February 1, 2012

Optimizing business processes teamed with updating your service offer: A winning combination

In this edition:

This may be the solution for helping your company remain a top performer and stay ahead of the game.

Today, companies face multiple challenges — excellence, momentum, innovation, flexibility — while keeping in mind reduced costs, increased efficiency, and client and employee satisfaction. To take on these challenges, many avenues are available, including the optimization of business processes for operational effectiveness.

Business processes are at the core of company performance and impact service quality and efficiency. However, to achieve their objectives optimally, managers must have a solid understanding of the needs of their internal and external clients to adequately identify the required changes at the operational level and support their core business by offering value-added services.

Consequently, updating the service offer — combined with business process optimization that supports the service offer — can prove to be a wise decision.

Is the assessment of your service offer truly necessary?

Perpetual changes in business, such as technological advances, evolving consumer preferences, the emergence of new competitors and ever-changing markets, have definite repercussions on the service offer.

Based on these observations, companies must regularly review their service offer so that the various resources involved can adapt operations to client needs, and identify issues and expectations expressed by key partners.

What should you look for exactly?

  • Do you have the right people, processes, technologies and products or services to give the maximum value-add to your clients?
  • Has your service offer evolved with your clients’ business needs?
  • Are your team members’ roles and responsibilities known and understood by all?
  • Are your clients satisfied?
  • Are your deliverables rendered on time and produced cost-effectively?

 

All of the above questions should help you decide if it would be timely for you and your organization to step back and review your service offer. Your objective should be to improve or maintain your competitive edge and enhance your efficiency, as well as client and employee satisfaction. Perhaps this approach will enable you to innovate and standout from your competition.

What does optimizing business processes involve?

Achieving your business objectives can unquestionably be accomplished by optimizing your business processes. The first questions you must ask yourself are the following: Are our processes documented and are they optimal?

Analyzing the efficiency of your processes is a key factor of your approach to improve your organization and it will help you develop a performance optimization plan.

The ensuing diagnostic should include the mapping of processes and be based on identifying key factors such as:

  • Process dysfunctions
  • Lack of quality
  • Client dissatisfaction
  • Evolution of indicators (costs, delays, etc.)
  • Process duration (in whole or in part)
  • Emergence of new expectations
  • Defining control points

 

Note that defining control points throughout a process is overlooked too often during implementation, yet this step is crucial to ensure smooth operations. This involves setting up warning signals that are critical to producing improvements.

What should be the scope of the changes?

Continuous improvement

This option usually involves a large number of small or local initiatives that produce quick results and require little investment. In fact, it could become the natural way of doing things. This approach suits organizations that have clear operational objectives and that encourage decentralization to introduce changes into its operational model.

Targeted interventions

The objective is to target sectors that will generate the highest return on investment. The trigger is often a threat from your market or a new opportunity for growth, compounded by a sense of urgency. This involves making substantial changes to the operational model, but only one segment at a time. Targeted interventions reduce the risk of failure associated with change since you are not focusing on an ambitious program that monopolizes everyone’s attention.

Transformation program

This involves bringing about a farreaching change that requires the comprehensive review of the existing operational model and includes making major changes to the organizational structure that aligns with the corporate business strategy. For each company, transformation means something different, but this approach is the quickest way to implement such a change based on the desired objective.

Conditions for success to effect change

Regardless of the scope of the change, you must choose an approach that takes into account the human factor that will ensure the continuity of the approach and facilitate the change by focusing on fundamentals such as:

  • Building and maintaining a climate of trust among the stakeholders
  • Enabling transparent and open communication
  • Involving all stakeholders
  • Validating the proposed changes with the stakeholders
  • Taking into account the employees’ pace and management’s directions
  • Producing concrete results and tangible benefits
  • Acquiring competencies and transferring knowledge to ensure continuity in pursuing the approach
  • Following-up on the work accomplished

 

When considering the challenges you and your organization are facing, you can count on SSA as a partner of choice to help you optimize your operations and business processes. Adapted to your various business segments, our interventions in the field can involve your employees, your operations and your clients. We recommend ringing about change by passing on expertise and knowledge, which positively influences the pursuit of your objectives. To find out more, please visit our website at www.ssasolutions.com.

Conclusion :

Every day, you notice the ever-increasing drivers of change in the marketplace and businesses that remain at the forefront take the necessary measures to maintain operations at the optimal level whether circumstances are favorable or not. The solution to stay ahead of the game is to ensure that your operations support your service offer, which in turn meets your clients’ current needs.

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Editorial

At the start of a new year, new projects unfold, new targets are set and, as a manager, optimally sorting out priorities is key.

Excellence, momentum, innovation and flexibility cover the spectrum of business objectives to be met while reducing costs.

I agree that it's a sizable challenge for any organization.

The current e-newsletter discusses important issues worth considering to make things happen and focus your thoughts on prioritizing your projects and achieving your objectives.

Is your service offer well suited to your needs and those of your clients? Are your business processes optimal and adapted to your service offer?

This e-newsletter aims to outline the key steps to help you develop an optimization approach for your teams and enable your organization to be more effective.

Isabelle CôtéWishing you a successful 2012 and happy reading!

Isabelle Côté President

Our next E-Newsletter

How can you keep your employees motivated?

The link between employee motivation and company performance is today recognized, as well as critical. Employee engagement can be expressed in different ways: attendance, increased work quality, increased productivity, sharing corporate values, etc. The more employees are motivated, the better they perform and that can have a major positive impact on company revenues.

How can you achieve this? In our next e-newsletter in June, we will share with you some insights about this matter so don't miss it.


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