A Guide to Business Process Improvement (With Examples)

October 17, 2022
Alok Suman
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For a business to stay relevant in the market and succeed in the long run, it should have a streamlined business process. But this is where it gets tricky because a business will have multiple processes running simultaneously. 

Effective management and continuous improvement help a business run all its processes without bottlenecks. Process improvement techniques like the PDCA cycle and Kaizen also demonstrate the same.

You need to constantly check and improve your process if you want to increase your revenue. Most businesses fail here because they have trouble identifying the areas that need improvement and how to actually identify them. 

Some businesses simply don’t realize that one automation tool can eliminate all their process bottlenecks. That's what we’re going to cover in this blog. 

Learn about some of the best process improvement examples and how businesses can overcome this issue with automation. 

What is Process Improvement?

Process improvement is an activity within business process management.

Here, the team identifies and analyzes bottlenecks and areas that can be improved to increase performance and productivity. 

The ultimate goal of process improvement is to reduce inaccuracies, cut costs, and streamline the business process in order to increase revenue.

It starts by understanding the process requirements and evaluating the resources available to accomplish the requirement.

Most businesses will start looking for a solution without even knowing the requirement. This is where unnecessary redundancies and lack of productivity will arise. 

Here are some of the main benefits of process improvement:

  • It saves time by eliminating redundancies and increasing productivity.
  • Removing process bottlenecks improves the end results.
  • Process improvement increases employee satisfaction as it lets them achieve more by doing less.
  • It increases transparency between the teams.
  • It improves customer satisfaction and revenue. 

Process Improvement Examples  

Now that you know what process improvement is let’s look at some examples to see how it can transform your business. 

Get Rid of a Paper-Based Process

Department - Human resources

Scenario - A business wants a role to be filled immediately. The HR team lists the vacancy and requirements for the position on their website and other job portals. 

Candidates will start submitting their applications along with their resumes. The HR team will have loads of resumes to be analyzed and filtered. 

Let’s put that into perspective: Amazon reported that it receives more than 200,000 applications, roughly 18 applications per minute. Now imagine the scrutiny that the HR team has to face. Reviewing all these applications manually and filtering the right candidate is an impossible task. 

Process improvement - To tackle this, businesses have started using an HRMS tool. This tool automatically filters the candidates that have matching skills for the role. 

Once filtered, the tool can be programmed to automatically send an interview invitation email along with a simple test for further screening. 

Now the tool will only allow the candidates to the next round if they pass the test in the first round. Nowadays, almost 70% of hiring processes are automated using a tool. 

This saves time for the HR team and allows them to focus on employee onboarding and relationship-building activities rather than wasting their time in the paper-based manual process. 

Task Management

Department - Marketing 

Scenario - The marketing team will perform multiple analyses like competitor and keyword analysis to find the right keywords and topics. 

Once the topics are finalized, they will be assigned to writers along with the keywords. Once the writers complete the blogs, they will be reviewed and published. 

Then comes the attribution part, where blogs will be analyzed for the traffic, conversion, sales, and the number of KWs they rank for on the search engine results. This data will be consolidated and submitted during the monthly standup meeting. 

Process improvement - Most marketing teams perform analysis every month, which is time-consuming and redundant most of the time. 

Tools like Notion, Trello, and Google suite can be used to save the data once. Then the topics can be assigned to the writers, and their respective attribution can be reviewed every month. 

All the data can be recorded on the management tool board for every team member to see. If the process didn’t work, they can note what didn't work and try a different approach next time instead of starting it all over again.

Improving Safety Measures 

Company - Airlines 

Scenario - Safety is the primary concern in the airline industry. Let’s consider an experienced pilot who is flying across the Atlantic, but after liftoff, the plane’s landing gear won’t retract. The pilot knows that the landing gear will cause additional drag, consuming more fuel.

Before the takeoff, all pre-flight safety measures would have been checked, even the pre-flight checklist. But the checklist cannot predict the additional drag that a non-retracted landing gear would cause. 

This can’t be simulated either, so now the pilot has to calculate the amount of fuel that will be used due to this drag. They'll know the fuel won’t be enough to complete the travel. So, they must opt for an emergency landing in a nearby airport with the fuel they've got. 

Process improvement - This is an easily avoidable issue if the flight has a reserve tank in case of emergencies like this. So, including an additional tank is an improvement to the process. The pilot can now reach the destination even if the landing gear is not completely retracted. 

Minimizing Manual Errors

Industry - Manufacturing industry 

Scenario - Procurement is not easy as it seems. 

