Current Trends in Process Excellence
The trends for Process Excellence teach us that more attention is currently being paid to speed and time reduction. Any process, be it in a production or service environment, always has 3 criteria: quality, cost (efficiency) and (delivery) time. In the past, much attention has been paid to quality and cost. In recent years, the focus for Process Excellence has shifted to reducing TIME.
This focus on time has mainly come about due to the greatly increased customer expectation to now, very quickly, obtain and exchange information “on the spot” via smart phones, tablets, QR labels, … New IT technologies and digitization of information and document handling have contributed to enabling to satisfy this ‘hunger’ for time reduction. The focus on time also has consequences for the way in which Process Excellence will be implemented in the future. 3 trends are recognized:
Trend 1: customer focus
Companies must focus on the functional requirements for the customer and offer a total experience. Customer expectations are changing faster and faster in today’s world of digital technology, becoming more customer-specific and personalized. Making processes customer-oriented is then an obvious action. If you offer a digital document flow to your customers (or any kind of users actually), you have to make sure this digital flow always works, is as intuitive as possible and enables the client to do what he needs to do where and when is convenient for him/her.
Today it is neither sufficient nor advisable to focus on the ‘internal’ process excellence only. Many companies have been investing in automating and digitizing processes but the main focus was to create efficiency internally.
Trend 2: speed
Price as a criterion will never disappear, but service and speed will become more critical. Therefore, process professionals must orient their Excellence programs for speed, which leads to the following underlying adjustments to these programs:
- Selection of smaller projects becomes crucial to deliver faster results.
- Faster project delivery (e.g. <3 months),
- Use of flexible methods and (external) tools to adapt quickly to rapidly changing circumstances. The time that internal IT departments developed everything in-house has long gone.
- Process Excellence programs that are implemented throughout the company so that everyone can improve at their level.
- Process automation and digitization are two IT tools that help bring in speed without compromising on process knowledge that must be retained.
- Better collaboration between process professionals’ external expert providers and IT and bringing IT technology possibilities together with process excellence methods.
Trend 3: Process Excellence program in line with the strategy
The goals for Process Excellence shift from developing a method to the more pragmatic application of tools that help support the strategy. Which method is used for this is less important than before, as long as the results are achieved. It is no longer about: “we have to do lean or six sigma, but we have to do quick process improvement. Rather than as a separate program, process improvement is considered an important pillar as it supports the strategy.
Continuous (process) improvement is the evergreen that will always be needed; the underlying tools such are solutions and tools to help realize that evergreen. So it comes down to continuing to systematically measure and improve the processes.
Using external tools delivered by expert providers have the additional advantage that they can be measured and challenged continuously to be sure the time reduction is maintained or even enlarged over time. These expert providers do this as their core business, ensuring the constant development and dedicated focus on delivering a stat-of-the-art solution to their clients.
A basic condition for meeting these 3 trends is that people learn to deal with automation and digital solutions in a good way, which becomes available faster and in larger quantities. The challenge is to translate the many possibilities into good implementation and good execution within the relevant processes.
If you want to learn more on how CheckHub.io can help you efficiently with achieving time reduction in your processes involving document handling, contact us at [email protected] or call us 0477/872785. From experience with our clients we learned that the payback period for implementing the CheckHub solution can be as short as one quarter. Not a difficult decision to make, right?