Spring is here again! Spring is usually a time for fresh starts, new ideas, and that inevitable spring cleaning. However, when many of us think about spring cleaning we automatically think about doing household chores such as sweeping out the garage and cleaning and reorganizing the house. We rarely think, “Oh, spring is here, it is time to review our current business processes,” however, spring is an excellent time to revamp current business processes and practices to make sure they are still as effective and efficient as we would like to believe they are.
Employees can help!
In reality, businesses should actually analyze and review business practices twice a year, and at the very least once per year. However, spring is a great time to conduct this “cleaning” process. Even though it is a common practice to first consult with the top managers regarding suggested business process improvements, a great place to begin may actually be with the employees themselves. The employees are the people who are out working directly with the processes in place, and often harbor helpful ideas to help improve upon what is currently being done. For example, if many employees all pinpoint a specific area that has been causing delays in production it should be taken seriously. The cohesive complaint should serve as a “red flag” to top management that something is simply not working and must be changed to keep aligned with the desired concept of business efficiency. The overall objective is to try to be proactive versus reactive. Being proactive would involve improving processes so that problems do not arise; the goal is to stop problems before they are even able to happen.
Questions to Consider
Let’s start by considering a few questions. Some common and helpful questions that should be analyzed within the business are:
- Are customer expectations being met?
- Are there any new and helpful types of technology that could be implemented to help streamline any current processes that are lengthy or too time consuming?
- Are any current processes experiencing difficulties or ongoing issues?
- Have all safety hazards been adequately identified and addressed?
- Is there new product development underway?
- What are the current projects in place and what is their current status?
- Are there any additional resources that are needed to maintain and expand the current workload?
- Are there any unneeded resources or practices that could be eliminated for better efficiency?
Lean Tactics and Spring Cleaning
Along with doing some business spring cleaning, spring is also an excellent time to work on lean tactics. The concept of lean actually coincides nicely with spring. The lean mindset focuses on the elimination of waste. This includes the elimination of wasted time, wasted money, and wasted resources, while spring cleaning focuses on organization and getting rid of unneeded and unnecessary items. The harmony between the two concepts is simply uncanny. Take advantage of the season known for fresh beginnings and find success in streamlining current business processes and practices with the help of spring cleaning.