The need to regularly back up and remove data has been drilled into organisations by data-protection laws and intimidating cybercrime rates. However, how often do you revisit basic ‘housekeeping’ and is it time now to spring clean your business with a process review?
Let’s take a look at how you can spring clean your business and the benefits.
The benefits of spring cleaning IT systems
An annual review of your entire IT and business operations is commercial common sense, and the second quarter is the ideal time. Spring is when it’s traditional to celebrate growth, fresh starts and progression to the better days. Taking the time to lay some groundwork is worth keeping in the back of your mind.
Here’s a checklist of the areas to review, to ‘clean’ away issues and obstacles that, may be or, could affect your business this year.
It’s amazing how many errors, overlaps, bottlenecks and gaps go unnoticed while you are focused on everyday organisational needs. A thorough review may well reveal problems you didn’t know you had.
Do you need to update or improve the software used for process manufacturing, for example? Or are you optimising your existing software, to improve, streamline and automate your processes?
At the very least, spring cleaning your business could help you cut down on the amount of redundant data you are storing, to reduce the risk of error or misinformation.
A spring clean of your production processes should feed into a financial health check. How well are you managing costs, are customers being invoiced correctly, and on time? It’s a great time to review utility and supply chain contracts too.
Updating this key element of your IT database can make you more efficient and effective. If you are using out of date or incorrect data it wastes time and effort, and you could be unconsciously losing touch with important potential customers. Complete a data cleanse or campaign to reengage or weed out any invalid data.
Investment in the very best of manufacturing ERP software’s can enable you to set up systems within your main business management tools, allowing you to monitor day to day performance and use that data to conduct annual reviews to optimise skillsets. You could use the data to identify skills gaps, learning opportunities and understand output or quality. Monitoring resources in teams and across your organisation from a centralised place can help connect the dots on productivity. Employee surveys can also be used to identify ways to make teams happier and more engaged.
Customers and suppliers
In the digital age, it’s easy to become ‘hands off’ and lose the personal touch in your dealings with important customers and suppliers. Spring could be a good time to check in with key contacts and encourage constructive feedback. Consider researching new loyalty initiatives to trial and weed out contracts that might be overdue for pricing negotiations.
Process reviews across your business are a great way to get spring cleaning, but from a marketing perspective assessing ways to attract new customers should be on your ‘to do’ list. Assess what activities have worked well, what can you improve, and how to overcome or avoid low returns? Consider whether it's time for a new website, or an improved social media or advertising strategy, as well as the strength of your lead conversion rates.
Tidy desk, tidy mind! That applies to virtual resources too and not just physical paperwork. Clearing old emails, redundant intranet resources and files, for example, can improve efficiency or simply help to declutter your state of mind.
Where to start
Conducting an end to end process review of your entire business may sound like a big commitment. However, simply getting your team together to reflect on the past 6, 12 or even 18 months may be a good way to start.
Identifying the biggest problem areas from your discussions will help you to prioritise, often it’ll be those that impact the team most. Look for signs where issues may have been quick fixed or masked over by drilling down on your processes. Find ways to make them more transparent and efficient every day of the year, including optimising your ERP solution to either get more from it, or create integrated and visible business control. For more info about how to spring clean your business, ERP software or production planning, get in touch with our team today.