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How to Streamline Business Operations

Last Updated 2022/04/22

Chaos

Do you find yourself and your team jumping from task to task, fighting fires and feeling unproductive? Does it take you ages to explain the different parts of the job to a new employee, because it is just so complicated? Does it just feel like there is a better way? The answer to your problems may be a streamlined business process.

The First Step to Order

The first step to streamline your business operations is to understand how you are currently working. Draw out the steps that you take to complete a task. Break down extensive services into smaller jobs if that makes it easier to map your processes. Make sure that you note down the information that you require, and who does the work, at each stage. If there are variations in the process, then create separate branches to accommodate them. Ensure you include all the people who work on a process when you are gathering your information. Just by formalising your process you are well on your way to becoming more streamlined. Your team now have a step by step guide on how you work. Having a process map for each service will drive up consistency and make the onboarding of new employees far easier.

Achieving Calm

Once you understand how you are currently working, you can start to analyse your processes.

  • Locate any steps that cause a bottleneck in your process.
  • Find any actions that cause regular issues.
  • Identify steps that are subject to SLAs or other customer requirements.
  • Distinguish parts of your process that you can cut.
  • Locate opportunities to batch steps, e.g. group geographically similar appointments.
  • List tasks which are not being carried out by the best person for the job.

Once you have all of the answers to the questions above, you can start to change your processes to deal with the issues you have recognised.

Continual Improvement

The process doesn't stop here, however. Once you have got a new and improved process mapped out, then you need to test your changes. See how your new method works, make sure it is better than before and if not try something else. Keep making small changes until you are happy with the results you are getting. Make sure to review your processes regularly, as you never know when new improvements you can make, that maybe weren't available when you last reviewed your services. Always try to make the job of continual improvement as inclusive as possible of the thoughts of the whole company, and your customers. A diverse set of eyes may be able to discover enhancements that you may overlook yourself. SwiftCase helps thriving businesses, swamped by growing demand, automate and organise, to focus on what matters — loved by 1000s of users across Insurance, Finance, Legal, Service & Contractor sectors.

Adam Sykes