Let's talk about Process

Let's talk about Process

Processes are at the heart of what you do. Oxford Language defines process as "a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end". It may not seem like it, but you are involved in lots of them which you may not even realise. The cup of coffee you just made has been involved in countless processes, with countless participants. The farmer has their processes. The distributor likewise, the supermarket, the packaging supplier... the list goes on.

It may sound like a trivial example, but if anything goes wrong in those processes, you might be switching to tea before you know it, and the same applies to your business.

Many businesses rely on systems to facilitate their day-to-day activities. That might be a point-of-sale system, an order processor, scheduling software, workforce management software - another list which goes on.

One of the biggest challenges which we find facing our clients is how to implement new business processes without disruptig existing ones. Changing how you do things can be a worrying time. You've spent a long time building up the way you work, and the last thing you want is to damage your business.

Another problem area is identifying synergies between existing processes. Consider an online shop, gathering orders, then compiling supplier orders, then managing the goods inward process, then the invoicing, then the dispatch. All of that takes time, and when done separately mistakes can easily creep in. Now imagine a single robust solution for that, automating as much as possible, saving time, saving money, and increasing customer satisfaction. The backbone of that change is a managed reduction in the number of processes employed by that business.

But where to begin? How can we help?

We've spent thousands of hours with clients mapping out their processes, and discussing how best to improve them, and helped clients as large as multi-national banks, right through to start-up online shops. You'd be surprised how much commonality exists between these two examples. Often they share similar (if not identical) regulatory pressures, and the necessity to be able to manage a workforce effectively.

It is this principle of commonality which has driven our latest development - a system called ClearWAY - which has been designed to allow companies large and small to redefine their day-to-day processes in a managed way.

Users of ClearWAY define processes, known as "Pathways" which consist of a number of steps, making up the end-to-end process. Once defined, the system is used to allocate "instances" of these Pathways to users to carry out, capturing information (or images, or barcodes etc) along the way.

The gathered information is reported back in real time, and can be monitored within the application, and then used to build reports. The idea being that not only do processes run smoother, with more control, but the data can be used to gain insight into how things might be improved.

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all process management system, because every business is unique, so we've built ClearWAY in such a way that additional custom functionality can be added. It is also not always possible for businesses to host systems like this, especially with mobile workforces, so ClearWAY is delivered as a service, meaning that customers can access it whenever they like and wherever they are.

Even so, ClearWAY won't be suitable for everyone, but if you'd like to know more, see if it could help your business, or arrange a demonstration to see how we might be able to help, please do get in touch.

Now, it's time for another coffee (or was that tea!?)...

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