Why Process Superiority is Important

Most business leaders and owners today have a lot of issues to deal with.  Unfortunately, we see a lot of them working in the business trying to ‘fight fires’ and deal with all these issues so much that they don’t spend enough time on a key part of any business, business process management and developing superior processes.

In life, you naturally have set up some processes to make your life less stressful and allow you to focus on what’s important to you.  For instance, you most likely have your morning routine, your before bed routine, your cleaning routine and so far.  The routines are actually processes.

In business, process management is just as important to allow you to make your business the best it can be.  Toyota has proven this in the automotive industry, Google in search, McDonald’s in fast food.  Process creation and management is crucial for any business and business model.   Below are our three reasons why companies and organizations today need to focus on creating and managing superior processes.

#1: Industries and Business Models are changing and getting more complicated

Industries are rapidly changing, from rapid growth to rapid decline.  These forces in conjunction with the disruptive technologies such as cloud computing, process automation, big data and mobile computing has only driven up the importance of companies needing to focus on business process management.

The energy industry, for instance, is making a shift from a hierarchical “cathedral” fossil-based model to a decentralised, locally produced, locally consumed and sustainable model. Facing stringent competition and miniscule margins, agriculture needs to evolve from being a single link in the industrial food product and distribution chain to becoming an organic resource focused on the local market.

With industry development comes a change to a company’s business model and IT. According to an Industrial Defender survey of 134 professionals in critical infrastructure companies (manufacturing, chemical, utilities etc) the “relationship between I.T. and operations is getting more complicated. 73% of those surveyed expect to see either significant or moderate increases in connectivity between industrial endpoints and corporate IT infrastructure over the next three to five years.”  In other words, the internet of things is growing fast.

What this means is that companies need to constantly refine their processes and technology so that they can not only compete in their industry but do it more efficient and cost effective manner as the internet of things grows.

#2: The rapid rise of cloud and mobile computing

It’s not just the proliferation of mobile devices that’s ignited the move to cloud computing and mobile computing.   Leading companies and organizations are rapidly realizing the business and economic benefits of increased sales, customer retention, brand awareness and productivity using these two technologies.  An Eccentex survey reveals that “58.6% of respondents said the use of mobile tools ‘increases productivity’ and 27% of respondents said working remotely makes work ‘easier.’”

The cost of moving to the cloud or developing a mobile application – which Forrester Research places between $20k and $150k – may be a deterrent for some companies. But for industries like construction, it’s hard not to quickly comprehend the benefits of mobile computing and business process management.  The tablet trumps the laptop when it comes to weight and battery life, making it ideal for construction engineers overseeing a multitude of projects and needing accessibility on the field.

#3: The Rise of the Impatient customer

With the power of instant information (i.e. google) and extensive purchasing power on his fingertips, the customer has more power to switch their buying patterns immediately  to competitors around the globe like never before. This makes it critical to ensure all your business processes are build with the end goals of customer retention and customer loyalty in mind.

Live chat software is one avenue companies are exploring to make the shift from static to dynamic website functionality. According to Forrestor research, 44 percent of online consumers rank live chat as the most important website feature. A live chat customer service rep can handle up to three people at once while the phone is restricted to one.

Another avenue is providing customers visibility to their order and giving them information to making the decision why your company is the best for their needs.  When I worked at UPS and later Dell in the 1990’s, we rapidly realized that if we provided real time tracking to customers to what was happening internally to their purchase, they became to trust us more and provided positive reinforcement to their friends.

Many business leaders and owners we talk with think that their processes are ‘good enough’ or that it costs too much to improve and optimize their processes.  For numerous clients, we have proven to them is that it isn’t.  There are numerous technologies out there to help them automate existing processes to free up time and allow them to focus on managing their processes as opposed to just try to keep them working.

If you want a simple example of how easy this is, just check out if this then that  It is just a small example of what is available to individuals for process management.

If you would like to find out more about how business process management and process automation can help you, please contact us via our contact page.

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