Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Become A More Efficient Business
In the workplace, we all have our own way of doing things. We streamline our business processes to the best of our abilities and we try to make them work for us. Sometimes this goes well, but other times businesses still suffer from frustrated employees, overlooked mistakes and wasted man-hours. In this article, we’re going to walk you through one of the ways we help our clients get on the right track and avoid pitfalls. If you’re suffering from missed deadlines, wasted resources, frustrated colleagues or incomplete work, read on. These valuable tips and tricks can be used to improve your informal processes and make your business more productive.
We encourage businesses to start by looking at some of the informal processes that consume the majority of their time. These could be simple tasks, such as data entry for a website, inputting sales information to a CRM or communicating meeting notes within departments. Map out the current method used to accomplish the task, and clearly identify the end goal (we recommend a visual flowchart method that all of your employees can easily resonate with). It’s important to include each step, and identify where there’s departmental crossover or collaboration. Be as detailed as possible with the steps and include other employees if you feel comfortable. Their input may add requirements that you weren’t aware of.
The second step in this process requires taking an analytical approach to the flowchart you’ve just created. If possible, meet with the members of your team who contribute to the specific process you’re evaluating and discuss where there are frustrations throughout the procedure. Ask which steps take the longest to complete and find out which feel the most essential to your staff. In addition to that, this is a good time to ask what the collaborators feel is wrong with the current method, and receive front-lines feedback for how it can improve. Make notes of the conversations with your staff, because you’ll reference it again at a later step.
Become an Architect
This is where you need to get creative and think outside of the box. Take your visual flowchart from step 1 and combine it with the feedback you’ve received from your team. Sit down and brainstorm different ways of accomplishing the same end goal, without being too concerned about the logistics (yet). Really rely on the input that your staff has suggested, since they’re the ones handling these tasks on a regular basis. Make sure that your end goal remains clearly identified as the top priority. During this time it’s good to evaluate how much time this task takes your workforce and consider how essential it is to the core function or your company.
Now that you have several new ideas laid out, take a critical approach to them and identify the potential pitfalls with each new plan. Again, it’s always great to include more perspectives if you’re comfortable leaning on your workforce for input. They’ll likely be able to aid your analysis and take a deeper approach to things you may not have considered. Weigh the pros and cons of each plan in order to clarify a “winner”. You’ll need to evaluate things like cost, timeliness, number of employees involved and potential training needs. Once you’ve decided which new process has the lowest risk factor and greatest level of compatibility, you’ll put it into place.
Note: Keep in mind that some employees are extremely resistant to change. Be sensitive to this and deploy strategies to keep everyone on-board and comfortable.
Review your Data
After deploying the new strategy, follow up with your employees after one day, one week, two weeks and one month (if things are still going well after one month, you can continue to check-in on a monthly basis). During this time, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of user feedback, ease of use, cost of the new strategy (if software is involved), the time required to complete the task and the impact to your customers, if applicable. If there’s an impact to your customer base, try to run a survey or reach out to several affected clients in order to gauge user feedback. Keep in mind that things rarely go perfectly smoothly the first time, so you may find that you need to do further adjustments in order to continue to improve. As long as the cost, ease of use and timeliness of the new strategy have improved, you’ll know that you’ve made a great choice for your workplace.
As time goes on, the business processes that you use will need to be improved upon again and again. Customer needs change, demographics adjust, technology rapidly shifts and marketing techniques progress. If you find yourself becoming too overwhelmed by the rapid changes of the automotive industry, the experts are ShopPulse are ready to help. ShopPulse offers full-service marketing solutions that allow you to keep your eyes focused on the bigger picture. We stay current with digital trends and do the research required in order to dissect your demographic. While you streamline internal processes, you can count on us to be your most effective marketing solution.