If you are a business leader or owner who has been tasked – or have tasked yourself – with reducing costs, your first thought would be making cut backs. Depending on how drastically you need to reduce costs, this could be changing suppliers, letting staff go, or closing premises. But there is a potentially better and more painless way.
Redesigning and remapping your business process and automating key tasks is one way you could significantly reduce costs without having to lose resource or compromise on quality. Many businesses do not realise that certain aspects of their business’ key processes – no matter how small or insignificant they may seem – could be having a great impact on efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, the bottom line.
Here are 4 ways that improving your business process can cut costs.
Optimise use of human resource
Reviewing your business processes can help you identify areas to be automated, tasks which are being duplicated, and isolate where employees are wasting valuable time on seemingly outdated and unnecessary tasks. Streamlining processes allows you to prioritise the use of your resource, focusing them on more productive tasks or perhaps moving them to other departments or roles where time would be better spent. It can also mean that you can reduce the need to recruit additional staff. you were budgeting for additional admin or warehouse staff for a busy period, you might find that through process automation you can move this money elsewhere, or keep it back as cash.
Get more accurate data, faster
Your business process and the way it is mapped to core software like your ERP system is often the key to getting better and more accurate financial data, and therefore making better decisions. There may currently be manual steps in your reporting process that are tying up resource and also leaving scope for human error. Automating these steps could lead to quicker and more responsive reporting, and ultimately, more accurate data. This allows you to more quickly identify areas where spending could be reduced, and make better and more informed business decisions.
A complete view of the supply chain
Documenting and reviewing your processes, from beginning to end, gives you a complete picture of the supply chain you might not necessarily see in day-to-day business. This can help you identify steps which are costing you time and money, but are not necessarily under your control internally. You can then address these inefficiencies with the relevant partners or suppliers and arrest control of these costs.
Save money on ERP implementation
This is an example of where business process review and remapping can cut costs in quite a specific scenario, rather than generally trying to save money across the business. If you are gearing up to invest in a new ERP system, reviewing your processes and mapping them to your ERP usage is a vital step to successful implementation. Having a greater understanding of your processes from the offset will mean the software can be implemented more quickly and with greater accuracy, which will reduce spending on functional and technical consultancy. Documenting your processes in this way also sets you up for further improvements in the future – once you have everything documented, you can measure, revisit and redesign in order to achieve continual improvement. We have talked about saving money on ERP implementation in more detail in this post.
Start the process
Identifying opportunities to improve, automate and streamline business processes is often an effective way to cut costs and ultimately increase profitability before you have to take more drastic measures. We have decades of experience designing and reviewing business processes to help businesses be more efficient and improve profitability. If you would like to discuss a business process review project, get in touch.