When was the last time you looked to streamline your operational processes?
Process management is a constant undertaking and what worked 10 years ago may no longer be the best practice approach.
Iterative improvement, across the board, is critical for evolving operations in line with current trends and challenges.
It cannot be completed.
Fully embracing this reality will open doors to both improved profitability and expanded competitive advantage.
So how can you, and your company, streamline your operational processes?
Here are 5 handy tips to set you on your way…
Track Your Conversions
This is a given. But the more granular the investigation, the more insightful the findings.
Try tracking two conversion rates. One from enquiry to quote and a second from quote to sale.
They are very different stages of the same process and, consequently, require different skills and approaches.
“Focussed tracking allows you to evaluate the relative success of each stage; allocating resource appropriately toward the process which requires improvement.”
Imagine you have a strong enquiry to quote but a weak quote to sale. Without accurate tracking you’re left to guess why business isn’t closing.
Digging into the detail allows you to identify precisely where you’re losing opportunities.
From here, you can concentrate on improving specific areas lagging behind.
It’s easy to drown in data.
However, companies relying on intuition over facts are playing with fire.
That may seem obvious, but too much information can sometimes be more detrimental than no visibility whatsoever.
“Every data field should be scrutinised and validated.
Unless you’re presenting that data to those who actually need it, it’s not delivering value.”
Your teams should only collect, review and act upon data if you have a plan for its application.
A good starting point is to identify which metrics highlight process efficiency and focus on them.
Data points such as win rate, time at stage and fulfilment percentage all help investigate key pinch points.
From this informed position, you can single out the revenue defining activities which have most room for optimisation.
Doing so will see a more immediate, greater return on investment.
Process can’t evolve through stasis. Every company ought to be encouraging operational evolution.
This doesn’t mean you should be continuously in a state of organisational flux.
Rather that time should be dedicated to regularly reviewing your approach to business.
By opening a discussion with those whom any changes will directly affect, you provide an opportunity for people on the front line to share their own suggestions.
Leveraging internal resource can help shine a light on otherwise unknown issues, ensuring you, and not your competitors, are leading the charge.
“Workshops are a great exercise in providing a window of insight into how your processes operate in practice.”
Legacy processes can stifle your business; holding you back through a combination of outdated infrastructure and stubborn rigidity.
The question to ask is whether sticking with what you know worth the risk.
Opening your mind to new possibilities just may be the spark you need to improve upon longstanding frustrations and streamline your operational processes.
Test, Test, Test
Before rolling out a new process, be sure to test, test, test.
Those rushing to implement an exciting new idea may have the best intentions. But misplaced eagerness can do significant damage should the process change be untried.
Whilst speed is essential to take advantage of the latest market shift, it is equally vital to make sure anything introduced operates effectively in practice.
“Putting a structure in place to manage process changes will allow you to shine a light on areas requiring alteration.
It will also provide your company with the framework to make reactionary movements with speed to stay ahead of competitors.”
Change doesn’t always run smoothly. Bumps in the road are part and parcel of change yet disruption can be minimised through a phased roll out.
A smaller sample size ensures any requisite changes are easier to rectify as well as allowing you to learn which concepts need a rework for the “real world”.
Last but not least, take the time to consider which pieces of the puzzle can be automated.
Order confirmations, task reminders, new sale alerts and satisfaction surveys are all vital tasks that warrant attention.
Yet for the most part, they require minimal input.
“If you find your expertly trained staff are overstretched, look to the steps that can be automated without compromising customer experience.”
Finding areas to automate will improve efficiency and foster a consistent customer experience.
Likewise, ensuring your team are spending less time lost in stacks of paperwork, more focus can be given over to delivering value to your clients.
Behind every automated action is a saving. Whether that be time, money or avoiding a missed opportunity.
By supplementing your processes with trigger based activities, you can ensure your staff and customers alike receive the best experience.
You want your teams to spend their time focussing on tasks that drive growth. Not on tasks that could, and should, be automated.
Ready to explore how Anthill can streamline your operational processes? Schedule a demo today.
July 5th, 2022-