Business Process Optimization Strategy, Tips & Examples

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Business processes are like the oxygen to your business – they keep your business alive. When it comes to remaining competitive and constantly improving, having a business process optimization strategy in place is crucial.

In this article, we will expand upon the benefits of process optimization and take a look at how process optimization software can help you achieve your business goals for any of your process optimization examples.

Coming Up

1. What is Business Process Optimization?

2. What are the Benefits of Business Process Optimization?

3. Who Needs Business Process Optimization?

4. What are the Strategies for Business Process Optimization?

5. How to Plan for Business Process Optimization?

6. What are the Five C's of Business Process Optimization?

7. What are the Pitfalls of Business Process Optimization?

8. What are the Steps of Business Process Optimization?

9. What are Process Optimization Methods?

10. Final Thoughts

What is Business Process Optimization?

Business process optimization is a business practice aimed at increasing productivity by optimizing operations. It is part of business process management (BPM). The foundation of business process optimization is the understanding that through streamlined business processes, businesses can reach their fullest potential and accomplish goals.

Business process optimization results in the ability to:

  • Predict changes and overcome challenges
  • Simplify workflows
  • Remove redundancies
  • Reduce errors
  • Enhance communication

What are the Benefits of Business Process Optimization?

Regardless of the industry in which you operate, there’s undoubtedly competition and technological advancements. A business process optimization strategy helps you stay up-to-date on the latest and ensure that business processes are working in your favor as well as possible.

Benefits of business process optimization include:

  • Market compliance
  • Lessened risks
  • Better quality products and services
  • Enhanced process visibility and oversight
  • Optimized resources
  • Maximized efficiency

When you focus on optimizing processes, every relevant party will benefit. It can help to ease workloads for your employees, especially when you incorporate automation solutions to handle manual and repetitive tasks.

Customers receive better service and faster response times. And, products and services are optimized, such that quality reaches its pinnacle. All the while, you are able to allocate resources effectively and reduce waste and redundancies within workflows.

Who Needs Business Process Optimization?

It’s safe to say that everyone can benefit from business process optimization.

However, there are some key indicators that depict you’re in need of implementing a business process optimization strategy. Take a look:

1. Interrupted Communication

Is communication streamlined within your business? Now more than ever with so many remote teams and workers, communication is at the top of the list of priorities. Everyone should understand their role in processes and the current status of processes that they are involved in.

2. Too Many Redundancies

If you have lengthy business processes that are overly complex, they may be suffering from unnecessary redundancies. Business process modelling can help pinpoint if this is the case.

3. Lack of Standardisation and Version Control

Automation software connects all systems, while still offering the ability to have silos if needed. You can remove key person dependencies and add version control and audit trails for compliance. Plus, processes are easily standardised when automated.

What are the Strategies for Business Process Optimization?

When it comes to planning your business process optimization strategy, consider the following:

1. Be Mission-Driven

In the moving parts of businesses, it gets easy to forget about the main point, which is adding value to your customer’s lives. Customers choose your business or service based on the outcome that they receive.

When looking at any of your business processes, it helps to truly understand how the process impacts this said outcome for the customer.

2. Assess Current Processes

Take the time to understand your current process lifecycles and analyse their status. Business process optimization needs to be clear to every involved stakeholder.

Take time to listen to the people on the ground who can share their pain points and suggested solutions for how to improve the process. Before starting business process optimization, estimate the time, effort, and costs that will be involved.

3. Perform Gap Analysis

Compare the current state of processes, or “As-Is State” with what you envision the future state to be. This allows you to create a phased implementation for changes to take place. In order to prioritise the plan moving forward, compare the business value to understand what will be gained for making the changes.

4. Take a Phased Approach

To showcase the value of business process optimization, select use cases that each deliver their own determined business value. Use cases allow for you to determine implementation requirements for process optimization.

5. Utilise Technology

Wherever possible, make use of automation technology and software that streamlines processes for your team. Along with process automation, automation tools offer resources to design and test processes before deploying them on a large scale.

Additionally, you can utilise automation software’s reporting features to analyse how your process optimization activities are working.

How to Plan for Business Process Optimization?

