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Tips on Using Tracking and Monitoring to Improve Business Processes

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A good business process management cycle always ends with an evaluation of the process being managed. That evaluation is how you bring out the best insights and gain more data for further improving the process for the future. In fact, evaluation and refinement are among the most important tasks in the field of business process management.

Today, the evaluation doesn’t need to be conducted at the end of a complete process cycle. With the help of tracking and monitoring tools, you now have the ability to see the bigger picture at any point in the process. Instant adjustments are often possible, and you have more control over the process itself. These tips and tricks will help you use tracking and monitoring to your advantage.

Do It in Real Time

There are plenty of ways to keep track of various processes within an organization or a business in real-time. Rather than waiting for the cycle to end, real-time monitoring lets you understand how the process performs at any point in its cycle. This is a big advantage that not all businesses have, and it is certainly an advantage worth gaining.

Real-time tracking and monitoring are not without their challenges. The data collected in real-time don’t always come with the right context, especially when you don’t have the full picture yet. It is up to you to decipher the data you gather to better understand the process and its governing factors. The good news is, you can process the data just as quickly with the right tools.

Use the Right Solutions

Speaking of using the right tools, tracking and monitoring is certainly easier when you have the right tools for the job. What you need to remember is that not all solutions suit your business perfectly; a system that works for other business in the same industry may not work for your organization as well.

Before choosing an IT-based solution for your company, it is important that you take a closer look at the processes and any specific tracking and monitoring need you may have. Define clear requirements and needs, set objectives that the selected solution must achieve, and select a system based on these details.

Start with the Basics

To make tracking more effective, you need to begin at the very base of the operation. Covering the basics make future tasks easier to handle. In fact, the way you establish tracking and monitoring procedures will greatly affect just how effective the whole system is.

In a manufacturing line, for example, tracking begins with something as basic as assigning batch and lot numbers. The lot numbers – or serial numbers, if you want to track each product separately – have the ability to tell you so much about the manufacturing line.

You can measure the time needed to complete a particular batch based on the lot number. You can also track the progress of each batch from the starting point all the way to retailers if needed. On top of that, things such as quality control are made easier now that you have the ability to identify products and the batch they came from.

Track the Right Metrics

The data you gain from monitoring processes depend a lot on what you actually monitor. Focus on the wrong metrics, and you will end up with insights that aren’t very helpful in making process adjustments. Track the right metrics, on the other hand, and you gain valuable insights that will lead to better process management.

There are a lot of metrics to track in a process. Time, use of resources and cost, and quality are usually the main three factors to take into account. You can go deep into details and monitor machinery load or the efficiency level of each process segment too.

What’s great about doing monitoring in real-time using the right tools is that you can also monitor more metrics and gather a large amount of data. The key here is finding the right balance between choosing the right metrics and gaining more insights on the process itself.

Learn the Approaches

Similar to business process management, there are many approaches you can take when doing business process monitoring. Functional monitoring focuses more on the core of the process itself. It tracks metrics such as time consumption and compares those metrics with pre-determined performance indexes or KPIs. The monitoring itself can be as simple as checking the number of products completed in a set time compared to the manufacturing target.

Process monitoring takes a wider scope. Rather than focusing on specific KPIs, it deals with the overall health of the process. It monitors things like the number of process cycles successfully completed in a day, the number of terminated processes and errors found, and details about these circumstances. If you want to keep the entire process running smoothly, process monitoring can help you gain the insight you need.

Technical monitoring, on the other hand, deals more with the technical side of a process. When a manufacturing line uses machinery, for instance, technical monitoring focuses on how those machines perform and metrics such as downtimes and processing errors. Technical monitoring is handy when you are trying to find ways to improve process efficiency by improving the tools used in that process.

Learn to Use the Data Correctly

There are some really big challenges to overcome when you start using process monitoring seriously. Issues like not being able to identify potential problems, jumping to conclusions without seeing the whole data, and shifting blame to a part of a process are all damaging, not only to the effectiveness of process monitoring but also to your ability to improve processes.

Being objective and seeing all angles is critical. It is only when you can use the data correctly that you have the ability to make fine adjustments and big changes. You already have all the insights you need to make the right call; it is up to you to interpret the data from an objective point of view.

Tracking and monitoring are crucial to the management and improvement of business processes. Now that you have these top tips in mind, you can implement business process monitoring in a more effective and targeted way. 

