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Do Your Business Processes Need a Spring Cleanup? Ask These 4 Questions

Here are 4 questions to help determine if your business processes are working across the enterprise or if you need to do some spring cleaning to make the most of 2015.

Spring is here (for us Northeasterners it couldn’t have come soon enough). What better time to review your business processes and determine if they are really working across the enterprise. Ask yourself these 4 questions to see how much spring cleaning you really need to do to make the most of 2015:

No. 1 - Is your communication centralized?
Whether your team is in one office or 12, across the hall or across the globe, there is no substitute for efficient communication. With mobile technology you can meet just about anytime, anywhere and get it done.

But what about the data, documents and deliverables from your meeting? Is everyone working from the same information and if not, why? Ensuring the security and efficient management of data and documents should be at the top of your priority list. New cloud-based document management systems can help ensure all of your important business documentation is centrally stored and securely shared, as well as protected in the event of a disaster for complete business continuity. You not only improve visibility and streamline communication, but empower all employees from all departments and offices with the tools to store, manage, track and share pertinent information from one secure location. With all parties working from the same versions of documents, there is less room for error and more time to focus on the matter at hand.  

READ MORE: Top Ten Proven Tips to Maximize Uptime and Boost Performance 

No.2 - Do you have accountability for all of your business processes?
He said, she said — none of that matters when you have an unhappy client or customer. If you already have a system in place for managing tasks and assignments, that is a good first step. One of the best emerging trends in business is the power to transform raw data into a more collaborative and useful set of tools.

When you automate your workflow you instantly know who is responsible at every stage of a business process. Take Accounts Payable processing for example. With automation, from procurement to purchase order to payment — you have the ability to see where the invoice is and who has accountability for advancement of the invoice. Dashboards identify individual contributors and provide a clear, transparent view into what (or who) may be hindering your overall process. You can identify bottlenecks before they become a bigger headache, see which items are outstanding and take steps to correct errors. Improving your overall resource management is simply easier with the right technology.  

No. 3 - What are your KPIs? 
With companies expanding their geographic reach or diversifying offerings, it can be increasingly difficult to coordinate data, generate reports and analyze your findings. So how do you measure performance? 

Business process automation tools that provide a more centralized view of your enterprise by automatically collecting and presenting workflow data  delivers the added transparency to interpret and make informed decisions. With identifiable KPI’s, your business can utilize accurate, real-time information on everything from employee performance to operational efficiency.

In a recent research report conducted by Aberdeen Group, Research Director Nick Castellina found that “…organizations with business process optimization and change applications have the enhanced ability to design, alter and implement processes… are able to drive improvements in a variety of key performance metrics.”

No.4 - What about change management and your ability to improve your processes?
How easily can you adapt to changes in your business? In an increasingly competitive global environment, putting the right information in front of the right person at the right time is of critical importance. Streamlining your businesses processes enables you to gain insight, improve performance, identify growth trends and manage mistakes.

Castellina also stated, “Organizations with process optimization and change applications saw a 12 percent improvement in profit margins over the past two years. This is all because their processes, the foundation of their organization, are becoming more effective.”

With the right technology in place, you can take a business process, design an efficient combination of workflows, analyze progress, review the data and rework any issues based on actual performance.  What may seem overwhelming at first can be made simple with the right tools and technologies. There is no better time to start reviewing, revising and reworking the inefficiencies that are holding you back.

Jeff Frankel is Executive Vice President and Principal at docSTAR.