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Why a process improvement strategy is a valuable investment for your business

Why a process improvement strategy is a valuable investment for your business

Synopsis
4 Minute Read

A business process improvement (BPI) strategy can help your business reduce waste, save costs, and remain competitive in an uncertain economic environment. A BPI strategy works by:

  • Identifying the process to be improved
  • Running a comprehensive analysis
  • Process redesign
  • Implementing changes
  • Monitoring and evaluation

We have summarized the benefits, essential steps, and different approaches toward BPI to help you choose the best fit for your business.

Efficiency is more important than ever as your business weathers rising costs and high interest rates. You may be searching for new ways to help your organization run effectively as the threat of an economic downturn looms on the horizon. A business process improvement (BPI) strategy is one such opportunity to improve the way your business works, expedite desired outcomes, and sharpen your competitive edge in a volatile marketplace.

What is business processes improvement?

Processes are the formalized activities that help your organization run efficiently, such as financial reporting, customer relationship management, onboarding new employees, and assembly or manufacturing.

A BPI strategy reviews each of the processes within your organization to help you identify inefficiencies and adjust to reduce waste, save costs, meet customer demands, and improve performance — thereby increasing the profitability of your business.

Still, you may feel overwhelmed by the many different process improvement methodologies — including Lean, Agile, Kaizen, and Six Sigma. We have summarized the benefits of a BPI strategy, tips to help you get started on business process improvement, and some of the most popular process improvement methodologies to help you on your journey.

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What are the benefits of business process improvement?

Your business can benefit from implementing a BPI strategy in several ways, including:

Increased efficiency

Investing in a BPI strategy can help streamline operations, reduce waste, improve productivity, and increase the overall efficiency of your business — leading to cost savings and increased profitability.

Improved quality

Evaluating your current processes can help reveal areas where quality issues may be present and implement solutions to eliminate bottlenecks and improve the quality of your products and services — increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Better decision-making

Analyzing existing business processes can help you gain a better understanding of how your business operates and make informed decisions about how to distribute resources, reduce human error, improve performance, and invest in new initiatives.

Competitive advantage

Introducing effective processes can help differentiate your business from its competitors to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

How does business process improvement work?

While a BPI strategy may appear complex, process improvement techniques most of the methodologies employ a variation on the following five steps. You can get started improving the processes within your business by:

Identifying the process for improvement

First, you need to identify the existing processes that you need to improve. Gather data on the process to identify any inefficiencies, bottlenecks, pain points, or areas for improvement.

Analyzing the process

Next, examine the current process to find the root causes of any inefficiencies or issues. This may involve collecting data, business process mapping, or gathering feedback from both your employees and customers.

Redesigning the process

One you understand the problematic process and it’s limiting factors, you can redesign the process to improve quality, increase process efficiency, and eliminate any waste. This may include adjusting job responsibilities, workflows, or introducing new technology solutions for business process automation.

Implementing the change

Now you can introduce the new processes within your organization. Be sure to provide training for employees on new procedures or implementing new technology solutions.

Monitoring and evaluating the new process

Remember that change management is an ongoing process. It is essential to monitor and evaluate the new process to confirm it achieves your desired outcomes. This may involve collecting performance metrics, analyzing customer feedback, and performing ongoing business process management to ensure continuous improvement.

Different approaches to business process improvement

There are many different business process improvement methodologies, including Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and Agile. We have summarized several of these approaches below to help you choose the best fit for your organization’s unique needs.

Again, no matter which approach you choose, leaders must adopt a permanent BPI mindset to achieve future process performance and long-term success.

We have summarized a few of the most popular process improvement methodologies below to help you choose the approach that works best for your business goals:

Six Sigma

The Six Sigma methodology aims to remove defects and minimize variability in processes to improve quality and reduce costs. This approach to increasing productivity, quality control, and reducing errors can be especially advantageous to companies in the financial services, manufacturing, and supply chain and logistics sectors.

Lean

Lean is a systematic approach that focuses on identifying and eliminating waste in processes to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of your organization. The Lean methodology was initially developed for businesses in the manufacturing industry to maximize efficiency. However, its approach to waste reduction and continuous improvement can also support the success of businesses in the healthcare, logistics and supply chain, or services sector.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

This management philosophy emphasizes customer focus, continuous improvement, and employee involvement to achieve superior quality and customer satisfaction. TQM was originated in the manufacturing sector with an emphasis on reducing defects. However, this approach to achieving quality excellence can also benefit companies in the service, educational, or IT sectors.

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

This process improvement methodology aims to restructure and redesign business processes to improve efficiency, customer experience, and the quality of your products and services. BPR provides a host of benefits to large enterprises, organizations in the public sector, and the services sector through its emphasis on efficiency, performance, and effectiveness.

Kaizen

The Kaizen methodology focuses on making small, incremental changes to improve business processes over time. This approach to business process improvement provides benefits to small businesses and start-ups through its focus on incremental improvements, employee engagement, and workflow optimization.

Agile

The Agile method was originally created for software development, and focuses on iterative, collaborative, and adaptive approaches to process improvement, with an emphasis on delivering value to customers quickly and effectively. The Agile method also delivers benefits to companies in product development and marketing and advertising with its focus on customer experience, collaboration and flexibility.

Take the next steps toward success

No matter how you choose to approach process improvement, a BPI strategy is a worthwhile investment that can expose inefficiencies in your operations and opportunities to optimize existing processes. Adopting a continuous process improvement mindset can help you overcome obstacles, achieve successful outcomes, and increase profitability.

Contact us

To learn more, contact: 

Yohaan Thommy, PMP, LSSBB, CMC, Partner
[email protected] 
905.247.3254

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