  1. The team has to identify the requirements and resources needed before submitting the proposal.
  2. Then comes the tedious vendor selection process.
  3. Once the vendor is selected, the request for proposal is submitted. 
  4. Then the purchase order is placed.
  5. Once the goods are received, the team checks for quality, and the goods received note is sent to the vendor.
  6. The vendor acknowledges the GRN and includes the invoice along with it. 
  7. The invoice is sent to the accounts team, and the payment is released to the vendor. 
  8. The goods are accounted for and stored in the inventory.

There are a lot of moving parts in one single process. Now imagine doing all of this manually; one single error will cause huge discrepancies in the process. 

Process improvement  - Vendor selection and product procurement is a risky undertaking; doing it manually is even more hazardous as one manual error can cost you a lot. Process improvement is all about making the process easier for the employees. 

This is where automation tools come into play. A business process automation tool like Hubbler can easily handle the procurement process. From requirement gathering and request for proposal to receiving the order and sending a goods received note, every step can be automated. 

This not only minimizes the workload of employees but also eradicates the errors that might occur in manual processes. Automation tools can thus make the procurement process streamlined and easy. 

Repetitive Processes 

Industry - Large eCommerce company 

Scenario - Customer engagement is crucial for an eCommerce store. The more they interact with customers, the higher the chances of customers returning to the store.

Emails are the primary medium of communication for eCommerce stores, which is why users receive emails from eCommerce stores all the time. 

Now to send an email, the store will need customers' email addresses. All the emails will go through a process called segmentation to split them based on buyer personas. Then the emails are created, and sometimes a series of emails need to be sent. 

Let’s take Black Friday, for example. Black Friday is the biggest sales weekend, and stores have to let their customers know about the deal they’ll be running on that weekend. 

Usually, this is done a month before Black Friday. Stores will create a three-email series, and the emails will be sent to all the customers simultaneously.

The first email will be sent a month before Black Friday, the second email 15 days before, and the last email will be sent the day before the event. 

Do you see how complex this is? If the eCommerce store has 1000 email addresses, the employees need to send emails 1000 times, which will be an impossible task. 

Process improvement  - This is a repetitive process where the same email must be sent to 1000 addresses. Instead of doing it manually, eCommerce stores can simply use an email automation tool to send emails automatically. 

Once the emails are created, stores can use the tool to broadcast the email to 1000 customers at once. The process is done within seconds. This is how modern technology is helping businesses to improve their processes. 

Tools minimize employees' workload and encourage them to focus on tasks that increase revenue and customer satisfaction. 

Business Process Improvement and Digital Automation 

Yes, automation can improve your business process and transform it for the better. The process improvement examples we listed above prove it. But you cannot start with automation without going through with business process improvement. 

You see, not all processes can be automated; some complex tasks within a process might need expert supervision instead of letting the automation tool handle it. 

You can find these complex tasks only through business process improvement. Giving complete control of your process to an automation tool is not the smartest plan. There are tasks where manual efforts cannot be ignored. 

Digital automation tools should be used to make your employees' work easier, not replace them. So, you must choose a tool that is simple to use and has all the necessary features to handle your requirements. 

Automation 

Hubbler can help automate repetitive and mundane tasks to minimize your team’s workload. Robotic process automation bots will make it easier for your team and deliver error-free results. 

Automate workflow approval, assigns tasks to your teams automatically, manage product procurement easily, and more. Let Hubbler do all the heavy lifting for you while you can focus on what’s needed. 

Build Applications without Coding Knowledge

Automation is not the only solution to improve your process. You also need a sustainable tech stack to manage all your process.

Hubbler comes with a no-code application builder that lets you build any application that can run on popular desktop and mobile OS. 

You can build a custom in-house CRM application, contract directory, employee directory, expense management system, and asset management system. 

Integration 

Wondering if Hubbler will be able to connect with your existing applications? Well, it has custom APIs that let you connect with any application within seconds. 

Integrate Hubbler with your favorite apps and improve your business process without breaking a sweat. 

Final Thoughts

We live in a digital and ever-changing market. To stay relevant in this new era, you must constantly improve your business processes. 

Not emphasizing your business process will only result in redundancies, poor productivity, and low-quality products. You need to constantly identify the bottlenecks in your process and fix them to streamline it. 

In this article, we listed some process improvement examples to show you how businesses are turning the tide around. With the right tools, you can easily make your process seamless. 

Hubbler is one of those automation tools that can help you run your business on autopilot. It can help you minimize your employee's workload and allow them to focus on tasks that actually matter. 

So, what are you waiting for? Initiate business process improvement and use Hubbler to transform your business for the better.

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