The concept of continual process improvement originated in the manufacturing industry but is gaining popularity across all business types. The basic idea is that a business should make an ongoing effort to improve their processes. While that may seem to be an obviously good idea, most businesses make big leaps in process improvements and then stagnate until the next push. The pushes are usually fueled by unhappy customers, diminishing profits or both.
ERP is a good example
Most businesses implement ERP across all departments when they can no longer get by with their entry accounting system. Regular operations are interrupted while all business processes are reviewed, a new system is implemented. Employees are trained and then use the system the same way for years.
When implementing ERP with the goal of continuous business improvement, businesses take a phased approach. By prioritizing departments that need automation first, the company can focus on business process improvement in incremental steps. Over time, all departments are brought online and the process continues.
The continuous approach
With the pace of change in technology and customer expectations, every business needs to be as agile as possible. By constantly evaluating and improving processes in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility, organizations can quickly respond to change.
Businesses that take a continuous business improvement approach, are guided by the following principles:
- Improvements are based on many, small changes rather thanradical changes driven bycrisis.
- Ideas come from the employees themselves, rewarded for finding new ways to improve their output.
- Workers are encouraged to consider new ways to use ERP and other business management systems to improve productivity and increase customer service.
To remain competitive in the connected world today, businesses need to be at the top of their game…all the time. The only way to ensure that your business can keep up is to take a proactive and continuous approach to improvement of your systems and output.
Let’s talk about how you can get started on the path to continuous process improvement. A flexible, modular ERP implemented in a phased approach is a great place to start.