Often firms are acutely aware of the need to reduce the cost of processing internal transactions, yet, they fail to take action. Usually this is because they just don’t know what action to take.
Even knowing which processes most need improvement, they feel ill-equipped to move forward. This is not surprising, because for most firms, business process improvement is not part of their core function. Rather, they are focused on meeting clients’ needs, producing the latest widget, or promoting the latest product, as they should be.
So the question for most firms is “how can we optimize the costs and the service levels associated with processing various internal transactions (also called back-office transactions), while still maintaining our core focus?”
There is virtually no area where this challenge is felt as acutely as it is in areas such as order processing, accounts payable and other departments where incoming documents and data must be sorted and acted upon.
As an example, consider a typical order processing transaction…orders arrive from various geographic locations via a variety of media:
The mishandling or misrouting of any order, regardless of how it arrives, will have a negative impact on the firms’ business, reputation and client satisfaction. This means that orders must be handled promptly, correctly processed, classified and routed to the correct department. This is true whether the client is ordering life insurance or running shoes.
Key Issues with Business Process Improvement
- Automated processes are more efficient than manual processes
- Centralized processing is more economically effective than dispersed processing
- Corporate culture and in-office politics can make implementation of change difficult
Addressing the Issues
Choosing the right strategy for process improvement requires a document management and business process management platform that supports the organization’s global and local business needs. We recommend these steps:
- Understand your enterprise vision, business objectives and what drives your company
- Consider your competition, and what you need to do to keep your business position
- Know how you need to monitor, control and manage the data, whether it’s orders, invoices, applications or something else entirely.
- Consider whether you can reuse and/or integrate solutions you already have
- Have a plan
Of all of these recommendations, probably the most difficult is the final point…coming up with a plan. Knowing this, Paper Alternative has come up with an innovative way to help organizations develop their plan. By offering a FREE Process Improvement Plan to our readers, we hope to pay forward some of the benefits we’ve reaped with our own internal process improvements. Just click on the button below and get started.