Productivity

What is Consulting for Process Improvement? Everything you Need to Know

Struggling to improve your business process? Here's a step-by-step guide on how consulting process improvement can improve & optimize your processes.

Introduction

Improving business processes to keep pace with success is a challenge for every expanding business. If not solved, companies might risk crashing over their current infrastructure and compromising their chances of future success. 

But how can you improve your business process and what are the steps involved?

Business process improvement (BPI) is here to help you. And the most efficient way to leverage this is through process consulting.

Feeling confused? Don't stress.

This article walks you through what consulting for BPI is, its pros and cons, what top consulting firms to explore and how you can make process improvements in-house.

Let's dive in.

What is consulting for process improvement?

BPI is a continuous process that assists business leaders in identifying inefficiencies or potential development opportunities. Improvements in these areas result in better quality, efficient services, lower costs and more productive corporate operations or procedures.

BPI assists you in identifying the main value driver for your business, listening to your clients, creating an environment of excellence and selecting the right tools for your operation.

But what if you don't have the time or expertise to examine your present business process and identify any operational gaps you need to close right away? Hiring a business process consulting firm will help.

A business process consulting firm is an external consultant that helps businesses by researching and analyzing the processes and systems that a business implements so that you can enjoy all the benefits without having to invest a lot of time in independently evaluating your company and workforce.

What are the pros & cons of outsourcing BPI?

External business process improvement (BPI) consultants have an independent perspective on internal people, processes and systems. The consultant offers opportunities to automate and optimize every area of operations with efficiency and profitability as the end goals.

This eliminates human mistakes while enhancing data streams for decision-makers. However, everything comes at a cost. So, here are the pros and cons of outsourcing your BPI.

Pros:

1. You don't have to hire more employees

When you outsource, you can hire your consultant on a contract basis. By preventing the hiring of an employee, you can save both resources and time, given that the average cost per hire is $4700 and it takes 12 weeks for a new hire to become fully productive at work.

2. Lower labor cost

The United States outsources approximately 300,000 jobs annually. Why?

Every business does this for a different reason, with many looking to reduce labor costs. A study found that, of the 62 percent of companies that use outsourcing to reduce their overhead, 38 percent credited the practice with driving down labor costs by 40 percent.

Exploring a global talent pool makes it easier to find the right talent at the ideal price.

3. Access to a larger talent pool

There might not be much local talent available to you when it comes to hiring an employee. But, you can access a large talent pool when you outsource to specialized firms. 

Depending on where they are located and how many of their roles are remote, these consulting firms have access to talents in various parts of the country or the world, so you don’t have to face the hassle of recruitment.

Cons:

1. Communication issues

Although it doesn't always happen, it can be one of the major possible disadvantages. Here are some concerns to take care of:

  • Does your hiring consulting firm have the same time zone as yours?
  • What's your preferred method of communication? Do they accept it?
  • Do they have a reliable Internet connection?
  • What hours are they available?

Having clear answers to each of the above-mentioned questions is crucial in order to run the collaboration smoothly.

2. Lack of control

You give up some control when you outsource, even though you can give instructions on what has to be done.

The fact that you've hired a contractor rather than an employee is just one of several causes behind this. Furthermore, it may be challenging to maintain the desired level of control because your consultant is not working on-site.

3. Quality issues

Despite all the advantages of outsourcing, it only works well if you get the quality you want. Anything less will leave you disappointed, given that 20 percent of the companies that are outsourcing currently are planning to back out due to low-quality service.

This does not mean that you cannot successfully outsource, but you must first discuss the quality that will be required.

Top 5 consulting firms to check out

Outsourcing business processes greatly reduces costs and boosts productivity while concentrating only on key business operations. Here are the top 5 consulting firms for you to choose from.

1. Infosys

When it comes to the fields of information technology and business process management, Infosys is a name that needs no introduction. The Indian business assists clients from around the world in raising their levels of digital agility to improve performance.

Services provided:

  • IT Consulting
  • Analytics
  • Automation
  • Legal process consulting and outsourcing
  • customer service
  • E2E outsourcing
  • Accounting and finance
  • Digital interactive services
  • HR services

2. Accenture

Accenture is a well-known brand that serves a number of giant organizations and offers consulting, technology and business operations services. With more than 500,000 employees worldwide, Accenture is one of the biggest professional services companies.

