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Using Standardization for Anything-But-Standard Results

Posted on June 29, 2022 by

Elly Mioduszewski

Elly Mioduszewski

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Reviewing Results through ChartsGetting to work today wasn’t hard. Whether you strolled through your home or drove to your office, you likely woke up to an alarm, got yourself ready, and proceeded to work with barely any thought to the route you took. This process created over years of learning what is most efficient and effective for you.  

Standardized Data and Processes 

Running your business is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Just as you followed a standard routine to arrive at your office, implementing standardized work processes can provide you and your team with more time to look at results so you can determine where to go next—rather than spending unnecessary time capturing and correcting routine activity. 

Use Case Study: Customer Onboarding 

Look at how you onboard new customers. To increase efficiencies and reduce the opportunity for error—as Stephen Covey so eloquently put it—begin with the end in mind.  

What do you need to know to service your new customer? And what do you want to know about them?  

  • How did they find you? Why did they choose you? Do they need a specific product or service? A short lead-time? A higher quality or lower cost product than they currently have? 
  • How could you serve them in the future? What’s their industry? Growth stage? Net income? 

Obtain information as early in the relationship as possible. Look at your inputs, the format of the data, and what you need to get out of it.  

Mapping out your business requirements for onboarding a new customer requires that you set potential solutions aside and focus on the results you want to achieve while ensuring the integrity of the data stays paramount in your mind. 

Evaluate Your Current Process 

Check all inputs, data format, and outputs. Ideally, capture information once and make it available everywhere it is needed. Process improvement and system integrations can turn this difficult process into a fine-tuned machine. 

Where are you collecting information? 

  • Over the phone or in an online meeting 
  • By email 
  • Through a website form 
  • In person 

Understand how the data is entered. 

  • Is there a standard format? Does everyone use the same abbreviations and letter case format? 
  • Do you use required fields to ensure all data needed to proceed is collected timely? Are there conditional fields that need to be completed if certain responses are received? 

Consider your outputs. 

  • Is the information received sufficient to make a business decision or define the next step that’s needed? 
  • Is the data fed to all systems where it is needed or where it would be helpful? 
  • Can you pull metrics on the data to produce KPIs (key performance indicators) that can help you run your business? 

This onboarding process illustrates a few of the considerations that are made when seeking to improve workflow and business processes. Similar concepts are applied to optimizing finance and other operation functions.  

By using digital tools that update processes to eliminate redundancies, capture all required data during initial contact, and create connections between systems, you’ll have more time to focus on your future rather than addressing the stumbling blocks of the past.  

Continue the Conversation

Our Digital Advisory practice focuses on helping business owners make the best use of their time by optimizing their processes, systems, and data. Whether you’d like to address a single issue or are ready for a complete process overhaul, we look forward to helping take your business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Elly Mioduszewski

Manager, Consulting

Elly is an integral member of the firm's digital advisory group, helping owners leverage data analytics and improve their business processes.

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