To remain competitive, it’s vital you continually challenge your business’s internal processes and procedures.
Who looks after this? Why do we need to do this? Who do I give this to now that that person or this person has left? Why does the process need to change?
Repeatedly hearing these questions in your business is a sign that you are likely experiencing:
- Rapid growth with the same workforce, process and/or IT infrastructure
- Loss of key staff and/or no documentation of the processes
- Downsizing of operations
- Acquisition of a new business
- Establishment of a new branch or subsidiary
- Changes in government legislation, or
- A long period without challenging processes.
To create efficiencies, you need to clearly understand a process’s objectives and determine what is and what is not necessary. This allows the business to focus on the most efficient way to perform what is necessary.
Surprisingly, maintaining processes and procedures can be more challenging than establishing them in the first place. It’s important to periodically check processes and systems and ensure employees are aware these checks are in place. Training multiple staff in all business processes is also a crucial step to maintaining effective internal controls. Before you make any major change in the business – such as downsizing, making an acquisition or establishing a new IT system – consider reviewing your operations.