process and allow you to actually have success in improving your efficiency.
If you have any questions, or like to schedule a call with Claire, VP of Sales, click here