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Firm Operations

Workflow: A Crucial Element to Drive Profitability

Mapping out your processes into a step-by-step workflow allows you to get a more clear, top-level view of your business.

Standard operating procedures (SOP) and workflow should be in order when you launch or scale a business. However, many small businesses are overwhelmed, especially during start-up or growth stages. In addition, there are well established businesses that have fallen victim to the “it is the way it has always been done” mentality. Establishing and revisiting effective workflow strategies can prime businesses to become more profitable, plus there are several other benefits that come along with it.

Greater Insights into Effective Business Processes

Mapping out your processes into a step-by-step workflow provides you with a clear, top-level view of your business. Even if you have a well-established set of business processes, do you really know if they are delivering you results? Do you have a clear understanding of the KPIs that are developed as a result of the processes you have in place? Or, is your team just scrambling to get the job done? Are the processes in your business as good as they could be? This evaluation can improve the current workflow of your existing team. In addition, creating standard operating procedures can reduce the cost associated with onboarding and training new employees.

One of the biggest reasons why workflow is important is because it gives you greater understanding into your processes. Identifying the current systems in place and documenting them will give companies better insight to streamline workflows and improve the financial growth of your business.

Finding Overlap in Roles and Responsibilities

A great opportunity in any organization is to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each job position. Many times, when roles are not clearly defined, employees will focus on getting the tasks completed, but there is little ownership or connection to the success of the organization as a whole. Identifying and eliminating redundant tasks has, of course, countless benefits. It creates value for your business. Instead of wasting time on non-essential tasks, your employees will be able to focus on what’s important. Also, tracking billable versus non-billable time allows you to see the utility of each employee. Tracking specific tasks allows you to uncover items in the workflow that need to be optimized and made more efficient. You may realize that your firm has been under-billing for some services.

Communication and Awareness

There are many culprits in the inefficiency of workflow: lack of communication by leadership; little to no accountability from proper time tracking practices; or too generic of a system in place to give any significant opportunity to evaluate or improve the current process. 

Awareness is key. Principals of the company and the management team have to put in place a logical, trackable workflow to help promote employee efficiency—however, there is a fine line as a cumbersome system can also be a distraction and time-consuming process, pulling focus away from the intended outcome.

Vision-Centric Workflow

Furthermore, gaining the buy-in by employees to the processes and workflow hinges on the messaging and attitudes from leadership. Educating and training employees on the benefits and positive impact of new systems allows them to directly engage as an active member of the company’s vision and to become a proactive participant in the growth of the organization.

Visibility of processes and accountability can increase workplace communication dramatically. Proper communication reduces employee turnover and powers day-to-day operations to be smoother, overall.

Empower, Don't Micro-Manage

Micro-management is the leading reported cause of workplace dissatisfaction. Employees hate being micro-managed. Studies have shown that micro-management is often cited as the biggest reason for quitting a job.

By clearly mapping out your desired workflow, everyone knows what tasks must be completed, who will be completing them, and when they must be completed. When the workflow process is clearly laid out and communicated to employees, managers can spend less time micro-managing their employees. With proper communication, tracking, and reporting—everyone knows the status of the project and what element of the project is going awry. Everyone in the team sees exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done. This will, in turn, increase the job satisfaction of everyone involved and most likely improve the relationship between management and employees.

Improving Workflow with CORE

BQE CORE provides many opportunities to fine tune workflow to increase profitability. First of all, properly tracking time and expenses helps companies identify actual costs, manage project status, and stay on top of invoicing. This will immediately impact the company’s cash flow. Having proper procedures for paid time off (PTO) as well as task allocation and forecasting helps organizations to focus on the business pipeline. It also allows smarter planning of upcoming projects and planning management for the work-in-hand.

Having this foresight will also make your company highly sought-after by your vendors as well. The steady cash flow will allow timely handling of vendor bills and vendor payments, which can lead to discounts and preferred vendor relationships, thus giving your company the ability to add additional savings to the bottom line.

For additional information on streamlining workflow in BQE CORE, please contact a BQE Account Representative to schedule a product demo or sign up for a FREE TRIAL. If you have BQE CORE and want to effectively use the software to drive success in your organization, schedule an open training session with one of the BQE CORE Consultants today.

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