Process Improvement

  • Are repeated operational errors affecting sales revenue?
  • Is it difficult to determine what causes the disconnect between overall strategy and operational results?
  • Do you struggle to be flexible enough to meet the needs of all your customers?
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Business process improvement is a term that has become quite common place. We use it to describe what needs to take place when implementing new technology systems, we refer to it when we make simple changes in how work is performed, we associate it with 6 Sigma, TQM, Lean Systems, and more.

At first glance, it may appear that improving how work gets done (processes) may be an easy task.  Although, we find that our outcomes do not always meet are expectations. Identifying what is actually happening in the day to day operations is hard enough while viewing the interactions between activities just adds another level of complexity. It is critical to view each process as part of the overall system and not in isolation.

The goal is to improve the system by reducing inefficiencies and increasing flexibility to meet/exceed customer needs, thereby enhancing competitiveness.

Every organization is comprised of processes and each process has a purpose. However, every activity within the process may not sufficiently support or enhance the objective. When reviewing opportunities for improvement, ask questions such as:

  • Do we understand the purpose and activity of every step of the process?

  • What are the major constraints of the system?

  • Is each activity providing value?

  • Are there opportunities for automation?

  • What additional resources could be used to enhance the outcomes?

  • Is the sequence of activities optimized?

  • Are there redundancies?...

Improving processes involves reviewing: people considerations, equipment usage, external resources, information systems, procedures, inter-department interactions, strategy alignment, organizational culture -- everything that contributes to the outcome of a process.

It is essential that a systematic approach be used when evaluating business processes.  A lack of patience, time, or information all contribute to divert from a systematic approach. Without good data about the current process and its interdependencies it will be difficult to provide sustaining and productive improvements to the process.

Every step of a process that is eliminated or enhanced, creates added time to focus efforts in other value adding activities. If you add up all of the time savings over a period of time, you will see that it can equate to large times savings -- as if staff were added without the costs.

Improving business processes should become a way of life where continuous improvement is the norm.

Interactive Consulting Services include:

  • Process assessment and evaluation - identifying opportunities and your best practices   

  • Process redesign and deployment - enhancing the alignment of process and strategy, optimally utilizing resources, managing change



Improving how work gets done

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