For business managers, streamlining operations is a challenge that never ends. Every day, new processes are needed to deliver new products and services—and, every day, there are new tools or strategies to improve existing processes.
Unfortunately, when improving workflow is always a priority, it can quickly feel like it’s never a real priority. Other projects get in the way and, over time, managers forget about things they meant to change or miss an important industry development.
To help renew your interest in efficiency, we’ll look at operational processes and try to get you to think about changes that can make them more streamlined and cost-effective.
How to streamline processes
Since operational processes are really just a series of steps to reach a final result, creating a lean process is really about evaluating its steps. We’ve written a lot about how banks and credit unions can improve steps in day-to-day operations, and we’ve found that changes tend to fit into the following categories:
Removing an unnecessary step
This is often thought of as a simple streamlining technique, but actually, there are many ways it can be implemented. It can mean cutting a redundant process or step that produces little value, or it can mean adding self-service systems that allow transactions to occur without staff help.
Speeding up a step
This won’t reduce the complexity of a process; it will simply allow staff to complete it faster. A perfect example of this is equipping teller lines or drive-up lanes with teller cash recyclers (TCRs) or teller cash dispensers (TCDs). The steps remain the same, but the devices distribute cash much faster than a teller counting and recounting by hand.
Automating a step
Opportunities to automate can be difficult to find because they often require new technology that managers have yet to discover. Over the past 20 years, digital banking platforms that allow for direct depositing and bill pay services have already automated many of the most common banking services. Recently, automation has become a major part of lending services, providing rapid reviews of loan applications and mortgages.
Outsourcing a step
A combination of removing, speeding up, and automating steps, working with an external service provider can be a good way to eliminate tasks while reducing costs. Equipment management through Equips is a great example of how an outside service can simplify office processes by reducing back and forth interactions and stopping equipment problems before they happen with preventive maintenance.
Redeveloping the process
This is the most challenging method of streamlining because it requires completely rethinking how an entire process works. These changes usually involve combining multiple processes and their steps to change customer/member behavior and focus on new service strategies
Know where to optimize
While you can spend time optimizing any process, it’s important that you primarily focus on the processes that take up the most time and costs. For example, a McKinsey article reported that when one bank examined 50 of its processes for improvement, it found that just 15 of them made up 80% of its overall business costs.
Before spending time and money changing a process (even an annoying one), be sure to find out the actual value of improving it and prioritize it accordingly. A minor improvement to a common process will do much more than a big improvement to a process that rarely happens.
Efficiency with Equips
Equips helps banks and credit unions streamline operations by handling equipment issues quickly, without staff needing to go through a list of steps. No time is wasted being placed on hold or having to call multiple vendors to place service requests. We protect financial institutions’ time and let them focus on the work that matters the most.
Our portal offers the ability for multiple users to log into one site to view equipment at all branches, view the service history for past and current requests, and escalate or communicate any changes or updates to our team with the click of a button. No need to pick up a phone or worry about creating emails.
It’s streamlined equipment management with the fewest number of steps. Contact us today.
Equips is revolutionizing how Banks and Credit Unions manage, maintain, and protect critical branch equipment. Leveraging a network of 500+ vendors, experts at Equips help Financial Institutions respond to equipment problems quickly in one place: Equips.com. Active management allows Financial Institutions of all sizes to improve operational efficiency, cut costs, and streamline equipment inventory and vendor management. Our groundbreaking solution provides clients across 45 states with better insight and transparency into their critical equipment and enables employees to do their best work. To learn more visit equips.com.