Process improvement, also known as business process improvement, refers to the practice of finding ways to make existing processes faster, more efficient, and more reliable. This practice should be considered as an ongoing exercise, rather than a one-time action.
What can process improvement do for your business?
If your business processes take a long time to complete, require more resources than planned for, or produce inconsistent results, you’re likely experiencing a process breakdown that’s making your business operations less effective.
If any of these issues sound familiar, it may be time for a process improvement plan. There are several ways process improvement can benefit your business, including:
- Time savings. One of the most fundamental benefits of process improvement is a decrease in the time it takes to complete tasks through streamlining and reducing the number of steps involved.
- Better results. Process improvement leads directly to better results, like enhanced employee performance or clearer process milestones and tasks.
- Improved customer satisfaction. More responsive customer service, delivering the highest quality products, and hitting your deadlines: it’s all possible with process improvement and can help improve customer outcomes across the board.
- Increased transparency and alignment. Understanding and clarifying all stages in a process ensures that all your team members know their responsibilities, and it makes it easy for them to share information and collaborate efficiently.
- Reduced waste. Cutting out redundant steps or entire processes that consume valuable resources is an easy and effective way to ensure you’re wasting as little time and money as possible.
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What is an example of process improvement?
In order to understand the effectiveness of a process improvement, consider the customer onboarding process.
Automate your process improvement with the right software
BPM software can easily produce and customize workflow diagrams using a workflow management platform, rather than laboriously creating them by hand — a key part of analyzing your existing process and determining where improvements are needed. By mapping and codifying workflows in the platform, you can ensure that your results are more consistent, as everyone will be able to easily find and follow the same standardized procedure.
Plus, manual tasks, like sending out emails, can be fully or partially automated. For example, when an event — like adding a new customer to the onboarding process — happens, it can automatically trigger another event to follow automatically, such as a welcome email being shared with the new customer.
Inefficient or inaccurate processes cost businesses up to $1 trillion each year. Process improvements can solve that.