In our personal lives we have come a long way in replacing inefficient processes – emails for letters and computers for typewriters are some prominent examples. We have also become addicted to instant gratification – watching movies, ordering meals and running errands (Zomato, Dunzo, Practo, Capital Float…you get the idea).
However, when running businesses there is always so much to be done that one can frequently fail to keep track of the creeping redundancies. You may see things being executed “smoothly”, but the redundancies slowly eat into your money and employees’ time. Freeing your employees from these would allow them to be ‘outcome driven’, reduce errors, and minimize the consequent time in locating and fixing them. Does this sound too good to be true? Read on.
Get the thermometer out – Measure and learn
“What gets measured gets managed”
Peter Drucker (Management Guru and writer)
Are your teams (HR, Legal, Operations) “busy” drafting, printing, storing, scanning, retrieving documents and chasing people for signatures and approvals? Is your Sales team spending time sorting through leads instead of being on calls?
Take some time to write down everything your team does and how long it takes. Include in this list time spent waiting around, sending emails, tracking documents, social media and everything else – you will find out what your biggest time guzzlers are.
A few clicks are mightier than the pen – your eSign and eStamp strategy
Hand signatures are ancient entities (first appearing in 7th century ), but somehow, they continue to be prevalent in our 21st century lives. These hand signed documents drag down the pace of a business transaction and distract employees from achieving outcomes (printing, scanning, couriering, stamp paper procurement, follow-up and retrieving time…haven’t you noticed?).
Multiply this wasted employee time and cost with the several hundred documents you execute each year (or each month?) such as Customer onboarding forms, NDAs, employee and partner contracts, self-attested documents, and invoices.
You can use services like Leegality.com for eSigning and eStamping documents. This can slash the time and money spent on dealing with documents by 90% (do you have more ‘outcomes’ you want to achieve?), and give your customers a seamless digital experience. Cherry on the cake – never misplace an important document, and allow controlled access across geographies.
Find more about this on our previous post – How can you utilize Aadhaar eSign for your business?
Let the machines take over – automate using tools
Automating business processes using tools reduces/eliminates the need for human touchpoints, saving time, money and frustration for employees and customers; though not everything can be or should be automated (ask Elon Musk). To start with, you may focus on repetitive, time-consuming tasks which create friction in your external and internal interactions.
Basic collaboration tools like Calendar apps (Google Calendar), To do lists (Wunderlist, Google Keep), and cloud backup platforms (Google Drive, Dropbox) help in streamlining workflows within a business. Other force multipliers can be customer relationship management (CRM) platforms – Hubspot has helped us streamline our marketing and sale funnels. Tools like Zapier can help in creating mini automations between your business tools (e.g. save all attachments from incoming emails to Dropbox). You can also explore other small ways to automate tasks, and with some hits and misses you will have a much smoother and less time-consuming workflow.