If you have traveled recently you know how important mapping your route can be. It’s good to know the best way to get where you’re going and with technology today you can be advised of the best places to stop and potential road hazards to avoid. The same is true when you are trekking towards improving your business processes. We know this that's why we built Stockpile - our free online inventory management solution.
Mapping out your process can help you identify roadblocks, clearly see areas that could use improvement and chart a course that will result in better business processes. Being able to visually see your process makes it much easier to identify your trouble spots, share this knowledge with members of your team and solve the problems more quickly.
To begin, choose a problem area. Even if you have several related problem areas choose one to start with. You may be surprised to find that alleviating the stress associated with one aspect of your business can have a ripple effect towards solving other problem areas. Map your current process. Once you have each step visually represented color code them. Green steps are the ones that happen almost automatically with no workflow issues. Any spot in the process where things slow down make yellow. Use red for those spots where work grinds to a halt. Now you can clearly see where your bottlenecks are. Talk with your team members to identify ways to eliminate these issues. Are there too many people involved in the process? If you are constantly waiting for someone to sign off on something perhaps that person is overworked. Could someone else be given approval power? If not, look for ways to free up some more of the critical decision maker’s time so that they can approve things more quickly. Once you can easily where the slowdowns are occurring it is much easier to see ways to improve your process.
Remember to keep your end goal in mind. Of course, the ultimate goal is to have a streamlined smooth running business but setting incremental goals specific to each part of your process will make them much more attainable and improve company morale as you reach them. Again, fixing one area may trickle down and speed up the mapping process for other problem areas.
Creating a process map is the first step towards improving your business process which in turn will save you time and money. Stockpile is the first step towards improving process. Online inventory management also allows you improve upon when and who can manage inventory because of its accessibility where ever an internet connection is available. Try Stockpile today for free and see how easy managing your inventory can be.