The majority of the clients I serve are businesses that are experiencing growth. While growth for a business is exciting, it can also be overwhelming if your processes can’t keep up with the demand. The processes that worked well for your $10M business, often don’t work when you’re a $40M business, and the processes that worked for your $40M business, often don’t work when you’re a $100M business, and so on.
For sustained profitability, you must be able to evolve your processes as your business grows, but how do you know which processes are working and when to fix them? In my experience, there are 3 major red flags of a broken process:
1. The process isn't being followed
Policies and process guidelines are often put into place with good intentions, but when demand is high and resources are stretched, well-intentioned employees will often circumvent these policies and guidelines to expedite the process. If this is occurring on a regular basis, the process is broken and needs to be reevaluated.
2. Exceptions are a headache
Some broken processes work well under normal conditions, but when something falls outside of the norm it wreaks havoc. A work order is missing a key field, a customer wants something shipped via an alternative carrier, a bill needs to be paid via international wire instead of check, etc. If these situations can’t be handled without causing an unnecessary fire drill, then the process is broken.
3. Errors are common
As a business grows and demand on resources increases, so do errors if a good process isn’t in place or it has been outgrown. Customers are receiving the wrong quantity, bills are being double paid, orders are getting lost, etc. These are clear indicators that your process is broken.
If one or more of your processes is broken, now what? My next blog post will focus on how to fix your broken process…stay tuned!
Feel free to reach out if you have specific questions with regards to this blog.