This post is one in a series designed to help SME businesses benchmark their business and create a best practice business improvement plan across all of their business processes. You can find the links to the full series here.
Why are best practice operating systems and processes important to a successful business?
A business’ systems and processes are at the heart of how a business operates. They are how you develop and deliver your products or services. Regardless whether your business is a manufacturing, retail or service business, your processes transform inputs (such as raw materials, labour, equipment, information) into outputs: your products or services. It is critical that your systems and processes be effective, which means that they actually deliver the products or services at the right standards, to your customers. It’s also equally important that the processes be efficient: that that your business does so in the fastest time with the minimum costs and resources, therefore achieving the maximum profit for your organisation with the minimum effort.
Documenting these systems and processes is a key step in understanding and refining them, so that the business achieves the smoothest operations and the greatest profits.
So…. How are your systems and processes really performing?
How does your business measure up?
Here’s a checklist to help you determine the effectiveness of your systems and processes
- Our systems and processes are documented and understood.
- We regularly measure and track the quality and the cost of the inputs to our processes.
- We ensure that we minimise downtime due to supply issues.
- We utilise technology to keep at the leading edge of production techniques and efficiencies.
- We minimise waste in all aspects of our business, and have a constant focus on measuring and weeding it out.
- We use standard operating procedures to train our staff in doing their jobs.
- We use our human resources, our staff, efficiently through skills development and rostering.
- Our equipment runs efficiently, and is maintained regularly. Any obsolete or faulty equipment is replaced and upgraded.