Most processes entail multiple moving parts and people. To make sure your process optimization strategy achieves what it sets out to, you’ll need to communicate clearly and get everyone involved on the same page.

To do this, be sure to align your team by:

  • Sharing the primary goal of the process itself
  • Pinpointing the constraints that exist within the process
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the process as it currently stands
  • Determining what optimization strategies will retain or enhance its strengths and reduce or eliminate its weaknesses

What are the Five C's of Business Process Optimization?

With so many processes within your organisation, you may be overwhelmed by where to start. It’s understandable, but you can let the five C’s guide you along your process optimization journey.

1. Customer-First

Your business only exists because you have customers who find value in your product or service. So, it’s logical to always consider their needs first. Make sure to consider how processes impact your customers.

2. Conscientiousness

Remain aware of your progress throughout process optimization. In most cases, it’s not an overnight fix or change, so be patient when analysing KPIs.

3. Collaboration

Ensure that everyone involved is aligned and understands the goal of your process optimization strategy.

4. Communication

Be sure to share updates about how the process is going, as well as welcome any feedback from stakeholders, customers, and employees.

5. Continuous Execution

The idea of process optimization relies on the understanding that it’s a continuous process as there could always be improvements made.

What are the Pitfalls of Business Process Optimization?

Perhaps you’ve tried process optimization before or are weary to do so because you’re unsure of how it will actually impact your business. Is the juice worth the squeeze?

It surely will be when it’s done right! To do so, do everything in your power to avoid these common pitfalls of business process optimization:

1. Missing or Inaccurate Data

Since you’re going to be improving existing processes, you have to fully grasp how they are performing. If you have missing or inadequate data, then you are not able to properly analyse your current processes. Involve stakeholders and the people who are part of the process to gain accurate information.

2. Moving Too Quickly

You may become too excited about the prospect of improvement that you overlook small details. Take the time to map out existing processes, test updates in small batches, and collect feedback as you move through the process optimization strategy.

3. A Complete Reliance on Technology

Technology is going to be critical for process optimization, but you must not forgo the importance of people within the process. For example, when you implement an automation solution to carry out processes, you still have to properly map the process.

You can choose a tool like SolveXia, which offers a simple user interface with drag-and-drop functionality. This way, you can design your processes for automation with pre-existing action blocks and remove the need for IT assistance.

Along with the software’s intuitive design, you’ll be able to streamline processes, remove the need for manual and repetitive tasks, and connect all systems to gain enriched insights with access to real-time data.

What are the Steps of Business Process Optimization?

Regardless of the business process optimization strategy and methods you choose to implement, the procedure will entail these 5 steps:

1. Identify

Pick the process that you want to optimize. Consider the processes’ purpose and its goals.

2. Rethink

Ask a lot of questions! Figure out if the process is taking an acceptable amount of time to complete or if there are other ways it can be done that are more efficient.

3. Analyse

Review your metrics to determine if the process is meeting the intended goals. Is there anything you can remove from the process, such as wasted steps, time or resources?

4. Implement and Automate

Remove excess waste or redundancies and put into place your improved process. Be sure to utilise automation where possible as it can immediately expedite processes with incredible accuracy.

5. Monitor

Keep an eye on how the changes are affecting the outcome. Monitor and tweak the process until your intended and optimal outcome is a reality.

What are Process Optimization Methods?

There are various process optimization methods to make use of. For example, here’s a look at two popular methods:

  • Six Sigma: This is a data-driven methodology that is focused on eliminating defects. It typically works through the practice of DMAIC - define, measure, analyze, improve control, or DMADV - define, measure, analyze, design, verify.
  • Kaizen: You’ve likely heard this word before. Kaizen is based on the philosophy that change involves everyone within an organisation and the action that you have to take multiple steps to make change a reality. Kaizen is more focused on the idea of continuous improvement, which means that you can always make something better by taking many small steps.

Final Thoughts

Business processes can easily become stagnant as people often get caught in the mindset of, “That’s the way it’s always been done” or “Why fix what isn't broken?” However, for a business to remain competitive and thrive, it is necessary to implement a business process optimization strategy.

Business process optimization often relies on the use of automation software to streamline processes, remove redundancies, and achieve efficiency. To learn more about how an automation tool like SolveXia can optimize your business processes, request a demo!

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