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Review your processes: eliminate redundancies

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This is a general guide for business management after a pandemic.

After a systems analysis, an overview of the systems and a possible review, which could lead to the migration to the cloud, and after the integration of some of the systems using API, the business manager has to take on the task. to review business processes with a view to eliminating layoffs.

Even after integration, some processes will remain parallel to the integrated process when they are no longer needed. These processes and activities must be eliminated.

Redundant processes are a problem that goes unnoticed in most organizations. It is insidious. In most cases, the business manager will never know the rot. Corrosivity is never really evaluated. And so it goes on and on, endlessly, leading to a monstrous organization with all kinds of complexities. The complexity remains even after business analysts and systems analysts have been hired to streamline processes, integrate systems, and more.

Duplicate processes should be removed, just like duplicate files should be removed so that they do not cause confusion for users and reduce the performance of the computer.

Eliminating redundancies will result in a smooth and elegant organization that is efficient in everything it does. The company loses weight and gets in shape. This should be a task on the cards for the post-pandemic business manager.

The following are key activities involved in eliminating layoffs.

process mapping business process automation (BPA) eliminating steps that do not add value.

Process mapping ensures that you document all processes that lead to value-adding results. Processes left out of the mapping generally add no real value. The mapped process should be automated, if possible. This is where Business Process Automation comes in. The final step would be to eliminate those processes that were not included in the “process mapping” and get rid of the manual processes that were automated.

Parallel Recordkeeping: Multiple Sources of Truth. Parallel record keeping: maintenance of a physical filing system on paper, parallel to digital. retain manual processes alongside automated processes. retain useless and wasteful steps within the new process (relics of the old system and processes). print “stuff” after the company has embarked on a “Go Digital” mission. print a document that doesn’t need to be signed, scan it and then email the scanned copy (NB * could have made a pdf of the document and emailed it).

Parallel record keeping is a curse because it establishes multiple sources of truth. The need for a single source of truth is most pronounced in the post-pandemic business environment. Every company will always have that guy, that department, that other office, who likes to keep their own records in their own parallel system (usually a spreadsheet). There is always a justification for why they do it. Some of the reasons include not trusting that the official system will always be available, not trusting the veracity of the official system, not being able to extract a report in the desired format with the desired fields from the official system, and the lack of a particular feature in the official system.

The time consumed by keeping parallel records is wasted time. It adds to the “hustle” without adding value to the business. At the end of the day, employees are always busy, but the results don’t match the hustle and bustle.

Those who keep parallel records swear that they do not dislike the official system and promise to keep the official system up to date all the time to match their parallel system. However, in many cases, the company ends up with entries, records and transactions in the parallel system that are not reflected in the official system and vice versa. Therefore, you end up with multiple sources of truth, which creates confusion.

The foregoing explains the perpetual conflict regarding sales statistics between the Sales and Marketing department and the MD statistics derived from the Account Team or the Data Analysis Team. On any given day, in most companies, the sales (income) reported by the sales team are not related to the income reported by the finance team.

The difference is because the sales team overstated sales by adding sales that have not yet been captured in the system to their reported figures. Sometimes the difference is because the accounting team raises certain invoices in the accounting system, but the transactions have not been captured from the source (the sales team), that is, they have not gone through the funnel. The other reason could be that the sales team keeps a record of their sales outside of the official system.

Another example of parallel record keeping is that guy who keeps filing things on his desk in parallel to the official filing place and filing system. Instead of saving files to the server, Dropbox, or Google Drive, the guy saves them to his desktop, and when he’s done working on that file, he drags it to the official archive location.

This is apparently not counterproductive. However, the problem arises when you forget to drag and drop the desktop file to the official archive place after making some changes. The key point is that keeping two copies of the same file in two different places is redundant. Aggregated across many files, processes, and individuals, the cost of this redundancy adds significant weight, inefficiencies, and complexities to the organization.

The second type of parallel record keeping involves retaining the old paper physical filing system. Digital representations of most documents are now accepted by everyone (including the tax collector), so there is very little need to maintain a physical paper filing system. The search for efficiency leads to the adoption of a digital archive system with better search functionalities and naming conventions. Once this is implemented, 90% of the physical file system should be gone. It is redundant. Holding onto it is not proper risk management. It is denialism.

Keeping manual processes alongside digital ones is another example of redundancies. Most companies migrating to online cloud accounting solutions quickly realize that the allocation of incoming customer receipts is faster due to automatic matching features whereby receipts are automatically compared to invoices. With most legacy accounting systems, this mapping involves the accounts team sending a bank statement statement to the sales team, so they get the customer’s name and post the receipt to the correct debtor GL account.

When a new process is introduced that improves auto-matching capabilities, the old system of sending bank statements to the entire sales team for assignments should be gone. The new process could be as simple as including notes to customers that they should use the invoice number as a reference. It can be as complicated as introducing an online payment solution (for example, PayFast) that is integrated with the accounting system in such a way that when a customer pays an invoice online, the payment platform records the receipt in the accounting system. accounting (doing 90% of the billing). bank reconciliation process).

Whatever enhancement is made should result in the crash of the old process. That is what should happen. However, that is not what happens. Often times, the old process is carried out, even when it is no longer relevant, and no one actually uses the information from the previous process. Employees keep doing things the old-fashioned way because they haven’t been told to stop.

The most annoying type of layoff comes from the elderly woman who keeps printing a pile of paperwork, eventually destined for the shredder when a new process has apparently been put in place to avoid it. This is the elderly woman who prints a copy of the bank statement, places it on her right side and prints the entire provider GL, places it on her left side and embarks on the “allocation” or “reconciliation” process. This is done after the company has bought you a second monitor so you can make use of two displays, export items to stand out, and work from there. The old process should be redundant.

There are many examples of layoffs that must be resolved by following due process at all times, no matter how informal and boring. That’s the key to reducing complexity and waste.

Redundancies can never be completely removed (PS *, you can never stop me from creating files on my desktop, you’ll have to fire me). The goal is to revisit processes from time to time and remove anything that has become redundant. Continuous improvement is the goal.

The post-pandemic business manager must be aware of the various business processes that take place within their organization. You should be in a position to question the validity and relevance of some of the processes. It should be in a position to sanction the withdrawal of old processes. You should be able to eliminate most of the redundancies that drag down performance.

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