Streamlining Business Processes for Growth (Guide): What is it and How to do it?

By Linda RoperApril 6, 2022

Streamlining your work processes for growth has been around as a concept for some time now, but what exactly does it mean and what are the benefits. Keep on reading this guide and you will find out.

Table of Contents

What is Streamlining and Why is it Beneficial?

Wheels interlocked shows how to streamline business processes for growth

Streamlining is a method for improving the efficiency of processes in businesses and organisations by simplifying or eliminating unneeded work-related activities. Streamlining these processes and workflows necessitates the application of modernised techniques, technology, and other feasible options.

In its simplest form, streamlining means optimising. By striving for more efficient and automated processes, companies aim to cut expenses and increase revenues. A streamlined business process also results in faster outcomes with less problems.

What are Processes and Workflows?

Each company or organisation is likely to be involved in processes and workflows that are specific to their industry and associated duties. Although processes and workflows are similar, they are not identical.

A process is a set of activities that must be repeated in order to achieve a certain objective defined by an organisation.

A workflow, on the other hand, is a set of activities that must be repeated in order to complete a certain task.

How to Streamline Workflows to Improve Efficiency

Here are six things you can do to streamline your business’s processes and workflows and improve efficiency instantly:

1. Assess current processes and workflows

When you analyse your present processes and workflows, you will be able to gain a better overall picture of how things are done before seeing which parts may be improved considerably by streamlining.

Start by listing your processes and workflow in the simplest terms, then write down what you feel the advantages of each process is. Finally, list each person participating in the process and how they can be beneficial.

2. Rank processes

It may surprise you how many processes and workflows are really conducted to complete goals or tasks. Some processes are interconnected and may be overlooked.

Make a list of processes, ranking them from most vital to the least important. This will assist you in determining which processes to streamline first.

3. Examine outcomes

After you’ve evaluated the processes and workflows, you may examine the outputs or consequences of those processes and workflows. This offers you a different perspective on processes that are time-consuming, wasteful, and not cost-effective.

For example, you might determine that numerous bins of paper are shredded and disposed of each day. When analysing these results, consider the cost of toner and paper, the time employees spend printing and shredding, and compare how software can improve this process.

4. Seek feedback

Co-workers or employees are also able to provide essential input on the company’s workflow chain or process. They’re likely to have their own opinions about how processes work and how they can be improved to save time and accomplish goals more effectively. Small aspects that might be enhanced to streamline operations are sometimes overlooked until you seek input from others around you.

For example, you might have a meeting to discuss areas for improvement, or you could create a survey based on various processes and workflows and have your staff submit anonymous responses to encourage honesty.

5. Streamline and automate processes

There are various sophisticated software solutions available to assist with streamlining company processes and workflows. They are also known as business process management (BPM) software. Each has unique features that will assist various sectors and companies. They allow you to do things such as collect data in a centralised location, automate steps in business workflow, and generate graphs, charts, and reports easily.

ExpenseIn’s expense management software is one such example. With features such as receipt scanning, automated policies, advanced approvals, and real-time reporting, it brings everything you need to create, approve, and report on expenses into one easy-to-use package.

6. Continuously adjust and refine

There is no such thing as a flawless process or workflow, and they will certainly need ongoing modifications or enhancements. Depending on the results, you may wish to modify the streamlining processes. It may also take time to fully train employees on the new processes, and not every employee will do it right the first time. When you are refining processes and workflows, you must be patient and seek further input from clients and staff.

Infographic: How to  streamline business processes for growth

ExpenseIn Can Help You Streamline Business Processes

ExpenseIn lets you say goodbye to spreadsheets and completely streamline the way you manage expenses. Claims for purchases, mileage, and time can be collected in a matter of seconds, replacing the traditional slow and tedious paper-based approach. While numerous automated features reduce the time spent on pointless admin tasks and creates a happier, more productive workforce.