Setting up systems for success

Whether you run a small business or a larger company, research shows that when effective systems and processes are in place, your business will be more successful. Many businesses, however, don’t have specific systems set up and as a result, are hampering their chances of growth.

According to online influencer Neil Patel, writing in Forbes (2015), a system is ‘a method of solving a repeated business issue in a strategic and effortless way.’

Some examples of basic systems:

business processes

- Financial system

- Production/manufacturing system

- Purchasing, sales & processing system

- System for staff recruitment

- Customer service system

You may already have systems and processes in place, but it’s important to constantly revaluate these and check that they’re both efficient and effective – and necessary. Meanwhile, if you don’t have any systems and processes within your business and wish to grow it, then identifying these and implementing them are key.

How P McVey Mobile Buildings Ltd created a more streamlined accounting system

Mike McVey from P McVey Mobile Buildings Ltd, recently moved his business from a manual bookkeeping system to the more efficient Sage system, thanks to BD Consultancy’s help.

“We used to file everything by hand using hard copy records, which was inefficient and made it more difficult to keep track of our income and expenditure,” says Mike.

“Thanks to Brigid, we now have a much more streamlined system in place with Sage, which allows us to do monthly management reporting. We’ve also now applied for our ISO quality insurance, which is more straightforward thanks to our enhanced systems. Brigid also helped us recruit a full-time accounts employee, so upgrading our bookkeeping system has had a significant positive impact on our business.”

A process is essentially the way in which you organise and manage how your business activities add value for your customers and associates. Creating a process management system will subsequently help to ensure that your business functions effectively and continues long into the future.

A good process management system should include:

· A process map (flow chart)

· Process performance measures or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Why introduce a process management system?

Creating a process management system has multiple benefits for your business, not least in giving it a clear purpose and goals.

It also ensures that all employees understand the business, with the result that they feel more invested in their work and are more engaged in their respective roles.

Many businesses suffer because their staff don’t fully grasp their place within a company, and/or are unmotivated and disinterested in what they’re doing. Having a clear process management system in place, however, encourages role ownership and company cohesion, creating a stronger and more efficient business.

To create a process management system, the first thing to consider is the reason behind the system. I.e. what is the purpose of it? Does your system solve a problem for your customers (it should) and if so, what is this? If there is no clear reason for a system, then it’s likely not needed and is only going to slow down efficiency and make your business less productive.

Key benefits of a process management system:

- It will help to grow your business

- It creates better efficiency, thereby reducing overheads

- It improves productivity and output, with resources used more efficiently

- Developing a process management system will help you achieve your business goals

- It instils confidence in customers

- It improves employee engagement and instils a sense of ownership, creating cohesive teams who fully understand the business and its operations

- It delivers consistency in performance

- It enables you to identify more easily when something isn’t working

Once a process has been defined, it’s important to ensure that your business continues to evaluate its effectiveness. This means analysing each element of your process management system, measuring performance and looking at ways to improve this.

If changes are introduced, then these too should be monitored and evaluated, ensuring that the system in place is effective and ultimately, sustainable.

How can you create an effective process management system in your business?

The first thing to do is review your current processes and rate how effective and efficient they really are. What’s helping your business to grow and what’s holding it back? Which processes can be developed further, for process mapping, and which really need to go?

Once this is done, you can create a plan of action and discuss the process management system with the rest of your team, looking at its value and overall purpose. Speaking with employees, as mentioned before, is crucial to the success of any process management system. Ask them where they can identify problems and successes within the current set-up, and prioritise key areas to work on.

You can then go on to create detailed process maps/flow charts, which may cover things such as:

· Survey and order-taking

· Scheduling work

· Design

· Production

· Inspection

· Non-conformances and corrective action

· Loading and dispatch

· Installation

· Purchasing

· Training

· Maintenance of equipment

· Improvement

Like most aspects of business planning, creating a process management system takes a little time, but the end result will always be worth it.

If you’d like help reviewing your own business processes, just call Brigid on

07989 052 344 / (028) 2582 0311 or email:


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