Most businesses we talk to find it difficult to prioritise taking time to stop and review processes. Distractions are plentiful, you may not know where to start or you may be too busy with more pressing matters to fix what appears to be working.

Your operational processes (ie: how you do things) are the backbone of a successful business. Efficient processes dictate the activity, productivity and overall success of your day-to-day operations. Inefficient processes not only affect culture and ability to deliver – they directly affect your bottom line.

In our experience, it often takes a crisis for businesses to start thinking about reviewing and optimising of their processes. However, if you are proactive and invest the time and effort as early as possible, many of these crises are avoidable. From small businesses to large & complex enterprises, reviewing and continuously improving your operational processes – will result in greater efficiency, happier employees, more consistent products and services, optimal growth, value adding services for customers and, most importantly, a better bottom line.

So you can see it makes good business sense to invest in your business processes as soon as possible.

So, how do you know if you need help? The signs and symptoms of defective processes include:

  • Too costly – they eat into valuable margin.

  • Not standardised or consistent.

  • Staff are stressed and unable to get work done in the time required.

  • Deadlines are often missed.

  • Errors are common.

  • Customer satisfaction is low.

For many business owners, finding a starting point is a conundrum. Where you start depends on the problem you need to solve. It might seem overwhelming, but you don’t need to take a big bang approach, start by fixing one problem area at a time.

The best place to start is to answer these questions:

  • Does every step in the process add value? This applies to internal and external customers.

  • Does the process produce the desired results? In time, cost and quality measures.

  • Is the current process efficient?

  • Is the current process effective?

  • How flexible is the current process if things need to change in a hurry?

  • Are specialist skills and knowledge required to complete the process?

  • What information systems or specialised software applications are used to enable and support the process?

  • How long does the process take?

  • What does the process cost?

  • What inputs go into the process?

  • What outputs are generated?

Your answers to these questions will unveil the issues that need immediate attention – and this can be your starting point.

However, it is important to note that all business processes are interconnected, and you can only optimise yours fully by treating them holistically. For example, you can map and review the supplier invoice process, but it also makes sense to look at it as an end-to-end procure-to-pay function. By doing this you can see the flow of information across functional activities, who is involved, what systems are used, where silos exist and what specific skills are needed.

Business growth or change, changing economic conditions and changing technology all have an impact on your processes. We can help you navigate all of this, so contact us if we can help your business.

What is the biggest issue facing your business right now?

Are you struggling at the moment?

Book us for one of our half-day sessions, we’ll rally around a single issue, and help you find a clearer path forward. It may be your most-pressing issue or you may just need a sanity check: either way, we’ll help solve your business problem before it gets to crisis point. At the end of the session you’ll have a documented way forward.

If you are interested, contact us or call us on +61 8 9418 3239 and we’ll have a chat.

Advisory Board to support our own growth.

To support our own strategy we have been incredibly fortunate to have Mick Cook and Trevor Trueman join our Advisory Board.

Mick and Trevor bring a wealth of experience to our group.  Trevor has a professional services background and worked for a global top tier consulting firm for a number of years, as well as running his own company building his specialisation in large scale transformational change programmes.  Mick has run his own successful ICT business and managed a number of publicly listed companies, building his specialisation in strategy, operational effectiveness and commercialisation of new ventures. You can find out more about Mick and Trevor on Linkedin.

September Masterclass

Learn more about how to deliver better projects, deliver on strategy and outperform your competitors with our Masterclass that is coming in September. Our proven, commercially-focused consulting process will empower you to get your key enablers – People, Technology, Process and Information – all aligned and working together towards the common goal: realised potential & success.

We’ve moved!

With an increase in the size of our team, we needed a larger workspace, so we have moved into the city. You can now find us at
Suite 143, Level 1, 580 Hay Street Perth
(opposite the Town Hall).

New Realising Potential website

Over the last few months we have been working on refreshing our brand and have launched a new website. We’ll be adding more resources over time, so be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming Members-only content. Thank you to Téa & Paul at Kintsugi for pulling our new branding and marketing together under some tight deadlines.