I recently had a table at a Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Expo. It was a great event and fabulous resources for the attendees as well as quality workshops. Wonderful to be part of that. One area I was talking to the attendees about was rapid unmanaged growth. As someone who was also involved with the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program I have heard my share of horror stories including established businesses going under while performing a contract. Go on the offense not the defense and prepare for the projected growth by evaluating your workflow from lead to delivery.
Below are the areas you will want to review and address to streamline your processes and procedures:
- How long is it currently taking for a customer’s order/service to be processed? What is the time frame the customer requires? How much difference is there between the two? If there is a shortfall this needs to be examined more closely to eliminate bottle necks and waste. If you are able to do it ahead of schedule good job. This is a competitive advantage that needs to be continued and promoted.
- If you are having issues with your current processes and procedures growth is going to be a real challenge. This will need to be addressed so you can increase your capacity with the current resources. One way to do this is break the workflow into the phases of your sales process. If you attempt to do the whole thing as one workflow there are too many variables involved that it becomes difficult to see the challenges. Pay very close attention to information flowing from one department to another. Classically this is where information can be lost or stuck. Also the tools you are using come into play. Are you able to move the client through the sales funnel effectively while sharing information with other areas and get it done in the time required. That is your goal. What the client/customer wants when and how they want it.
- Everything you do should be customer centric. Therefore streamlining something that provides poor products or service will not help your organization. The result should be to provide quality service and products which the streamlining can help you achieve and then grow that result. Many procurement officers or purchasing personnel want to see companies who provide value and capable of ramping up at a moment’s notice. Again, having your sales funnel and customer service streamlined makes this much easier to achieve.
- As you grow keep reviewing and adjusting your process and procedures to adapt to the volume of customers. There is something call the Demming Cycle which is Plan, Do, Check, Act. This needs to be the mantra of any organization looking to grow and stay on top in the market place.
- Empower your employees who are doing the day to day to provide solutions and quality improvements that can help you maintain customer satisfaction while growing. Create a mechanism for the information to be shared so everyone can reap the benefits of a good idea.
All of this can seem daunting however how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time. I would also recommend checking out your industry trade publication. They have targeted articles on how to do business and what improvements are coming down the pipe. I also invite you to peruse my blog that contains articles on how to resolve workflow issues at www.ProdutiveSynergy.biz We also offer a FREE one hour Growth Potential Assessment valued at $500. To learn more visit www.CrollProductiveSynergy.com/GrowthPotentialAssessment Cynthia Marsh-Croll is an Operations Productivity Specialist and can be reached at 845-649-2778 or cmc@CrollProductiveSynergy.com