Undefined business processes are the one feature in business that STOPS momentum. In addition, undefined business processes cause employee turnover, poor customer retention, slow growth, errors, and bottlenecks. Moreover, you can count on missed delivery dates, poor orientation and training of new employees; not to mention, sleepless nights for owners and managers.
The most surprising aspect of undefined business processes is, there’s is a simple fix. It’s not rocket science!
Implementation of clear, written business procedures takes plain old common sense. Because, the lack of them creates operational frustrations for owners and managers, daily. Business professionals have coined names for these frustrations, like “fighting fires”, “business as usual,” and “$#!% happens.” Sadly, business owners and managers have given in to the mundane practice of fighting chaos, instead of stopping the madness.
Trickle-Down Ripple Effect on Everyone
The one startling part of working with business owners and managers is that the “obvious” seems to escape them. In school, was far from the top of my class; however, when I started a printing company in 1988 the “obvious” slapped me in the face. As a result, it didn’t take long to know that business chaos caused by undefined business processes hurt me. Additionally, it hurt my clients, my employees, and my family.
Please excuse the seeming melodramatics, but business chaos hurts the entire world. It’s true!
Everyone can see the result of undefined business processes when they interact with government agencies. Also, with mom and pop shops, restoration companies, printing companies, service companies, and all manner of manufacturing companies.
The by-product of undefined business processes experienced by everyone is, customers waiting in line, inferior quality products, and unfriendly employees. Not to mention, missed-deadlines and out-of-stock merchandise, etc. Consequently, this causes a trickle-down ripple effect; whereby, affecting society as a whole.
Operations Manuals Absolutely Work
After a dousing from the trickle-down effect of undefined business processes, I read books on how to prevent drowning in chaos. Two well-known business authors helped me realize that I could eliminate every frustration I had in my business. Their names are Michael Gerber and Edward Deming. With the decision made, I set course to develop a detailed, written operations manual for a commercial printing company. Because of that decision, my life and business changed dramatically for the better.
Michael Gerber claimed every frustration in a business is due to a lack of a system. Edward Deming said, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, then you don’t know what you are doing!” Therefore, combining these two gentleman’s thoughts, compiling a written operation manual for your business should be obvious.
Again, I may not be the brightest person in the room, but when the light shines on an obvious solution, I listen and learn! Therefore, with my leadership, we built that operations manual. As a result, with clearly DEFINED business processes, we virtually eliminated errors, bottlenecks and miscommunications. Our on-time delivery went to 99.7% on time, every time.
Did I mention? Great systems work!