In Part Two of our series on business process improvement, we’re going to look at the impact of having broken business processes. Sometimes the impacts aren’t outwardly noticeable, because it’s quite possible you’re looking at other causes for the problem.
In Part One, we discussed the signs of broken business processes, and we mentioned that many companies think their issues revolve around staff capability rather than process. But today, we’ll look at how much damage a broken process can actually do to your business.
Too much time and money spent on inefficient business processes
Keeping expenses low is important for most businesses. That, combined with sales, is what gives you your profit margin. Time is money, too, so if you’re employing more staff because of clunky processes, you’re throwing money out the door. At the end of the day, bad process costs money while genuine business improvement saves you money.
Finger-pointing and blame
When things are going wrong, we all want to find someone to blame. But when processes cross through various departments and there’s plenty of fingers in the pie, who is actually to blame for mistakes? With bad processes, you can’t always tell, and that’s when people start pointing fingers and blaming others. When all along, it may be the process itself that’s to blame.
Staff engagement plummets
Nobody likes an environment where they’re frequently blamed for things going wrong. Likewise, they don’t like jobs where all they do is mundane, repetitive tasks. Bad business processes tend to create this exact environment, and when staff morale plummets, so does performance.
Customers become frustrated
One of the main aims of running a business is keeping your customers happy. When they experience delays in service, errors with their orders or poor communication, happy is the last thing they’ll be. Broken processes lead to a bad customer experience, which limits your chance of repeat business. Loyal customers are the best ones to have, so you don’t want to lose them due to process inefficiency.
Sales start slipping through the cracks
The other customer angle here is that you might find it hard to capture new business. If your sales team are affected by flaws in your processes, leads start slipping through the cracks. You want your sales team to be effective, but if they’re not supported by great process, it makes their job so much harder.
You’re working with inaccurate data
Finally, think about all the errors occurring because of bad process. When humans are in charge of repetitive, mundane tasks and large amounts of data entry, errors are naturally going to occur. Can you afford to have inaccurate data when making business decisions for the future?
The fact is, broken business processes can cripple a business from the inside out. Staff don’t enjoy their work, performance and engagement decreases and you also start losing profits. Keep an eye out for Part Three of our series, where we discuss why it’s so important to focus on business process optimisation.