Services provided:

  • Cloud services
  • Security as a service
  • Supply chain services
  • Business strategy services
  • Technology consulting
  • It services
  • Healthcare management consulting
  • Digital marketing analytics
  • Blockchain solutions

3. IBM

With its BPO services, IBM assists businesses in developing what it refers to as "intelligent" and "customized" workflows. By integrating IoT, cloud, AI and automation, IBM aims to rethink existing traditional business methods and assist businesses in advancing their digital capabilities. Currently, the corporation employs more than 352,000 people.

Services provided:

  • Customer care
  • Risk management
  • HR services
  • Finance transformation
  • Automation
  • Procurement services
  • Big data
  • Blockchain 

4. Wipro

Wipro, an international BPO business based in India, has been giving clients all over the world consultancy, business process outsourcing and IT services. In addition to winning numerous prestigious industry awards, Wipro has been named a Fortune Global 2000 business. Walmart and Philips are just a couple of the companies that Wipro works with.

Services provided:

  • Blockchain
  • DevOps
  • Industry 4.0
  • Digital workspace solutions
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Cloud

5. Cognizant

A multinational business with its headquarters in the US, Cognizant is known for its cutting-edge consulting and IT-related solutions. The business has been serving the world's leading businesses, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. 

Services provided:

  • Enterprise services
  • Quality Assurance & Engineering
  • IoT
  • Digital Engineering
  • Intelligent Process Automation
  • AI
  • Digital Strategy

How to make process improvements in-house?

Here's a step-by-step process with strategies to help you with in-house business process improvement.

1. Decide on which process to improve

Finding areas that require change is the first step in improving business processes. Consider running a process audit to find current issues. 

Once identified, review how each process impacts your business and prioritize the ones that have a major impact.

2. Map out the process

The next step is to document each step of an existing process. Here, a step-by-step documented guide can help you see how each step of your workflow is organized.

To make sure you don't overlook anything crucial, you should speak with the team members who utilize the process frequently.

Investigate each stage in depth because certain procedures may have steps that aren't immediately obvious. And to ensure you don't pass up any opportunities, you need to consider those steps.

But when it comes to manual documentation, it's way easier said than done because it demands a huge time investment. Imagine, for example, that you use videos to document important business processes. If it needs to be changed, It will take anywhere from a few hours of video editing to several hours to completely redo a documented process.

The solution? Scribe it!

With Scribe, you can automate process documentation and produce practical, quick-reference manuals in just a few seconds. 

All you have to do is click on the desktop software or extension and run throgh your workflow. Scribe turn your process into a visual step-by-step guide with written instructions and annotated screenshots.

Want to see it in action? Here's a Scribe that explains how to start a new Slack channel. Meg from our squad only needed 29 seconds to make it!

Here's what our users say:

3. Identify bottlenecks & areas for improvement

The following step is to carry out an analysis to determine which "areas" of a process require improvement. To find bottlenecks, ask the following questions:

  • What steps cause bottlenecks?
  • What are workers finding frustrating?
  • Which actions are delaying things the most?

Consider asking employees involved in the process you're trying to enhance. Obtain their opinions on the improvements they would put into place.

4. Outline the new potential process

Once you've located the bottlenecks, it's time to create a process to eliminate them.

To start, you might conduct some research to find out how your competitors are resolving the same issues. Then, conduct an impact analysis on each concept after brainstorming with your team members.

You should also perform a risk analysis to identify potential risks. Consider how much time it will take to implement each concept and select the ideal solution to solve the issue.

5. Implement the new process

Now, it's time to implement the process that you've created in the previous step. Don't forget to communicate these changes with your team, who will be using them and provide necessary training when required.

Scribe Top Tip: Using Scribe will help you save dozens of priceless hours while also creating effective and "share-ready" training guides in seconds. Click here to see how.

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6. Review

As you work to enhance a process, there will probably be bumps in the road. Keep a close eye on the performance of new processes and seek employee input. Are they experiencing any issues? Are there any questions about a step?

As you attempt to continually improve your processes, keep track of any input you receive and optimize the processes accordingly.

It's time to improve your business processes!

Improving your business processes can assist you in the long run — resulting in the continuous growth of your organization and bringing more opportunities to your table. And you can easily achieve it through consulting process improvement.

In addition, leveraging Scribe in this journey helps you reduce overall time, costs and increase productivity. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today for absolutely free!