Workers processing boxes on conveyor belt in distribution warehouse

Top Strategies for Streamlining Your Business Workflow

Effective business leaders
are always looking for ways to achieve greater productivity with less expense.
One way to accomplish this critical objective is to streamline business
workflow. The concept of “streamlining” can also be thought of as eliminating
as much waste as possible from a company’s business processes.

What is considered wasteful
in a business process? Any task or step in a job that doesn’t add value to the
customer is wasted effort and should be eliminated.

Streamlining is not a
one-and-done type of project; instead, it’s a fundamental function of any
well-run business. Companies should always be looking for ways to cut waste
from their processes. In this way, they will be able to contain operating costs
while increasing margins.

So, what strategies should
small businesses pursue to streamline workflow? Here are a few tips to

Focus on core competencies and adjacencies

business’s core competencies are attributes it has mastered to the degree they
have become a competitive advantage. They’re what the business can do so well,
its competitors would be hard-pressed to duplicate. Every successful company has
one or more of these strengths.

adjacency takes a company’s core strengths and leverages them to create
additional sources of growth. For example, Bic, a company that specializes in
designing and manufacturing pens, leveraged their expertise to enter an
adjacent market that also uses plastic materials: disposable razors. 

Both core
competencies and adjacencies come accompanied by a set of efficient workflows
that the company has developed over time. While it’s always possible to become
leaner, wasteful steps must be minimized along the way.

Growing too
far outside of these skills, however, is a risk that’s likely to cause waste as
the company tries to accomplish unfamiliar functions. Smart companies stick
with what they do best and expand from there.

Hunt down bottlenecks

Just like
a bottleneck in the road slows down traffic, bottlenecks in business processes
tend to impede progress. Bottlenecks—places in the workflow chain that slow
things down—cause a ripple effect throughout the workflow. They can stall
production, create inventories that are over- or under-supplied, delay
delivery, and make customers unhappy.

causes bottlenecks? Here are few factors that might be slowing things down:

  1. People – not enough
    staff, not the right team, lack of sufficient training, too many hand-offs
  2. Resources – missing
    information, services or materials
  3. Systems –failure points, outdated,
    incompatibility, error-prone, slow, hard to use
  4. Equipment – old, insufficient for
    the job, missing components, breakdowns, too much manual intervention
  5. High-level – no objectives, too
    highly-matrixed, no leadership direction or accountability, lack of

For a
company to become more streamlined, it has to locate the bottlenecks, analyze
the root causes, and resolve them.

Keep overhead manageable by outsourcing

businesses grow, so does their complexity. What used to be a one or two-man
operation is now a full department of people. To reduce overhead costs, many
growing businesses turn to outsourcing routine tasks such as kitting and
assembly services.

allows companies to have top-notch expertise without increasing people or space
overhead costs. Because outsourcing services already have the experienced,
skilled workforce needed to handle your work, you can achieve your goals while
minimizing disruptions, bottlenecks, and frustrations. Ultimately, your
business is more streamlined and able to grow cost-effectively.

Ohio Valley Goodwill is here to help your business simplify,
streamline, and grow!

If you’re ready to
streamline your business’s processes, consider the benefits of outsourcing. And
if you’re looking for assembly and kitting services outsourcing in Cincinnati,
your best bet is Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Industrial Services Division. Why?
Because when your work is handled by a large workforce of skilled and
highly-motivated people, you save time and money!

Growing companies in the
greater Cincinnati area sustain our mission to provide meaningful work for
individuals with disabilities and veterans. We invite you to learn more by
reading the testimonials shared by our business partners. Learn how they have
streamlined their workflow by employing our services, and then contact us today! We’re happy to provide you with a free quote and a
tour of our Cincinnati-based facilities.