6 Telltale Signs You Need a Process Improvement Consultant
Inefficient processes cause large US businesses 20% to 30% in revenue every year. This can translate into a loss in productivity averaging around $47 million and approximately 276 man-hours a year per employee.
Optimizing your company's operations starts with careful analysis of current processes. This takes time and effort. Often, you may be too close to the problem to effectively identify the issues involved.
Hiring a process improvement consultant could be the expertise and fresh pair of eyes you need. They can help to streamline operations.
But how do you know if this is necessary? Read on to find out some of the signs you need to hire a process improvement consultant.
What Is Process Improvement?
The end goal of process improvement is not only to streamline overall efficiency and improve productivity but to specifically:
- Decrease waste
- Reduce errors
- Ensure standards of best practice
- Enhance quality
- Improve customer experience
This involves the optimization of organizational processes, technology, financial procedures, and human resources. Achieving this entails analyzing current business practices to identify shortfalls throughout the organization. It should lead to the formulation of a plan with specific actions and a timeframe for implementation.
However, process improvement doesn't end there. For it to be successful, it must be continuous. It should also be a collective effort across all departments and at all levels.
What Is a Process Improvement Consultant?
A process improvement consultant has the expertise to guide your organization through each step of process improvement. They examine and map out your company's current processes and then create an outcome plan based on the changes needed.
This involves extensive interviews with management and employees to clearly define and understand current processes. They work with you from analysis to implementation.
6 Signs You Need a Process Improvement Consultant
Continuous improvement should be nothing new to your company. It is the only way to ensure you remain competitive. However, you might be realizing that despite your efforts things are not running as smoothly as they should.
If you're having difficulty figuring out why you should probably be asking yourself 'Do I need a process improvement consultant?'. Here are some signs that you do:
1. Your Customers Are Complaining About the Same Issue
You know you have an issue when your customers keep complaining about the same thing. This could be a problem involving the quality of a product or a slow service delivery process.
It may be frustrating for employees as well. They may feel helpless as the system they're working with may be exacerbating the problem. It may even be the cause of it.
2. Employee Performance Is on the Decline
A system issue can also lead to decreased productivity. But this may just be one of many factors affecting employee performance. It may take a strategic intervention to get to the source of the problem.
If you're beginning to realize that employee performance isn't what it used to be, you may need to consider hiring a process improvement consultant. They will have the tools to help identify the cause of declining performance.
3. Departments Aren't Working Together Efficiently
In most companies, departments have to communicate with each other for processes to run smoothly. This can include regular face-to-face update meetings or IT systems within departments that need to communicate with each other.
In some cases, one department may create a report that's needed by another to complete a transaction. However, if the data isn't inputted on time, this can affect the entire process.
This often occurs when departments have a singular focus that only involves their goals. This results in siloed work systems.
4. You Still Have Many Manual Processes
There is nothing wrong with manual processes. In some instances, they may be necessary to ensure quality control. However, for others, automation might increase efficiency.
Manual processes can be time-consuming and cumbersome. In some instances, they may even contribute to increased errors and shortfalls. Taking an in-depth look at each is crucial to improving operational efficiency.
5. Your Technology Is Not Working For You
Even advanced systems may have problems. This may be due to a simple case of outdated software. It often involves migrating legacy data to a new system that's easier to manage and use.
A business process improvement assessment can determine the best software based on your organization's requirements. It will also outline an optimal transition plan.
6. You're Not Meeting Your Targets
One of the most obvious signs that may indicate that you need a process improvement consultant is that you are continually missing targets. This can result in customer losses and decreased revenue.
Once your company's bottom line is being affected, it's time to find a solution.
How to Choose a Process Improvement Consultant
You've identified that there is a problem. Now, how do you find the best process improvement consultant for your organization?
You must do your research. Many companies will overpromise and underdeliver.
A process improvement expert requires specific skills. Make sure that the firm you hire has consultants on staff with these core expertise.
Look at reviews of their work and even reach out to their past or current clients to get feedback. If they're good at what they do, they should have no problem with you checking.
What's Your Budget?
Once you've decided that you need process improvement, you'll probably earmark a portion of your budget toward this.
However, this doesn't mean you should base your selection entirely on the cost. Consider process improvement a long-term investment.
You have the option of hiring a small team or a larger firm. Whichever you decide, ensure they have the expertise that delivers results.
Consider Your Organizational Culture
A big part of implementing process improvements is managing the change that occurs as a result. This involves proper engagement and communication. The firm you hire will guide you through this process.
They should be able to integrate seamlessly with executives and employees. Ensure the firm you choose is a good fit when considering your organization's culture.
Process Efficiency That Improves Your Bottom Line
Someone once said that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity. If you're not meeting your business goals, it's a saying you should examine.
Have you been using the same processes for years and not seeing results? Even worse, are things declining rather than staying the same? If so, and you've exhausted all internal efforts to initiate a change, it's time to hire a process improvement consultant.
Ignite Consulting is up to the task. Our core group of consultants has over 25 years of experience. We're ready to guide you to better efficiency and help increase your revenue. Contact us today to get started!