Can’t find staff? An efficient team will help By David Smith on Jun 9, 2022
No one needs to be reminded how hard it is to find good “producer” people these days. It’s gone from bad to worse as we move into the “Coping with COVID” world. In other articles, we have canvassed the various rocks that should be looked under to try to find people but it’s not easy. With such a challenge to find labour, there is even more need to ensure that we can be as efficient as we can possibly be.
We have long advocated that every firm needs a “Process Policeman/woman” – someone whose job is to review the firm’s processes and seek out ways to increase efficiency. A work programme should be developed. All the processes in the business should be documented. Once a month one of these processes should be reviewed:
Are all the process steps necessary?
The fundamental test for a process step should be whether it adds value to the client. Sure there are some steps that are required by regulators but after that is considered all other steps should be critically evaluated.
Rather than process improvement perhaps we should be focussing on process elimination. Can we eliminate some steps or even better is the entire process needed?
There needs to be a balance between Quality Assurance and Process Efficiency. Too much focus on Quality Assurance will result in inefficiency, higher costs, write-offs and poor turnaround times. Too much focus on efficiency may result in too many errors. Getting this balance right is critical. Efficiently managing the risks is part of the process policeman/woman’s job.
Are we getting the most from our technology?
It is commonly accepted that most people only use a small amount of the functionality of the various computer applications they use. These days it is getting worse as the software products are so feature rich.
The best way to address this issue is to create “Software champions” who will become an expert in a particular product. Their job is then to seek out ways that the software can be used to improve efficiency and also to provide training to the rest of the team to ensure that they are utilising the features that will drive greater efficiency.
The business also needs to seek out software that is designed with process automation in mind. Getting an understanding of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) would be worthwhile. Reviewing new products such as FYI (www.fyidocs.com) will also give you an understanding of the possibilities where process steps can be automated. Portals and eSignatures are also important elements along with an ongoing drive to eliminate paper.
David Smith conducts firm reviews and facilitates the development of strategic plans and business plans. Contact David at [email protected] to explore how he may be able to help your firm.