With the competitiveness that exists in the market today, what defines which companies will thrive and which ones will disappear is their effectiveness. It is not enough to have a good product or service if we do not pay attention to the process that leads to them.
Business Process Improvement (BPI) is a concept that aims to improve a company by improving its processes. It results in increased revenue, cost-cutting, waste reduction, mistake prevention, satisfied customers, business growth and more. It is a cyclic process since there is always room for improvement within a process.
Small business process improvement – why small companies also need BPI
Small business owners and employees perform different tasks. Many employees say that they feel like having many jobs. Also, processes are executed in different ways each time. These issues will affect the process variables which results in a decrease of optimization and effectiveness.
Moreover, small companies are less organized, and their processes are not well defined and unclear. It can let the employees confused about their role in the company and not as efficient as they could be. In summary, Small business process improvement is the key.
How do I start?
Here are the steps:
- What is important to the company and the customer? What needs change and could be done in a better way? Now that you decided which process to address, it is time to analyze it and understand the steps. A good way to do this is through process mapping. The crucial thing here is to describe, precisely, the problems you are facing, and why. Remember, the clearer and visual the current process is, the easiest is to take it where it should be.
- Try to visualize a proper business process for your company. Again, keep it simple and precise, using real and graspable examples.
- Map the process. Who acts in it? What are the decision points? Where does the process start and end? What are the steps?
- Analyze your map. Is there any task that you can eliminate? Is something being done twice? Is everyone necessary?
- Now, draw a new map with the process as it should be, the future process (TO BE process).
- Run the process and execute the improvements in a systemic and continuous manner.
There are a few matters to remember when implementing small business process improvement. It is important that the people that work with this process are involved in the business process improvement since they have an inside vision that will help the process. Also, the leaders must set the example and be the first to follow the improved process.
These improvements will also help the communication inside the company. If one employee understands what the other does, the processes will flow better, the performers will be happier, and the company will be healthier.
Small business process improvement benefits
By using process improvement on small businesses, the activities flow naturally and in the most efficient way. For this reason, it’s possible to:
- Avoid errors.
- Cut costs and wastage, increase profitability.
- Better the communication between sectors and people.
- Deliver value to customers.
- Be sure that the product or service is going to be delivered to the client with efficiency and efficacy.
It is important to highlight that the small business process improvement is a continuous method. It must be implemented and followed through. There is always an aspect of the process to improve and better. Improvements have to be a part of the company’s culture, no matter if big or small since the results are worthwhile.
Is business process improvement possible in small businesses?
Yes, it is! There are many cheap and free software solutions. You can use them to model, analyze, control, map and execute all the processes in the company, resulting in the organization growth and health.
Read about tools:
- Free software for process modeling
- Collaboration on business process improvement
- Workflow automation
To know more about continuous improvement, just click on the link.