8 Warning Signs of Inefficient Processes
Is It Time to Automate Your Business Workflows?
With the growing pressure for organizations to reduce costs while delivering more than ever before, many companies are looking for lean solutions. From enterprise to small business, organizations need ways to do more with less. Often, the simplest (and best) solution is to automate inefficient processes with custom apps and integrations.
Optimizing business processes through automation is a great way to reduce the hours wasted on manual tasks while giving your employees more time to focus on tasks that generate more revenue.
On the fence about whether or not this is the right time for your business to automate workflows? Here are 8 warning signs that there may be inefficient processes in your organization.
1. Miscommunication Happens Regularly Between Teams
Working together provides excellent opportunities for your employees to share insights gained from a combination of their experience and the work they do for your organization.
However, miscommunication from the endless back and forth can result in missed deadlines.
If you see this in your company, it may signal something deeper than a weak effort on the part of your teams. Instead, it could highlight the ways that your organization communicates are fundamentally broken.
Miscommunication may also indicate that your employees are too busy with menial tasks. These tasks can eat up hours of your employee's day, costing your organization a lot in lost profit, while distracting your staff from discussing more important issues in full.
Improving inefficient processes and automating menial tasks can give your staff the time they need to share ideas, thoughts, and concerns. As a result, your team will have the time they need to build a powerful work culture that empowers them.
Think of the strides they can make for your business when they're focused on developing innovation effectively as a team, not lost in a labyrinth of miscommunication.
2. There's an Increase in Company Turnover
One key indicator of whether or not your organization needs to automate processes is the overall well-being of your staff.
Are they overworked? Are they frustrated? Are they burnout?
As an organization grows, it can be necessary for employees to work more. However, if your employees feel as though they’re unable to catch up or they’re frequently required to work overtime, it could indicate that inefficient processes are slowing them down.
And that could lead to burnout.
With more data flowing into your growing organization, keeping up can become a constant struggle. This leads to increased stress and decreased employee performance. And if your employees experience this feeling for a lengthy period of time, they may end up quitting to find a less demanding position somewhere else.
Automation can help lighten your employees’ workload by reducing the number of inefficient processes they experience on a daily basis. As a result, they can stay on top of their workload and feel confident in their abilities, making burnout less likely.
3. It's Difficult to Fill New Job Positions
If you’re bringing in new hires that run away as soon as they see your inefficient workflows, that’s not a good sign.
Often, experienced hires will come from places with certain expectations. And if they see that your business processes are far more complicated than they need to be, they tend to move on from your organization.
Overly complex systems and excessively high learning curves are two major deterrents to employee retention. It’s not that people are lazy. It’s that they want the path of least resistance so they can focus on their areas of expertise.
Streamlining your inefficient processes with automated systems and integrations can make your new hires' lives easier while encouraging them to excel in their new jobs.
4. Rising Costs Have Become the Norm
Whether it’s from overtime, hiring additional personnel, or fixing an increasing number of mistakes, rising costs can signal that a company is growing. But, previous processes that worked fine before may become increasingly inefficient under growing pressure and workloads. As a result, you're often forced to hire more people to work longer hours to manage your success.
And that needlessly cuts into your growing bottom line.
You can lower rising costs easily by optimizing your business processes with solutions that scale. Reducing manual tasks can cut hours or even reduce the need for entire departments.
As a result, your company will stay on top of its workload, collapse its back office, and watch as profit margins increase by reducing inefficient processes.
5. Poor Customer Satisfaction Continues to Grow
When you begin a business, it’s easier to overdeliver on customer expectations. But as a business grows, resources begin to stretch. And gaps in your business processes widen, and customers fall through the cracks as these inefficiencies expose themselves.
As a result, customers feel as though you’re falling short of what you promised. And they’ll either complain or they’ll leave. Neither is good for business.
Automated systems can help cater to customer demands 24/7. Solutions such as chatbots or integrations between various applications and your main CRM can help ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities to deliver.
6. You've Missed Business Opportunities
No business wants to willingly leave money on the table. But if you’re struggling to keep up with your current customer demand, it may end up happening.
If you’re frequently saying “no” to new customers, it could be a sign that your business is stretched too thin.
Alternatively, if you’re being underbid by the competition, it may be because they’re able to deliver the same results at a considerable discount.
Because automation frees up time, it gives employees more resources to complete more important, business-specific tasks.
But, it also allows companies to take on more customers while delivering results faster and for less. This means higher profit margins and more wiggle room when bidding for new contracts.
There’s an added bonus here as well.
When employees have more time, they feel more empowered to innovate. Repairing inefficient tasks with automation and integration allows them to look up from the “daily grind” and see market trends. With this insight, they can better prepare your company through innovative steps that can give you the extra edge.
7. There's a Lack of Transparency
Manual tasks within a company tend to create data silos. With several different departments utilizing several different workflows manually, it becomes increasingly difficult to track and organize data between different teams. As a result, you lose a transparent view of what is happening within your organization.
Repairing inefficient processes with automation and integrations breaks down these data siloes, giving your company needed transparency.
Plus, you’ll have a far more accurate view of your customers because you’ll reduce duplicate or erroneous data.
Additionally, you’ll gain deeper insights into different departments within your company. This can help you spot further inefficiencies, problems, and security concerns.
8. You Feel Like You Could Be Doing More
Entrepreneurs have gut instincts about what works. As someone immersed in your company, you know where the bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and waste are.
And if you’re looking around your organization and it just feels like you’re not where you need to be, as if there’s something holding you back, it’s probably an indication that your business processes may be holding you back. Trusting in those instincts can help bring your business to the next level.
The goal of any process improvement is to give your business more time to focus on what really matters. After all, you started a business to do what you do best, not to spend endless hours working ON instead of IN your company.
And the key to making that happen is to replace your inefficient processes with something better.
How to Start Automating Your Business
Your employees deserve to spend more time on high-level, engaging tasks. And they need to feel connected to the work they’re doing so they feel empowered to innovate.
But your business also has demands that deserve to be met: reducing costs, increasing transparency and efficiencies, and remaining competitive by delivering on customer demands.
Automation is your solution.
When you automate tasks, you remove redundancies, reduce bottlenecks, and cut menial tasks. With additional time and resources, your team can focus on far more pressing matters and complex tasks.
Unshackled, your business will have the freedom it needs to grow.
But it's not enough to simply automate your existing processes. All that will do is make existing inefficient processes automated.
Instead, you need to rethink how your business operates and deploy streamlined workflow solutions that optimize inefficient processes.
And the best way to make that happen is to team up with process consultants.
Solution: Team Up With Process Consultants
Process consultants work with businesses to improve their organizational efficiency. From rethinking the structure of workflows to designing bespoke apps and integrations that automate systems, process consultants know how to help scale your business for continued success.
See how we've helped our clients improve their businesses and get insane ROIs by checking out our case studies below.