Often in your business workflow, you’ll notice that one stage or process causes holdups that slow down the entire chain. This phenomenon is known as a "bottleneck". Long queues form, staff are missing task deadlines, and customers are unhappy.
Bottlenecks vary in severity, from temporary holdups caused by employee absence to more serious structural issues that need in-depth analysis to correct. Some bottlenecks may not even seem to be a "problem" as such, but removing them could help you to realise your full productive potential.
Having a clear, structured overview of your entire workflow, with every business process clearly defined is the first step in identifying bottlenecks. You should know what your processes are, who carries them out, how long they should take and how they all relate to each other. Make a flowchart to visualise what you need to evaluate.
Talk to staff to see who is affected the most by process delays, and what they think would help. Concentrate on employees with too much or too little work. Think about customer service enquiries and complaints. What are customers consistently mentioning in their communication?
Look at productivity statistics. How long is it taking to provide a particular service? Which departments are meeting deadlines and targets, and which are falling behind?
There are a wide range of possible solutions to a bottleneck, depending on the issue. Hiring more employees, retraining staff, finding new suppliers and taking on new technology are a few of the actions you may need to take to fix one particular workflow stage.
But if there is a fundamental problem with your workflow overall, and the way processes relate to each other, then you will need to adopt new organisational methods.
SwiftCase is a cloud-based, business process management platform that lets you configure specific workflows to increase productivity and keep your organisation running smoothly.
By breaking down your processes into distinct stages, and automating time-consuming tasks, you can clear bottlenecks and prevent them occurring in the future.
If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation demonstration, get in touch today.