Streamlining business processes: 5 key factors

By definition, the act of streamlining business processes aims to increase an organization’s efficiency by simplifying tasks, bypassing unnecessary steps and cutting waste, all by using the most modern process modeling techniques.

Easy to say, but not so easy to do.

How can you discover what to simplify or eliminate?
And, how do you know which tasks need to be more efficient?

In order to encourage a company in streamlining business processes, you must attentively consider 5 key points.

See: BPM strategy and the concept of process management

The 5 secrets to streamlining business processes

Most companies aim to maximize profit.

And even those who work for humanitarian causes, or who are non-profit organizations, or even those who carry out the task of spreading ideas, use processes with entrances and exits.

For these organizations to thrive, process modeling must ensure that the sum of all resources employed in the value chain is less than the end result delivered to a consumer or to society.

In other words, each step of the process must add value to it so that the final product (or service) is recognized as something of value.

This is what the first key point in streamlining business processes is about.

Check out: Business process controls: Promote internal collaboration

1- Value chain analysis

The process chain is divided into tasks. The first thing to do in determining if there are any tasks that can be eliminated or should be improved, is to analyze how much value they add to the process.

For example, for a brand of designer perfumes, the layout of the packaging and the creation of the logo add a lot of value to the final product.

They must ensure to carry out these steps with maximum efficiency.

For an otherwise market positioned perfume brand, focused on low prices, these stages of the process are not as important. They could even outsource the creation of the logo, which simplifies the process.

Likewise, instead of maintaining a team of designers specializing in creating packaging, the company can use standard packaging offered in the market, which eliminates all these steps in the process.

2- The automation of repetitive tasks

For both of the business examples we’ve given above, once you’ve decided on the packaging label design, it will most likely be much more economical and efficient to use a machine and automate the labeling process.

Therefore, repetitive tasks should be automated [as in the case of weighing, filling, packaging and others].

However, if a repetitive task is also responsible for adding high value to the chain, it may be better not to automate it.  Consider high-class restaurants, where specialized chefs do the same dishes, according to the same recipes, everyday.

3- Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks are those points in your chain that you should definitely focus on when streamlining business processes because they “block” workflow.

This usually occurs because of the lack of access to resources, such as materials, information or services, or due to technical inability of personnel as well as equipment deficiencies.

Learn more: Process Bottleneck Analysis: Answer these 4 questions

4- Analyzing handoffs

Whenever one system or person passes information from one to another, it is a handoff process.

This process carries the risk of somebody passing the information incorrectly or late, which can lead to bottlenecks or errors.

Hence the need to look after them and, if necessary, to automate them.

See more details about this in this post: Handoff strategies: Convert these procedures into results

5- Moments of truth

One of the fundamental points of any process is the one when the final customer makes contact with it.

Think about selling a new car, with zero kilometers, at a dealership.

Great brands, especially, develop a whole process, almost a ritual, so that this magic moment is perfect. It becomes a cause of satisfaction and remembrance in the client’s mind for the rest of their life.

See another article on this topic: Process mapping and analysis techniques: 3 business improvement methods

Streamlining business processes is a meticulous task that requires a lot of study and teamwork.

With this in mind, a collaborative, cloud-based tool with access across multiple mobile devices can be a great help.

Get to know HEFLO: a free and fully intuitive BPMN tool.

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