Start Simple with Business Simplification

As your business grows, the bolted-together systems and processes that worked when your company was smaller won’t scale sufficiently to support new customers, employees, product lines, and service offerings.

Equally important, there’s a natural tendency for companies to create more complex processes over time – for example, to accommodate new customer demands or to work around disconnected systems. And as they build up, these complex processes create inefficiencies, drive up costs, and make your business less agile.

But if barriers keep slowing down your simplification efforts, you’re not alone. As noted in a recent Knowledge@Wharton paper, “Business Simplification 2015: The Unmet Strategic Imperative,” companies battle everything from a resistant culture (often due to fear that simplification will lead to lost jobs) to managers who lack the time to implement new systems, processes, and policies.

But sometimes simplification initiatives stall because they fail to start simple. Sometimes the best way to get the ball rolling is to focus on one or two processes – for example, a decision making and an approval process – and empowering the people closest to those processes to simplify their daily work.

  • The project should have clear-cut goals and incentives tied to performance.
  • What might this look like? Consider
  • As this example illustrates, this approach to simplification changes people and culture from the bottom up, paving the way for acceptance of larger initiatives that require a more top-down, technology-driven approach.

Such projects still need to have the support of top management and be tied to strategic initiatives, of course – but the goal is to build momentum around the goals and benefits of business simplification.

People can experience first-hand that it’s really just adopting a simpler way of working that reflects proven business practices. And they can realise the benefits directly, right away.

So where do you see opportunities to start simple with simplification within your business? Contact us for more information on 01244 676 900

New Study: Small and Medium Companies Who Start Simple Grow Faster

New research  reveals the importance for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to design their businesses to run simple from the beginning.

The announcement was made at the SAP SME Summit being held in New York City on Nov. 10, 2015.

Businesses add new software and processes as they grow in size. This introduces complexities into their business, that can create a series of dis-jointed solutions that can stiffle efficiency and growth. According to a survey conducted  of SMEs conducted by  Knowledge@Wharton and SAP, 72 percent of business leaders and team members say business complexity has effected efforts to meet their  goals. Over 30 percent said it “strongly inhibited” that ability, and 58 percent pointed directly to technology complexity as the culprit.

While  companies see the need to leverage technology in the near future, only about half (49 percent) of senior leaders believe business simplification is of significant strategic importance today. That number jumps to 65 percent when asked if they believe it will be of significant strategic importance within the next three years. Looking ahead, 47 percent of respondents believe they will be using self-service tools when they are making decisions within the next three years, yet only 19 percent are currently using this kind of support.

“Business simplification is much more important to small and medium business than ever before,” said Rodolpho Cardenuto, president, Global Partner Operations, SAP. “The interconnected global economy has opened opportunities to small businesses that never existed before, but they come with new challenges as well. If these businesses think and plan from the beginning on how to run simple in the long run, they will grow faster and perform better.”

Small and midsize businesses need secure solutions that help them to start simple and stay simple with minimal risk or disruption to services. The path towards simplification requires a strategic plan that will get them to being digital, connected and able to grow their business. Running simple in the digital economy was identified as being more important the larger a business becomes. The earlier small and midsize businesses can design systems to help them stay simple, the faster they will grow.

To find out how Signum can help your business call 01244 676 900, or fill in the form below.