A New Workflow Optimization Service is Born

This is me. 

When I was young I used to love following sewing patterns or recipes, like a good girl. But as I grew older I’ve seemed to almost repel structure and process, allowing myself to because other members of my family are better at it and I’ve always worked in a creative industry (even if only at the edge).

However, a few years into owning my own business I realised I needed to overcome my system apathy if we were to scale quickly. We had great fun at our Vivid Vision day getting the teams to make toast and watching them approach the simple task in different ways with contrasting outcomes. 

So I became a student of process improvements, introducing the EOS business operating system, while dipping into other tools to help me make sense of all areas of your business.  At times it was overwhelming seeing one area ‘break’, just as another improved.  I struggled with balancing the need for detail with simplicity.

Different processes for understanding processes!

The picture above is from the book Process by Mike Paton & Lisa Gonzalez, one of the more recent books in the EOS Traction series, written because there was a need to offer a step-by-step way of approaching things. 

It’s a good, pragmatic book. It doesn’t talk much about workflows, which is fine when you’re viewing your business from a high-level, seagull’s perspective.  But I know workflows sit beneath and alongside business processes, particularly when we talk about the automation of activities we do regularly.

When you look in more detail about workflows you get swept away by processes developed for manufacturing and engineering or large businesses, businesses that tend to view the world differently from service industries.  My brother is a black belt in Six Sigma which sounds exciting (and hard work) so I’ve had a look to see what I can learn from the range of Process methodologies out there.  Here’s a summary for you.

Process Method

Pros

Cons

⚙️ Heavy Automation

– Reduces human error

– Increases efficiency

– Saves time

– High initial cost

– Can lead to job displacement

– System failures can be disruptive

🎓Six Sigma

– Reduces process variation

– Improves quality

– Structured approach

– Can be overly complex

– Requires significant training

– May not be flexible to changes

🚮 Lean Manufacturing

– Reduces waste

– Improves efficiency

– Enhances customer value

– Requires cultural change

– Little room for error

– May not scale well in variable markets

🛠️ Business Process Reengineering

– Can dramatically improve efficiency

– Enhances customer service

– May lead to cost reductions

– High risk and disruption

– Requires extensive change management

– No guaranteed success

🔍 Continuous Improvement

– Incremental improvements

– Flexible and adaptable

– Engages employees

– Slow progress

– May lack visibility

– Requires sustained effort

Introducing POTT Streamline System: A New System for Creative Thinkers in SME Service Businesses

I wanted a system for reviewing my business processes and automation of my tasks that had more of the pros and less of the cons above.  I wanted a system that is 

  1. simple to deploy and pinpoint the place to start, 
  2. delivers quick efficiency wins from the get-go, 
  3. is adaptable over time 
  4. without the need to completely re engineer your existing processes or software tools
  5. that someone else can execute

So that is how the idea of the POTT Streamline System came about.

I believe the introduction of POTT Streamline System marks a significant stride towards simplifying and optimizing business processes for others too. Designed with the creative thinker in mind, POTT Streamline System is an innovative system that addresses common apprehensions about process adherence while promoting efficiency and engagement.

Key Features of POTT Streamline System

Simplicity: POTT Streamline System stands out for its straightforward approach. The system is built on the principle that process improvements should be easy to understand and implement, without the need for extensive training or technical knowledge. We walk you through simple templates with your business goals and KPIs in mind. This simplicity ensures that creative individuals, who often prefer intuitive and uncluttered environments, can easily adapt to and embrace the new processes.

Quick Efficiency Wins: One of the core advantages of POTT Streamline System is its focus on achieving quick wins that enhance efficiency. By identifying and implementing changes that can be quickly executed, such as automating repetitive tasks or simplifying communication channels, the system delivers immediate benefits. This rapid improvement is particularly appealing if you value seeing prompt results from your efforts.

No Need for Complete Reengineering: Unlike other systems that require a complete overhaul of existing processes, POTT Streamline System integrates existing apps and software platforms seamlessly with your current operations using no or low code. This integration is crucial for SMEs where resources are limited, and the risk associated with comprehensive process reengineering is high. POTT Streamline System enhances what is already working well, making improvements without disrupting the foundational aspects of your business.

Engagement and Collaboration: Recognizing the importance of stakeholder engagement, POTT Streamline System actively involves all relevant parties in the process design and implementation phases. This inclusive approach not only enhances buy-in but also leverages the diverse perspectives of those who will be directly affected by the changes, including frontline employees and customers. This collaborative environment fosters a sense of community and collective creativity.

Levels of Service

Ascend+ is designed for those who want improvements but recognize they will move faster if experts are involved and appreciate the benefits of delegation.

However, we appreciate that not all businesses are at the beginning of their workflow automation journey, so we cater for automation implementation only too without AutoFLow service.

Benefits of Workflow Automation

By implementing these strategies, SME service businesses can enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets, plus a few more benefits too.

Technological advances contribute significantly to these benefits by streamlining processes and enabling automation, which further optimizes workflows. Automation reduces the risk of human error, ensuring consistency and accuracy in tasks that are repetitive or prone to mistakes. This consistency not only improves the quality of service but also builds trust and reliability with customers.

Moreover, workflow automation frees up valuable time for employees, allowing them to focus on more strategic and creative tasks that require human intervention. This shift can lead to increased employee satisfaction and retention, as workers spend less time on monotonous tasks and more on engaging, value-added activities.

Another significant benefit is improved data management. Automated systems can collect, process, and analyze data more efficiently than manual methods. This capability provides businesses with real-time insights into their operations, enabling better decision-making and more responsive strategies. Enhanced data visibility also helps in identifying trends, forecasting demand, and optimizing resource allocation.

Scalability is another key advantage of workflow automation. As your business grows, automated systems can handle increased workloads without a proportional increase in costs or resources. This scalability ensures that your business can expand smoothly without the typical growing pains associated with manual processes.

Additionally, automation enhances compliance and security. Automated workflows can ensure that regulatory requirements are consistently met, reducing the risk of non-compliance and the associated penalties. They also help in maintaining security protocols, protecting sensitive information through controlled access and standardized procedures.

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