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Cost Saving Measures for Small Businesses

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 5, 2018

Businesses often operate for the purpose of generating a profit. However, current statistics in terms of the number of businesses that actually succeed suggest that breaking even isn’t as easy as many would hope. Seeing as business is so unpredictable at times, one of the easiest ways to stay afloat would be to keep expenses at a minimum while working on maximizing profits. This could mean having to re-evaluate expenditure and look for cost-efficient alternatives as a means of spending less. Although this may be time-consuming in some cases, it could mean the difference between sailing or sinking for a business.

Adopt Maintenance Culture

To save costs, often times businesses have to learn how to be more efficient. In practical terms, this could mean making the most of what they have and ensuring it lasts. When it comes to items that would be exhaustive to replace like electronic equipment especially, maintaining what you have rather than replacing it could save you a significant amount in the long term. For instance, if you have expensive electronics that you happen to keep outside, then outdoor enclosures could prevent them from getting destroyed in cases of extreme weather. This saves you having to replace the equipment because it’s been avoidably damaged.

Explore Low-cost Advertising

Advertising is a necessity for every business but can be expensive. You’re competing with organizations both locally and globally, so need enough to push your campaigns and gain visibility. However, there are low-cost alternatives to help you save as a business if traditional forms of advertising are becoming financially draining. Public relations, for one, can gain you more traction and help spark relevant conversations around your brand. Some other methods to try are cutting down on paid internet advertising and focusing on getting results by using SEO techniques instead. Even if you do spend on advertising, try and combine that with cost-effective methods as suggested above.

Outsource

It’s likely that you’ve already heard this, but outsourcing can save businesses a noticeable amount. In as much as employees are a crucial element in running a successful business, they aren’t cheap to keep on full time. Some costs associated with having employees on fulltime are salaries, office space, payroll, and insurance. However, by outsourcing and using contractors or freelancers, you’re able to conveniently curb all of those costs.

Review Expenses Often

It can be easy to get caught up in a routine when running a business. However, if you truly want to save, meticulously reviewing expenses periodically is a great place to start. Remember that small cuts to ongoing expenses can mean large savings over time. Completely eliminate anything that isn’t adding to your return on investment and always look for cheaper alternatives. 

Cutting costs is something every business should focus on doing periodically. The reality is that the lower you can keep your expenses without compromising quality, the higher the likelihood of you generating enough profits and staying in business for the long haul. There are always ways to save more and redistribute your profits into other aspects of your business.   

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How to Gain Control of Your Business

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 18, 2018

No-one ever said running a business was easy. It takes a considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears to increase your annual revenue, grow productivity, boost employee satisfaction, and hold on to your customers.

There will also be times when you will miss targets, disappoint customers, or make mistakes that can affect your company’s success. Rather than giving into stress and worry, you simply need to focus on turning your company around. To do so, learn how to gain control of your business.

Learn More About Your Industry Rivals

If you want to enjoy a better position in a marketplace, you can take control of your success by learning as much as possible about your competitors. Identify their strengths and struggles, so you will can spot gaps in their services, so you can steal their customers and become an industry leader. Also, never jump to conclusions and only tweak your business based on facts alone.

Get Involved in the HR Process

It is essential for a business owner to take an active role in the hiring, managing and retainment of employees. Not only must you hire the right candidate for the company culture, but you must ensure your staff receive the right training, rewards and feedback, which can improve employee engagement. To do so, invest in a single-solution HR and payroll software from peoplexcd.com.

Understand Your Finances

Never leave your company finances in an accountant’s seemingly capable hands. As a business owner, you have a responsibility to your company and team to know exactly what is happening with your finances.

This means regularly reviewing your expenditure, revenue and profit margin, and finding ways to lower your overheads. It might even be helpful to consolidate business loans to reduce your monthly outgoings. Doing so will help you create a more secure and stable business.

Take Care of Yourself Every Day

Sleep deprivation, a poor diet, and overworking yourself can all lead to a low mood, irritability, and a lack of passion for a business and industry. It is crucial to take care of yourself, so you can take better care and control of a business.

So, try to eat a nutritious diet, enjoy daily exercise and experience at least seven hours of sleep every night. You also should regularly step away from your workload to enjoy some quality time alone or with your loved ones. As a result, you can lift your mood, improve your concentration and develop a thriving business.

Master the Art of Delegation

If your to-do list is quickly building up, it might be time to start delegating the tasks to other members of staff, so it can take some of the pressure off your shoulders each day. Freeing up your schedule could also present you with more time to focus on other aspects of the business. Plus, providing your management or employees with increased responsibility could boost employee morale, so it could help you to retain your talented team members.

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4 Factors To Running Your Legal Business Smoothly

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sometimes, even if the same drive and values bond you, your legal business team will need additional support to run smoothly. There are many ways to increase and organize team effectiveness; some which require a financial investment, and some which need nothing but a little extra effort from everyone involved.

