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Demystifying Investment Structures: A Simple Guide for Investors

Hello again all, Shane Brennan here. In the fifth article in my series, I’m exploring the world of investment structures. Imagine standing at the threshold of a vast financial landscape, each investment avenue beckoning with promise. Investment structures can .....

Business - 7 min read

 

All too often, employers experience frustration because their workers just can’t seem to get the job done. They looked so competent when you hired them, but the results have been disappointing.

 

If this sounds familiar, you may have a systemisation problem, not an employee problem. If you really want someone to be successful in their role (and you do), then you need a workable system.

 

People run your systems, and systems run your business. We’ve put together some CFO-backed tips for systemisation of your company.

 

Why Should You Systemise Your Business?

The word “system” sounds sterile and severe, but systemisation in action solves so many common business problems. Let’s look at a few:

 

Systemisation Prevents Loss of Job Knowledge

Unfortunately, knowledgeable employees move on eventually, leaving you with gaping holes in your workforce. Loss of job knowledge can drastically reduce your company’s efficiency.

 

However, if that employee’s knowledge were incorporated into a system, her successor would seamlessly slide into peak efficiency.

 

Systemisation Keeps Customers Happy

Let’s say that one of your customers is returning a product. Your on-shift employee uses a different method for returns than the last employee who helped this customer. Sadly, this new method takes a long time. The customer is now unhappy because of the delay. Same task, two different people. Because they used different techniques, you now have a dissatisfied client.

 

When you systemise your procedures, all of your employees use the same method, and customers always know what to expect.

 

Systemisation Gives Your Employees Confidence

Another scenario: your new employee is facing a problem he hasn’t yet encountered. Ordinarily, he’d ask a senior employee how to solve the problem. Unfortunately, the older worker is unavailable, leaving your newbie unsure of himself and nervous about making a mistake. If the answer to this common-but-infrequent problem had been recorded, he could look it up and confidently move forward.

 

How to Systemise Your Business Processes

Systemising your business sounds great, but isn’t it a lot of work? Think of it this way. When you have a chronically messy closet at home, you lose time every single morning as you scramble for your shoes and pull out wrinkled shirts. If you take a Saturday to organise that closet and systemise your laundry, you’ll save time and feel better every single day. Systemisation is worth the set-up time.

 

But where do you start?

 

The first step is to understand each procedure that is part of that specific task. The best way to gain this understanding is by asking the people who actually do the job most frequently. They know the best procedures, the most practical steps, common problems, and the best solutions.

 

The employees also know where to turn when something goes wrong to get the fastest resolution. In short, they know everything necessary to create a well-defined set of best practice procedures.

 

For each process, begin by defining parameters. Clearly delineate the beginning, the end, and the purpose. The start may be receiving an order or finding an invoice in the inbox. The end may be calling the customer to let them know their order is ready or forwarding the package to shipping. Your experienced user will provide you with the parameters. Keep it simple and resist adding unnecessary steps.

 

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When Should I Systemise My Business?

Bring together an experienced team of people after mapping the entire process. The team can study the process map, consider any necessary changes and make a decision.

 

Consider the needs of the process. If something doesn’t seem to add value, change it. If someone suggests an idea that improves efficiency, try it. Perhaps the whole process would move more smoothly if raw materials were delivered or stored in a new way. Or maybe creating a different method of flagging orders in the system would help. Now is the time to explore options.

 

Creating Process Maps

After your team looks for more efficient systems, the next task is to identify the suppliers and customers of the process. In this context, the suppliers and customers may be external to the company or an internal part of the company. The goal at this stage is to define who needs to work with whom to optimise results.

 

Assigning process responsibility is particularly essential when tasks overlap several departments. One key player can cover the whole process from beginning to end. This person is in a position to make decisions that keep everyone working together to maintain productivity.

 

Keep the process map simple. The ideas expressed in business processes are often complicated, but the beauty of the process map is that it simplifies the complex and makes it visual and graspable by everyone who uses it. If the map begins to seem overly complicated, break it into several parts.

 

Launching Your Systems

You may have the most efficient well-designed process committed to paper, but if the players within the organisation will not follow the process, your efforts are wasted. Help everyone to understand the importance of the new systems, and launch with a celebratory session.

 

Change is hard for most people, but once the new processes are in place, efficiency and morale will improve. Soon, your business will be running smoother than ever before. You’ll no longer lose knowledge with each turnover or cause frustration for your customers. Best of all, your employees will be more productive and confident in all of their responsibilities.

 

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