Process Simplification: Five Strategies to Improve Productivity

As your business grows, the more complex your internal mechanisms tend to become. For every new team and new milestone, your organization is bound to add a new layer of complexity to keep up with the change.

Depending on your area of growth, growing a business involves changing operations, adding transactions, and adjusting the recordkeeping processes. Although these changes can help you keep up, it might not be beneficial for your business sooner or later.

Why Simplify Your Business Processes?

The goal of simplification is to minimize activities and tasks while maintaining or improving efficiency and productivity. Another aim of simplification is to add value to the customer.

Complicated business processes do not help your organization in the long run. Unnecessary activities add cost, confusion, time, training, and wasted resources.

When you simplify processes, the business becomes simpler to operate. With fewer steps in a project, simplification also improves employee productivity and, in many cases, customer and shareholder value.

Process Simplification Techniques for Your Business

Now that you know the importance of process simplification, how do you start? We list five strategies to help you get started.

#1: Focus on the steps that provide the most value

The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the consequences of a task come from 20% of the causes.

Take some time with your team to lay down your processes and determine which steps produce the most value for your organization. For other tasks that don’t provide as much significance, consider merging them with another activity or scrapping them altogether.

#2: Consider automating processes

There are a variety of databases and software that help you simplify processes. For example, instead of having a staff dig through paperwork, they can quickly look up files in cloud-based software.

Although automating processes can simplify business processes, it could backfire if you’re not using the right tools. Look for software that meets your business needs and ask vendors if their tools allow for customization.

#3: Standardize processes

Identify processes that are similar in nature. For example, there might be a couple of procedures that require your team to collect and authenticate signatures. Lumping them into one process will significantly streamline your organization’s activities.

#4: Hire third parties

outsourcing employees

Outsourcing other companies to do some of your tasks allows you to focus on more critical activities. For example, you can hire a temporary CFO firm instead of having a full-time one lets you prioritize operations and customer service.

#5: Go directly to the consumer or partner

Sometimes you won’t realize you have steps that don’t hold value until you get an outside perspective. Talk to your customer or supplier and ask them what else you can do to improve your processes. You can also clarify what factors matter most to them, which you can use to simplify your operations.

As layers of decision-making, processes, and technologies add complexity, process simplification should be a focus of your organization. Take some time with your team to rethink how you get things done and find how you can improve productivity and where best to channel your resources.

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