Types of Process Improvements – Which Does My Business Need?

There are several types of process improvements, but which one does your business need? You suspect a process problem because there are constantly glitches in Operations that require a lot of man hours to correct.

Moreover, a reduced workforce due to layoffs may also be causing unique challenges. How do you go about fixing these problems?

The goal of every business is to to run like clockwork and that is probably your goal as well. But what is keeping you from achieving it? BCINC will assist your business to improve its processes so that it can run like clockwork.

A lack of growth means that a lot of market opportunities are being missed. Furthermore, this results in increased costs as the business struggles to operate under inefficient processes and constant re-work.

Without identifying the underlying issues it is impossible to know which type of process improvements you need OR effectively address them. You will only be putting a small band-aid over a large wound!

The Value of a Business Health Check Up

A good starting point is a Business Self-Assessment which is a simple health check of the state of your business

BCINC Canada will partner with you to better understand the current state of your business to improve your processes.

Process mapping of your organization will identify process related problems and bottlenecks in any of your operational management systems or activities. 

The process improvement solutions highlighted below are general. They are simply common process issues or strategic decisions of many businesses that BCINC can help you address.

What are Process Improvements? – Terms that Confuse Many Business Owners

Software for Management Systems

The world of Process Improvement is plagued by various terminologies, many of which are often used in different context and interchangeably. This can be confusing to you as a business owner.

Most importantly, the descriptions below show a key difference between Business Process Management and Process Improvement.

Business Process Management – A method for mapping, optimizing and improving processes. It includes adding or removing steps, re-structuring, or redesigning.

Process Improvement – Uses various methods to identify, analyze, and improve existing processes to optimize performance, improve quality and customer and end-user experience.

Not all process improvement require huge investment. Some can be as simple as providing employee training, building a website to expand market reach, while larger scale initiatives can usually be conducted in phases.

What they all require however, is a commitment from senior management and the engagement of employees.

“If you can’t measure it…..You can’t improve it” – Peter Druker

How Many Types of Process Are There?

We have been asked this question countless times ! It depends on the nature of your business, but keeping it simple is always recommended. Keep in mind that for process improvement, not all processes will need to be improved.

Identify the core processes of your business and those in areas where you experience bottlenecks for improvement.

7 Types of Process Improvements

1. Benefits of Streamlining Processes

Benefits of Streamlining Processes
A Rail track crossing -over to merge with another

Some processes involving cross-functional departments may experience duplication and overlap because each department has its own “procedures” which they follow.

These may or may not embrace all the internal standard requirements you have set out for the business.

Depending on the nature of your business, there are certain workflows which are standard and specific to the business.

If these are not being followed or there are no hand offs between departments, the question is WHY?

Duplication creates bottlenecks that can drain valuable man-hours and material resources, and seriously affect your bottom line.

While a formal management system such as ISO is not required, any business can derive benefits from streamlining processes and increase efficiency with substantial cost savings.

Organizational Restructuring
Organizational Restructuring

2. Organizational Restructuring Process

Restructuring is a re-organization of the entire systems structure and processes of a business. It includes review of the work profiles of the workforce and ultimately leads to some layoffs.

Downsizing on the other hand, is generally conducted to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability so the business can remain profitable and usually starts off with laying off employees. 

A business owner may desire to dispose of a business and retire. Process improvements prior to disposition can make the asset more attractive and greatly increase its value by several thousands of dollars.

3. The Process of Optimization

Many businesses desire to increase their operational efficiency and improve how they execute their critical processes to gain a competitive advantage with reduced costs.

Are you fed up with constant re-work, rejects piling up, ever increasing man-hours and dwindling profit margins? Get out of this bottle-neck with process improvement.

Regulatory Standards

4. Types of Process Improvements – Regulatory Compliance Risk Management

Being compliant with applicable regulatory and client / customer standards whether these are safety, quality or environmental, sets a business up for success and eliminates unwanted risk.

Major non-compliance identified by a regulatory agency, your client / customer or even suppliers pose risks for your business.

Incurring a government penalty, losing previously awarded contracts or a diminished company reputation will set your business behind your competition and ultimately cause a decrease in your bottom line – profit margin.

5. Continuous Process Improvement Management

Management may make a strategic decision to be more competitive in the marketplace, or customers may drive the requirement for ISO certification, preferring to do business only with companies that have the certification.

BCINC can assist you to develop and implement compliant ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 management systems that will not cost a fortune, whether they are stand-alone or single integrated management systems.

We can also build simple, tailored, non-ISO specified management systems to suit the needs of any small or medium-sized business.

6. Software for Management Systems and Business Process Automation

Types of Process Improvements

Your business may strategically decide to implement an enterprise management software (i.e across the entire business) to create operational efficiencies.

This will need an in-depth evaluation of both current and proposed future states of the business through process mapping, process streamlining and optimizations.

Automations cannot be done prior to these activities.

Finally, this will be followed by rigorous evaluation of potential solutions and vendors prior to selecting the option to be introduced.

Most importantly, this initiative can be done in phases.

7. Document Management and Digitization – Going Paperless

Technology is a tool that can be applied to business areas requiring improvement.

Many business owners or their senior leaders are unclear about technology applications, including document management and digitization.

The era of digital technology is here to stay. Savvy small and medium-sized business owners know they need to better understand how they can employ these tools to improve the efficiency of their business systems.

Electronic Data Management Systems (EDMS) are increasingly becoming the norm.

Let’s chat about your Process Improvement challenges (NO OBLIGATION 30-minute Strategy Call)

Types of Process Improvements – SOME COMPLETED PROJECTS

  • Development of an ISO Quality Management System for a SCADA Antenna Manufacturing Company
  • Development of an ISO Quality Management System for a Geomatics Company
  • Environmental and Health & Safety Compliance Monitoring and Reporting (ISO 14001) in Oil and Gas companies
  • Process Improvements and Audits in an Engineering Company
  • Process Improvement and Optimization across 17 locations of an Engineering Company
  • Business Process Improvements For a Not-for-Profit Organization (quality, health, safety and regulatory compliance)
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