Trusted Partners

Processes are Important – its how you deliver what you do!

In a recent discussion with business owners the importance of processes came up, and we rattled around thinking about how they don’t always seem to work. Interesting as this maybe a crucial dilemma surfaced – processes for who? The customer or our staff? Which is most important?

Well, you can decide for your business. Customers are your customers, they buy products and services, and pay you money. That’s pretty important – that means revenue, the life-blood of the business. So yes, customers are top of the list!

Its true, customers buy from you. But do you know why? Convenience, low-price, product quality, consistent service, reliability? Obviously, this steps into the domain of marketing research. Yet when you delve into these issues, they are all impacted by the capabilities of your staff and how they perform. Most of which is dependent on the processes used to operate the business.

So, it seems processes are important internally too. For your staff and how they do their jobs.

A scenario came up – trying to use a courier service. In the local office of a national organisation they can’t always print the required labels for the customer’s package (the customer who wants to send the package). Which means it can’t be accepted for delivery. The problem is this ‘message’ spread through social media, saying “It depends who’s in the office, whether they can be bothered to do the printing”. Messages like this spread fast; and easily overlook the real reason. The problem was the new recruit hadn’t been shown how to refill the ink cartridges.

At the other extreme Jo goes on holiday. Not unusual, they have worked at the company for 12 years. So, where’s the problem?

Well Jo is the ‘go to’ person for those difficult issues that arise with complex customer orders. The person that everyone relies on to help solve the problem; after all Jo has more experience and knows all the rinky-dinks.

But where does that leave the customer – waiting until Jo is back from holiday?

It can frustrate the staff too – because they can’t serve the customer properly. It also takes longer to resolve, wasting time for more ‘regular’ orders. That reduces the consistency and reliability of your ‘normal’ service.

Most issues arise between these two extremes, and come to light when we ask the questions – “Do we serve the customer well?” and “does how we do things make sense”?  To be honest many people don’t actually ask these questions, maybe they should.

What we often hear is rumblings from staff – things take longer than expected, or that processes don’t work well, because:

  • we don’t have the right information
  • we don’t have the right materials/parts
  • staff don’t know who to ask when there’s a problem
  • we have ‘bottlenecks’ in our functions
  • the process doesn’t do what we need it to do.

All of which adds stress for your staff because they actually want to perform well and feel that they have the facilities and capabilities to achieve that.

Circumstances drive businesses to review how they do things, such as scenarios like – the business is growing and you need to ‘get organised’, your business gets new ownership, a merger of two businesses, new technology changes the methods of (service) delivery, profits are falling – we need to cut costs, customers cancel orders, or they are choosing the competitors as their supplier.

What’s better is that you review processes regularly, before it becomes a crisis.

It’s always important to know how you provide the best service for your customers – and create the consistent service they mandate. Advent Management works with clients to provide new insights on your operations strategy, by identifying and redesigning processes to achieve greater competitive capability.  See examples of what we do –

It all adds up to increased customer value. Or when it’s not going well, increased costs.

GET in TOUCH  –  review my expertise on LinkedIn  but it’s better to talk, right? Give me a call on 07500 623197, or email to arrange a meeting – Zoom, or chat Face-to-Face. What’s your preference?

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