Even if you consider your legal business to be running smoothly right now, it’s possible there are ways you could be saving time, increasing employee satisfaction (after all, happy teams are 20% more productive than unhappy ones) and producing higher quality work for your clients.

Here are just four ways to run your legal business more smoothly:

1.    Hire or train an employee for a Human Resources role

A strong, well-functioning business relies upon its staff. Team dynamics and individual differences are very powerful, and an organizational structure which is unique to its employees can make all the difference.

As such, you should ensure you have a Human Resources (HR) representative within your team. If you’re a small legal firm, you may not need an entire HR department; most professionals agree that one HR role per 100 employees will suffice. You also needn’t hire someone new into the business to perform this role. HR managers usually have strong people skills, good tact, show no discrimination and are good at managing conflict; indeed, many shared characteristics with good lawyers! Is there anyone within your firm who may be interested in shifting their focus towards HR?

2.    Invest in case management software

As a legal business leader, you’ll have many projects and workflows to manage; likely all at different stages of completion, requiring in-depth knowledge and understanding and background detail.

For a one-stop-shop solution to streamlining your case management, you should look for software to improve your current legal case management system. Hosting everything in the legal process (from online quoting tools to invoicing) in one centralized location is a far more innovative and future-facing way of handling your business. Could your antiquated approach to legal case management be slowing you down? Why wait to increase your efficacy, improve your compliance and make running your legal firm a more smooth process?

3.    Encourage the sharing of goals

As a business, it’s important all employees are attuned to the Key Performance Indicators and corporate targets. It can also be truly motivating to have an understanding of your colleagues’ individual goals within their careers.

A great manager will not only be aware of their employees’ ambitions but will support them in making these goals a reality. Do they wish to focus on a certain aspect of the law? Or have ambitions to be involved in a particular case? Be a good listener and communicator; research suggests that transparency is beneficial for the whole corporate team.

4.    Use collective project planning tools

Project planning tools can be invaluable in the sharing of and working towards achieving common goals.

There’s no shortage of software options, free and paid, online, such as Trello, Asana, Wrike and Basecamp, each with their own way of allowing you to plan workflow; assigning roles and tasks, setting deadlines, allowing project-specific communication between team players.

Giving each employee responsibility for a role will increase confidence, efficacy and strengthen team dynamics.

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Tips For Better Workflow At Your Business

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Workflow is extremely important if you want your business to run seamlessly and get more done. Having processes in place is critical for tasks not only being completed on time, but done the right way the first time around.

Review the following tips to help you achieve better workflow at your business so you can waste less time and accomplish more in the office. Get everyone onboard and trained in these particular areas, so there’s no confusion about what individuals are supposed to be doing. You’ll enjoy how much more productive everyone is and the fact that you’re able to more quickly meet your objectives.

Use Collaboration Tools

Create better workflow at your business by using technology and collaboration tools to complete your tasks.

Benefits of collaborative tools:

-         It creates greater flexibility

-         It allows for integration of the latest tech for your business

-         It can engage employees who work remotely

For example, CircuitStudio powered by Altium is the perfect solution for engineers who need to streamline workflow and want an easy-to-use interface. There are also many different project management tools out there you can use to keep your team on track. The key is to bring what you’re doing online so you can work more efficiently and always pick up where you left off.

Assign Job Responsibilities & Teams

You’ll be able to implement better workflow at your company by proactively assigning and communicating job responsibilities to individuals and forming teams. This way, each person will have a set of duties they’re in charge of attending to, and there won’t be overlap in what employees are working on. Split into teams and divide up the work, so all that needs to get done is being properly addressed and taken care of, without having too many people addressing the same assignment.

Use A Shared Calendar

Shared calendars are helpful because you can see what each person is up to and when they’re out of the office or busy. Use the calendar as a way for each person to take note of who is assigned to what tasks and when individuals have completed their assignments. You’ll also all be able to have a heads up about when someone is behind on a job responsibility or when they’ll be away from the office for a period of time.

Allow Time to Discuss Progress

Short update meetings here and there may not be enough to get the job done right. What you may want to do is allow for time where you and your team members can work, brainstorm and address any questions without disruptions. You can all get on the same page about your progress so far and work on any tasks that are holding up the project. The workflow will improve when you address any kinks and then can return to your individual assignments.

Conclusion

You can easily run a smoother business and experience fewer complications when you have a better workflow. These ideas will help you make sure you reach this goal and are that you achieve more each day. Track your progress so you can see for yourself the positive impact these changes have on your business. 

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