When organizational development issues arise, many tend to view these methods and procedures as "toys" of the largest companies and comment on these like "It would not work for us" or "It only works for large enterprises". The above may be true in some cases, but there are many areas in which you can improve your business organization, and that will surely make operations more efficient and cost-effective. We have collected some of these solutions.
A typical mistake in the life of an SME is the lack or low level of organization of work, compared to large enterprises. The reason for this on one hand is that training is not available - even in HR and related programs, students are more prepared for a multi-environment, while in other professions there is less or zero training in this subject - on the other hand, the owner is usually a professional, who started a business for some reason. Accordingly, adequate management knowledge may be missing. Likewise, there is usually no specialist team with this knowledge. Only a small part of the SME sector is able to form and finance such a management team. Most owners look for answers themselves, solutions to a particular problem and better or worse solve the challenges that arise. Accordingly, there is no such kind of - organizational - innovation, but the company starts to operate in this kind of ad-hoc way. Workflow systems offer a solution to these problems. If a system is implemented that already contains certain types of processes, examples, working solutions, then the organization's performance will be noticeably improved immediately after the implementation. These solutions can even be best practices, based on the operations of large companies; xFLOWer offers this to our customers, so with the introduction of the system, smaller companies can gain access to the already proven methods of the "big ones" - even better, these are also implemented in the business processes. Hence it is not possible that the new approached, methods and knowledge will be avoided for any reason during day to day operations.
SMEs in general do not have the resources of a multinational corporation. For this reason, automation and rational design are even more important in the business processes of SMEs, as they have less room for maneuver. At the same time, achievable progress does not entail disproportionate costs, so managing and automation of processes thus remain affordable. This means that methods that work on a large scale, can be economical and affordable for a small business too. Importantly, the workflow system and the processes within it are scalable, so they adapt to growth. And let's not forget that many SMEs are caught in a "growth trap" where, due to underfunding or lack of other resources, they are unable to take on more work, even though the market provides opportunities. In this case, workflow management - and especially automation - can be interpreted as a cost-cutting and productivity-enhancing tool that can help a business overcome these types of constraints.
An organization development project, especially if it focuses on process management, can bring a major paradigm shift in the life of the organization. In the case of one of our clients, it was specifically stated by the owner that with the introduction of the system, they will work quite differently since no rules, exact tasks, responsibilities, documents, etc. had been laid down so far - this all changed for the better with the implementation.
Accordingly, this is a big job, but it only needs to be done once, and it is still possible to implement the system incrementally - as opposed to eg. ERP implementations - that is, workflows can be implemented one at a time - there is no need to "shake" a company into a complete operational transformation in a short period of time. I would also quote literally from the client mentioned above, "If we introduce this, will there be no false excuses anymore, right?" Exactly, no made up excuses anymore, everyone's activities become transparent after implementation and allow an objective judgment of performance.
A clear definition of tasks and responsibilities is essential for optimal organizational functioning. It is true that in the case of an SME many times it is not possible to define the specific areas precisely and to distinguish the tasks of the different fields, but at the same time it is advisable to strive for the distribution, planning and rationalization of the functions and tasks. An essential part of this is task assignment, which xFLOWer can do automatically. The point here is that well-defined processes, well-defined task types and groups should be assigned to a position or area. Then, based on the business logic, the system is able to distribute tasks to employees automatically, and follow up their execution too. Equally important is the consistent management of the resulting data in a single system: customer, contract, invoice, certificate of completion and so on should reconcile. So should tasks and activities be traceable, hence it will be clear who did what, when and even why.
Of course, however, it is important that the larger an organization is, the more profitable it is to implement a workflow system. However, there are special areas such as labor brokerage, where companies with only 2-3 to 5 employees using the system, but manage thousands of pages of documents per month in their processes. So, if a large amount of repetitive tasks are performed, then the implementation of a workflow system is guaranteed to deliver significant results: cost savings, efficiency gains, more profit.
First of all, it is expedient to think through your processes and describe and record them in any form. This activity alone can help a lot, but you will definitely need to implement a workflow system to manage your processes. It is worth consulting an expert who will help you optimize and streamline your business processes, implement them, and overcome internal resistance. In addition, it is extremely important to be able to see such a system live even during daily operation - so you can literally see the results that your system can bring to your company!