The fourth tip in our Optimize SAP blog series focuses on the importance of taking a look at your current business processes and updating them as necessary. Processes develop over years, often starting with manual or offline spreadsheet dependence. When you take a step back and review the processes, you realize there are numerous disadvantages, from dependency on a few key people to key data sitting in offline spreadsheets or emails. Implementing standardized processes simplifies your business tasks and removes dependence on key personnel. However, outdated processes can have the opposite effect on your business. Just because it is the way you’ve always done it, doesn’t mean it is the best way to do things moving forward.
Old processes are comfortable and have often been around for years or maybe decades. It is uncomfortable to change old processes and the tendency to fall back to using offline spreadsheets is hard to overcome. Resist giving into the gravitational force of resorting to old processes. Here are some recent examples of recommendations of standardizing old processes.
Downtime and Activity Types
Machine downtime comes at a high cost for organizations. When looking at your old processes to update, take a look at how much downtime you have that is caused by outdated processes. Update Activity types to accurately capture the reason for downtime and provide enlightening metrics to drive continual improvement.
Are you trying to grow your business or currently in the throes of an explosive growth phase? Both of these are a trigger to examine and formalize current processes. If you are looking to grow, you should look for inefficiencies in hand-offs and gaps between systems. Identifying these process issues is often key to scaling the business.
If you are currently experiencing explosive growth, you may find that your old processes just don’t work anymore. You need to make adjustments based on your current and future projected production levels to ensure top efficiency of your resources.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, one of the goals of updating your business processes is to standardize and simplify. One of the easiest ways to do this is through automation. Embrace process automation to help your organization cut costs, save time, and allow your workforce to focus on more meaningful tasks. Although there are many benefits to business process automation, some of the most immediate benefits you’ll see include streamlined communication, minimized costs and manual errors, establishment of a clear approval hierarchy, reinforced accountability, and the ability to easily evaluate and adjust your business processes moving forward.
Check out my next Optimize SAP blog, “Don’t Pave a Cow Path, Put in a Highway,” for tips on how to deal with blocked invoices and production reporting with automation instead of manual processes. Stay tuned for more valuable tips!
I presented a customer case study with Morgan Foods at the SAP SAPPHIRE conference in Orlando on May 15-18 that focused on the 7 initiatives to Optimize SAP and the benefits realized in each step on the road map. Click here to view my presentation.
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