Ever felt like your business is running in circles, trapped in the day-to-day without progress? It happens in more businesses than you might think, regardless of size. The good news is, there’s a way to get unstuck and start leading the business you’ve always dreamt of having. At CROFTI, we call it Business Process Improvement – or BPI. It’s not an exciting name, but the results can be!
Demystifying Business Process Improvement
It seems obvious when we say it out loud, simply put though: review everything you do, throw out the stuff you don’t need, and make everything else you do need, better! For us, we take a very methodical approach, starting with the people, drilling down on the individual processes, and asking why.
The beauty of all this is that it allows you to create a visual representation of your business. It unveils weak spots, bottlenecks, and my favourite – the steps you can get rid of! Those tasks that “we’ve always done”, but not sure why. From here, we get to move towards a future state. The Improvement part of a BPI.
Strategizing Improvements: What and When to Tackle
The main goal of all this is to create focus on what to address in your business. Sometimes it’s best to do one thing at a time and do it well. Other discoveries may be best tackled in groups. As part of your BPI, it’s important to identify what will have the biggest impact on your margin, your staff morale, and business capability. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew and make everything count!
How to Improve?
The way to improve can vary greatly, and it often relates to whatever the outcome needs to be. We have a few key approaches that I’ll list below. Each of these are probably a How-To on their own so this is a brief overview:
Wait, where’s the AI here?
There’s a lot of hype around AI, particularly when talking about automation in business. There’s good reason, but many jump straight to AI as the saviour to all their problems. I learnt early on – before ChatGPT was even on the scene – that implementing AI successfully requires solid processes and outcomes in the business first! You don’t want to automate a process and all it’s steps if they shouldn’t be happening in the first place!
Where AI plays its part in your BPI is likely going to focus on the decision-making steps, or content creation. That’s where it’s often strongest and can offer the highest value.
For most business owners, going through these steps feels like lifting a veil. There’s some real satisfaction as we go through these steps and immediately see the path to a business win. Here are some example benefits you can expect:
For us, the BPI is about planning, getting the business aligned to a solid strategy, and understanding budgets and timeframes. This process does not implement the improvement. It simply, but clearly, identifies what and how you should improve your business to get yourself out of that rut. Implementing it comes down to good project management, and a BPI gives the perfect foundation to start your business improvement projects!
Pulling a business processes apart and putting them back together with automation is a real passion of mine. If you would like to talk specifics about your business and see what a project like this under CROFTI is like, you can reach me here.