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Business owners are continuously looking for ways to improve their processes in order to increase employee productivity and office efficiency. This might be as simple as automating your print management, or as complex as restructuring your business to a remote work environment. Whatever your goals, there is always room for improvement when it comes to business. Click To Tweet

Identifying a Problem in Process Management

You’ve probably heard that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But how do you know when a business process is broken? A few warning signs are frequent miscommunications or errors, customer complaints, unnecessary delays, or interrupted flow. This occurs when there is not a smooth process, and employees are forced to piece something together haphazardly. When you start to see these kinds of cracks in a process, it’s probably time to repair them or see your business suffer as a result.

1) Map the Process

Once you’ve decided which process needs improvement, document each step. Explore each phase in detail, speaking to anyone who participates in the process, as there may be sub-steps that you’re not aware of. Consult people who use the process regularly and ask for their input. Make sure you understand each step, from start to finish.

2) Automate

Are there steps in the process that could be easily automated to save employees time? For example, if your office MFP runs out of toner and someone has to break from their work to shop for and buy new toner, that’s an inefficiency.

3) Review

Hold a group review with everyone involved. Ask for honest feedback. What do they think is wrong with the process? What works well as-is? And what suggestions do they have to improve it?

4) Implement Changes

Redesigning the process involves eliminating the problems you have identified, and making improvements to streamline the tasks involved. It’s always a good idea to work with the people who will be directly involved in the process. Their ideas may reveal new approaches, and, they’ll be more likely to accept and understand the change if they’ve been involved from the beginning. Make sure that everyone understands the purpose of the process and the detriment inefficiency has caused.

5) Review

Once the new process has been implemented, give employees some time to work out the quirks and transition properly. Few things work perfectly from the get-go. After you introduce the new process, monitor how things are going to ensure that the process is performing as it should. This close monitoring also allows you to quickly identify and fix problems as they occur. After an appropriate amount of time, arrange for a formal review during which your employees can give you an honest assessment of how the process is going.

A Better Way

Adopt continuous improvement strategies to ensure that the process stays relevant and efficient. Even small changes over time can have big results. There is no process too small to be improved upon, particularly in regards to your print environment, where a lot of waste can occur if left unchecked.

Contact Us to find out how to improve your process management and boost your bottom line.

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