The Power Of The Cloud To Systemise And Automate Your Business Processes
Which image reminds you most of your business systems? Be honest now! Are your systems clearly designed across all your business functions such that everyone knows what’s going on, integrated where possible so data is not entered twice nor duplicated and as automated as possible to save cost and get predictable processes? Or have they been hobbled together over time in a haphazard way sown together like Frankenstein with non matching body parts from who knows where!
Business Process Reengineering is how large companies redesign their core business processes to achieve major improvements in productivity and quality. These processes are then implemented and automated on very expensive Enterprise level ERP solutions (Enterprise Resource Planning) across the whole business on software platforms such as SAP etc. These processes and technology give large business massive competitive advantage which small business find it hard to compete with……until now.
The Power of The Cloud makes it possible for SME’s to fight back and integrate and automate their businesses in ways in which only 5 years ago would have been unthinkable.
If you’re interested in streamlining your business and making it more effective and efficient using technology here’s a few thoughts as to how you might approach it.
1. Develop a high level view of your systems across all the business functions
Frankenstein systems are developed piecemeal, by different people according to immediate and tactical needs with no over-arching plan in mind. If you built a house like that it would be a mess. Business design is no different.
Okay, so what are the core business functions. Here at BGS we analyse the Operating functions of a business as Advertising, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, HR and Other. Use whatever works for you.
We’d then suggest you plot a high-level Process Map of what your core systems and processes are in each area. Here is one we prepared earlier.
Here you can see our core systems with some colour coding of who has overall responsibility for that process and system.
There are lots of apps which can do this sort of mapping but we find https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/process-mapping very easy to use.
2. Highlight the linkages between the systems and where the greatest opportunities for integration and automation may exist
Once you have a picture on one page of your key systems you can then start to look at the ways they do and don’t link and where the biggest bang for the buck may be for you to re-engineer your processes. Here’s a more detailed example of one we’ve done which has given us clarity as to how to redesign our own processes.
3. Identify priorities for action
You can’t do everything all at once, but the visual nature of this Process Mapping helps you decide what architecture you want to aim for and what are the immediate priorities for action to help get you there.
The Power Of The Cloud
Most of the applications that you could possibly want will be available as Cloud Applications. This means you can build similar capabilities as the large companies have at a fraction of the price, usually £10’s of £’s per month. The best Apps have what they call API integrations so that you can join them up to other Apps and when you update one, the API updates the other.
No more body parts hacked together but a whole body being constructed with the end in mind of a set of integrated systems which your whole business works on keeping your cost of doing business as efficient as possible.
We’ll talk in another blog about how Workflow Automation Software can help you strip out work and cost from your processes and provide a highly efficient platform for scale.
Order Out Of Chaos
How chaotic are your processes? We can help you bring Order Out Of Chaos. If you’d like to find out more please do have a look at the video below and contact us if it makes sense to have a chat.