The key to a thriving operation? Here are some opportunities to improve processes in businesses.
We’ll help you get your ducks in a row.
When it comes to business, there is always room for improvement. Sometimes, if you’re too close to the processes and systems you use every day, you may not be able to identify these opportunities. While processes and systems vary by company and industry, we’ve identified a few key areas that can be looked at for business process improvement.
The more transparent your financials are, the better. Going more broadly than this, it’s important to have as much information as possible at your disposal to help you make the right decisions for your business. Ask yourself the following questions about this kind of information:
- Is it readily available to you?
- Is it dynamic enough to be reviewed frequently in order to make better business decisions?
If you don’t have quick and detailed access to your financials, consider focusing on that for business process improvement.
Inventory can be one of the main contributors to cost and missed opportunities in your business. Do you know if you have the right items at the right time? How does your order processing and purchasing currently interface with inventory? Improving your processes with inventory can help you minimize carrying costs to meet customer demand while improving your gross margin.
With an increased reliance on remote availability, web orders and retailer interfaces are required to keep up in business. EDI used to be the key facilitator. Now, orders from your website and those direct from retailers are key to being successful now and in the future.
From receiving, to picking and shipping, efficient warehouse management is important for faster order processing and customer satisfaction. If you want to be successful, electronic management, not paper, is needed. Mobile devices have become an important part of delivering real-time information and faster processing in today’s business climate.
Customer relationship management has always been important on the sales team. Now, relationship building is important company-wide. Ask yourself these questions to assess how your business is performing with sales management:
- What is the expected demand based on quote volume increases?
- Can you identify the customer service issues that need to be addressed?
- What is the impact of email or other campaigns on increasing sales?
- Where are orders coming from? Where should you invest to continue to increase sales?
From payroll to sales tax, compliance is important to many areas, including bank covenants. Staying compliant means you are reducing risk and possible expenses in your business. How are you using various systems versus people to achieve this goal?
Credit and Collections
And finally – how are you collecting payment from customers? How can you do this in ways that are more efficient for you and them? Are you currently emailing invoices to customers to get faster payment, and offering click-to-pay for faster collections? Have you reviewed your credit card and ACH costs for improvement, such as Level III processing, to reduce your costs of doing business? If not, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table.
Improving processes in businesses in any way can help you start to improve your profitability, build efficiencies, and increase the value of your business over time. If you’d like to talk with us more about business process improvement, reach out today.