How Technology Can Streamline Business Operations
Technology can assist in streamlining your business operations. One of the principal objectives of any business, regardless of size, is to be effective and efficient in marketing its services or products. You can enhance efficiency in several approaches. However, accurately managing a business is tough, and you might be ignorant of when to start applying technology as a solutions to your business challenges..
Technology can be beneficial to business owners by leveraging provincial capital more innovative more productively. Sometimes, applying technologies to your business operation enhances higher versatility and effectiveness. Technology can assist you by giving your business a clear growth strategies you might need ahead of your competitors. However, in others, you may require to make some improvements to obtain the advantages of tech-friendly decisions.
If you wish to handle your IT solutions and streamline your business operations for maximum efficiency, begin by converging your technology.
Follow these four steps to get started:
- Document Your Workstreams
- Audit Your IT Systems
- Converge Your IT Systems
- Manage the Change
Step 1: Document Your Workstreams
Your first order of business consolidating your technology isn’t technical — it understands your workstreams. Grab a primary flow-charting instrument (pen and paper or a whiteboard will also work), collect your workforce, and walk through the multiple workstreams you engage in. For instance, what steps happen when a buyer needs to purchase a product from your company?
Document the workstream by answering questions like:
- How does the client contact your organization?
- Whom do they talk to?
- What does that person do with the knowledge?
- How does that info get turned into a quote?
- How does that quote become a chance to track from a sales perspective?
- How does that quote get signed and become a sales order?
- How does that sales order grow to be a purchase order to buy from a third party?
- As soon as the purchase order opens, how does the product get received against it?
- As soon as the product is purchased and delivered to the consumer, how is that invoiced?
- Finally, how does the consumer make a payment to your business?
Strolling through this primary workstream, you’ll discover all of the silos that exist inside your organization.
Probably, your team will discover your typical enterprise process involves too many individuals, too many applications, and too much re-keying of identical data into multiple systems — ending with information eventually being duplicated and not synchronized in too many places.
Step 2: Audit Your IT Systems
After you have a transparent image of each step in completing a task or business process, determine the applications and IT systems required at every stage.
Document the data collected at every step, who accessed it, when and how.
Search for knowledge silos and overlap or redundancy of data between departments (with suppliers), silos, and systems.
Your purpose is to find inefficiencies and unnecessary steps.
For instance, if a salesperson documents telephone orders in a spreadsheet before handing them off to a different department to be entered again into your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, two individuals are getting the same data into two systems. Can these two processes be consolidated, so just one person (the sales rep) enters the order just one time into one system (the ERP)?
Step 3: Consolidate Your IT Systems
Aim to consolidate your disparate systems to store all data in a single source of integrity. You’re seeking one fully built-in set of methods that allow you to record and store data and run reports on that data over time.
Here’s what this appears to be like like in actual life:
You’re likely working in a world where it’s a commonplace to solve business challenges on the fly with unstructured information. For example, a worker says, “I’ve got to fix this situation or improve this process. So let me go ahead and use a spreadsheet, email, or Microsoft Teams chats to take care of this.”
The worker resolves the situation or looks like they’ve engaged in the process. However, all the data they leave behind is unstructured. It provides little value in the future because getting access to it again in the future requires someone knowledgeable. They must return to that information (spreadsheets, emails, chat sessions), knowing where it is and understanding how it relates to other data.
And if that team member falls sick or is on a trip and unreachable, then what? Again, nobody else has that knowledge or any way of accessing it.
The solution is systems consolidation.
Savvy organizations are moving away from spreadsheets and email. Instead, they’re consolidating their workstreams into as few systems as possible (a Customer Relationship Management System, for example).
These techniques are built-in, so as soon as data is collected, it strikes through the system without ever having to be created again.
Step 4: Manage the Change
Consolidating technology to streamline business processes is a people challenge as much as a technology challenge. Individuals change, and management is a significant component of your success.
The secret is to include your people in the change immediately. Set clear expectations. Then, make your people responsible for the change in the data management system, so they’ll grow to be the change owners.
Sometimes this requires hiring third parties to return and discuss best practices with you.
In other instances, it involves bringing in technical consultants to reconfigure your systems on your behalf. Both means make your people co-pilots in the process: They know how they prefer to work and will appreciate being empowered in the change of these processes. They may also want periodic training and communication frequently so no one feels left behind by the change.