“No” to Complacency and “Yes” to Optimization Opportunities
You’ve worked hard to get your business where it is today. You’re doing well. You have hard-working employees. You have loyal customers — though you’re not seeing steady customer growth, you’re not losing them, either. Despite a few issues, the business is rolling along. And you’re OK with that.
Or are you?
Sometimes you think you could do things more efficiently. You could reduce expenses. You could improve — if you had the time and budget, and if it didn’t disrupt the business for too long. You worry about fixing something that isn’t broken, because you think this is how businesses get in trouble.
So what do you do?
In this situation, I typically see two mindsets that hold businesses back:
The Keeper mindset pushes aside thoughts of improvement and just keeps everything as-is.
The Freezer mindset wants to improve, but doesn’t know where to start — and is frozen in place.
When it comes to your business, do you identify more with the Keeper or the Freezer? What they both have in common is one word: COMPLACENCY.
For a business, complacency is the enemy of growth and success. Let’s take a closer look at how you can say “no” to complacency and “yes” to optimization opportunities — and move your business forward.
SAY “NO” TO COMPLACENCY
In a nutshell, complacency is telling yourself that being comfortable is enough. You may be afraid to look critically at your company’s processes, to determine whether improvement could help you achieve more. You may be unaware of changing customer preferences, what’s happening in your marketplace, or what your competitors are doing to improve. You may dread changes because you don’t know how much they will cost you – in time, money, resources, and the learning curve.
Don’t let being comfortable prevent your company from maximizing its full potential for growth and success.
Pushing beyond the status quo takes intentional effort, focus, willingness to take calculated risks, and openness to change. Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Shake off that comfortable security blanket
Acknowledge that although change can be hard, the benefits are worth it. You can do it.
Step 2: Start small
Don’t get overwhelmed with the prospect of big changes. Look at how things are getting done in your company. Ask your team how they think processes could be more efficient. Leverage customer feedback to improve processes or key performance indicators. Explore all ideas for improvement — even small changes make a difference.
Step 3: Ask “What if?”
Take what you learned in Step 2 and verify it with metrics. Let facts – not feelings – drive your decisions and actions. Then start asking questions. What if invoices could have costs computed from your other systems, instead of being generated independently? What if you could electronically send contracts, track comments, and gather signatures, rather than handling all that paper? What if you swapped a paper-based customer service survey process for a digital system, freeing up your team to interact more deeply with customers?
Congratulations! You’ve embraced the idea of change, you’ve explored ideas, and you’ve identified opportunities using an informed, fact-based decision process.
Now you’re ready for the next word: OPTIMIZATION.
SAY “YES” TO OPTIMIZATION OPPORTUNITIES
In business, optimization is identifying and removing inefficiencies to drive growth and boost success. Inefficiencies can cause frustrations and slowdowns — or worse, roadblocks — for your employees to deliver their best and for your company to be all it can be.
Inefficiencies can be relatively easy to spot. In the three “What if?” questions I wrote about in Step 3 in the last section, the invoice example demonstrates a lack of system integration, or systems “talking with each other” to share information quickly and accurately. In the contract scenario, the current process is time consuming, error prone, and difficult to track manually. And in the survey situation, removing humans from mundane, repeatable processes enables them to deliver higher levels of more value-driven work.
These three “What if?” scenarios are also examples of opportunities for business process automation – or digital transformation – to boost your business’ efficiency and effectiveness. Did you know Forbes lists business process automation as a top trend for 2022?
Looking at your company, you might find these common optimization opportunities:
- Eliminating duplicated processes
- Streamlining workflow processes
- Improving communication
- Anticipating changes
- Automating time-consuming processes like billing, invoicing, and payments
These optimization opportunities aren’t necessarily exclusive of one another. For example, if your company is using a paper-based process for onboarding new hires, deploying technology to reduce dependence on paper will check the box on most of the optimization opportunities listed above!
Even a small change can lead to big results for your company, while making your employees happier and more productive. Additional benefits of optimization include:
- Improved compliance with regulations
- Increased operational efficiency
- Reduced of risk
- Better resource utilization
- Consistent or more standardized practices
- Increased visibility of processes, from start to finish
- Confirmed quality
- Increased security
Achieving some or all these benefits – and sustaining them through a commitment to continuous improvement – will increase your agility and responsiveness to change as well as your velocity and speed to market. When achieved through optimization, agility and velocity are the secret sauce to ensure growth and success will never be in short supply in your business.
So just say “no” to complacency and “yes” to optimization opportunities — Fahrenheit is here to help you do both.
To learn more about optimization through business process automation, check out our blog series on the Big Benefits of Business Process Automation, which dives deep into customer orders to cash automation, purchase-to-pay automation, and more.
To find out how we can help you optimize your business for growth and success, contact us today. Our team of seasoned, C-level executives and consultants is here to accelerate your progress and help you find the straightest path forward.
About the Author
Kim Moore is a self-motivated, self-reliant, quickly adaptive individual with over fifteen years of experience in project management and operations within the public sector, financial services industry, and nonprofits. Her strengths include being a trusted advisor, using coaching and mentoring, design thinking, and strategy development, with a strong attention to detail, exceptional communication skills, and process improvement in an IT environment.