The Best Ways To Improve and Optimize Your Business Processes

What is a business process?

A business process is a set of related and structured tasks or activities needed to achieve a desired outcome. The best processes are repeatable, measurable, specific, and easy to adjust. Optimized internal processes can boost performance and productivity. In this article, we’ll examine the best ways to improve and optimize your business processes.

What is business process optimization and improvement?

Business process optimization and improvement consist of operational practices used to assess and target pain points in performance or production. Businesses with optimized processes enjoy streamlined tasks, improved automation, and increase employee and customer satisfaction. In short, business process optimization (BPO) gives companies the opportunity to innovate and become industry leaders. 

How to tell if you need to improve your business processes

You likely already know if your business is not reaching internal goals. Though you may not know why, you can certainly put yourself on the right track by evaluating your current performance. 

Imagine a communications department that is failing to meet employee expectations and struggles to keep everyone up to date on training offerings, meetings, and other events. The poor communication could have a ripple effect in all departments. In this situation, a clear, consistent, and relevant method of communication would need to be developed and optimized.

Additionally, your business may have effective processes in place. They may work well enough to keep things running, but optimization is the practice of making something the best. Optimizing your internal processes doesn’t always mean your current processes are bad. In reality, optimization elevates a process to ensure a greater outcome.

The benefits of optimizing internal business processes

A business with optimized business processes enjoys a banquet of benefits. Every process from onboarding new hires to email campaigns can be improved. Businesses that choose to assess and improve their internal processes can pivot the company in the most productive direction. Here are some of the standout benefits of business process optimization.

It saves money and lowers costs

Assessing marketing costs, customer acquisition, production supply lines, and all things financial lets you pinpoint excessive or unnecessary spending. You may find opportunities to cut costs or reallocate funding to another department in need of a larger budget. If you’re struggling with budget, look into where your business is spending the most money. That very spending is a process that can be retooled for an optimal outcome.

You can find redundancies and unnecessary tasks

Have you ever performed a step in a task and thought, “couldn’t I skip this”? Eliminating a redundant step in a procedure can save time, boost productivity, and increase employee engagement. For example, instead of collecting material request forms from all employees, an office manager can create one online request form that compiles all of the requests. So while the manager would receive all of the same information, they would spend far less time collecting and inputting the data. 

Companies can lead the competition with innovative processes

If necessity is the mother of invention, optimization is the mother of innovation. Assessing your company for pain points, weak spots, and bottlenecks that hinder performance gives your team an opportunity to create effective, sustainable solutions. Implementing new and thoughtful internal processes can propel a business past industry peers still struggling to do the same.

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How to improve and optimize business processes

Knowing your company needs business optimization is the first step in making positive change. Unfortunately, locating pain points and weak points can be easier than developing a workable solution. To help, we’ve put together the following tips to optimize business processes. 

Seek out performance issues and assess for gaps in productivity

The first step in optimizing your business processes is to look at what you’re currently doing. Consider goals in production, performance, customer satisfaction, and so on. Focus on the goals your business isn’t meeting. Find the processes that relate to that outcome and assess them for effectiveness. Then, analyze why those processes are not meeting expectations. You may find a simple error with a quick fix, or you may identify a larger concern. 

Test new processes and implement changes to improve performance

Once you understand what isn’t working, you can begin to create and test sustainable processes. To do that, you must first identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to track. Then, you’ll need to establish a testing period. Be sure to give your teams enough time to implement new processes so that there is enough data to analyze later. 

Next, your team will implement the new or adjusted process. Tracking your KPIs during this time is essential as you will look at this data to determine whether or not the process was successful. 

Asses and analyze the results of optimization tests

The data collected during the testing period indicates the effectiveness of the new processes. The KPIs you track should give you a clear picture of the cause and effect of any changes you implement. Examining the new relationship between processes and outcomes is a surefire way to decide if those processes are optimal. 

Make changes permanent with documentation or test again

After you’ve developed effective processes, you will need to document them. Documented processes are like roadmaps to success and benefit current and future employees. If your testing comes up short, you can review and finetune the steps taken and try again. Optimization may take several tries if you do it alone, so don’t be discouraged if your first solutions are less than effective. 

Work with business process consultants like Great Lakes Advisory

It can be challenging to identify areas in need of improvement. It can be even more difficult to figure out how to find solutions and optimize performance. Luckily, you don’t need to do it alone. You can choose to enlist the guidance and expertise of business process consultants. 

We at Great Lakes Advisory will review your processes, identify redundancies, inefficiencies, and areas in need of improvement. Then, we will create new, accessible procedures and optimize established procedures that can be followed by all. Our goal is to increase your business value through thoughtful, goal-oriented, and optimized business processes. Schedule a call to receive more information on our business process optimization services. 

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