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Change for the better: Business after COVID

With COVID-19, most companies have been forced to make rapid changes in the way they do business. From having employees work at home to temporarily closing altogether, companies have had to scramble in order to survive and find new ways to get things done.

A lot of businesses have taken advantage of the situation in recent months to revisit aspects of their business. Beyond just cutting costs, many business owners have taken a look at their whole business model and how they operate.  As Australia, particularly South Australia emerges, maybe going back to the ‘old’ way of doing things isn’t the best choice for your company.

Time for business improvement

As businesses slowly adjust to life post-COVID, now is the perfect time to ask what’s normal and challenge it. In addition to exploring the ways (and places) employees work, many business processes can be further improved. You have the opportunity right now to identify areas of waste and examine where you could be saving time and money.

As a Senior Consultant in the Business Improvement division for Accru Harris Orchard, I’ve worked with clients on issues like this for some time now, but I’ve been seeing even stronger interest in process improvement during the COVID crisis.

When I work with clients on process improvement, I co-locate at their place of business for a period of time so I can watch particular business processes and then document and analyse the data around those processes. Sometimes, I run a two-day workshop with clients to get staff to redesign processes together, and then we work together to ensure those new processes are embedded in the company culture.

In recent months, I’ve been helping businesses with improvements like:

  • Cutting costs due to COVID by exploring where the ‘fat’ is in a business and helping reduce waste
  • Helping adjust to new processes brought about by COVID
  • Exploring where tasks are taking too long
  • Removing inconsistencies
  • Improving customer satisfaction
  • Exploring responsibility of tasks between team members
  • Reducing unnecessary spending on overtime.

Recent improvements at organisations I have worked with include:

  • A 45% (average) reduction in handoffs within business processes
  • Reduction of lead time by 40% for customers
  • Reduction in duplication between teams
  • Reductions in “rework” corrected by employees and customers
  • Improved understanding of customer feedback, needs and requirements
  • Efficiency gains as a result of the process improvement

Don’t go back to the way you may have always done things in your business.  Use learning points gained from COVID to re-think things.  Now is a great time to examine your business processes and identify areas for improvement, particularly as the outcomes can result in significant cost savings, which many businesses are still needing to make in order to trade their way out of the COVID situation.  Get in touch today