Process improvement for SMEs in 2020


The last fiscal quarter of 2019 is in full swing, meaning only one thing: it’s crunch time.

Your attention is likely split between closing what business you can in this year, but also planning how best to improve in 2020.

The ability to plan effectively is vital to the health of your business as, according to Entrepreneur, a lack of planning is one of the major causes of failure for SMEs.

Approach your 2020 planning in the best way possible by having a framework to consider your BPI.

Today, we’ll cover a four step Business Process Improvement (BPI) framework that can adapt to any process and business and suggest multiple 2020 trends that your business may want to take on next year.


A Four Step BPI framework:


Identify the need for change


This seems like a no brainer, but it’s one you simply can’t skip.

Take the time to audit all of your processes and figure out where you might improve.’

You’ll need to do a deep dive into all of your analytics across the organization and see where things are working properly and where you might need to change things.

It helps if you have technology to assist with an audit, like Sticker Control’s RFID tracking & traceability software.



Analyze current process


Once you’ve identified a potential process in your organization that needs improvement, you’ll want to be able to answer a few key questions before moving on:

What parts of this process are broken?

Which parts of the supply chain are affected?

What step is costing us the most time/money/effort?

What can we reasonably expect for results if we improve this process?



Obtain commitment and support


Before you make any moves towards changing anything, you’ll need to check in with the key personnel that are involved in that area.

No changes survive long-term without buy-in from key stakeholders across the organization.’

If you’ve successfully first two steps, you should have a reasonable idea of who from which parts of your business need to be involved and have a voice in any changes.

Change management principles rely on making sure that each part of your organization understands the benefits of making these changes.’



Create improvement strategy


At long last, it’s time to tackle fixing the problem.

Figure out if there is new tools or technology that can fix the problem, training that needs to be done, etc.’

All that’s left then is the execution.


Trends where SMEs should focus in 2020


With this framework in mind, here are three trends going into 2020 that your business may want to focus on:


Customer-centric businesses will win out


Consumers are more informed now than ever before.

The first stop for many when making a buying decision is to review websites like Yelp, BBB, or Angie’s List to get an idea of how trustworthy or effective a business is.’

Since 84% of consumers trust online reviews (source), focusing your efforts on generating positive reviews could be a highly effective weapon in your business’ marketing toolset.’

A high review score could potentially drive massive amounts of new customers your way.


AI as your co-worker


While we’re not at the point that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is able to fully replace human workers, AI-powered software and Machine Learning are at a place that it’s giving businesses and their employees a huge leg up in areas like data analysis and automation.’

Trends in 2020 such as AI-as-a-service businesses (AIaaS) are looking like AI will be more accessible than ever for businesses.’

Sticker Control’s easy to implement & accesible AI services are living proof of that.


AI as your co-worker


Competing for and retaining top talent can be important especially if your business is highly specialized or based in a location where the unemployment rate is low.’

Things to look out for in 2020 for employee relations include the continued growth of both the gig economy and remote workers.





As you can see, most of the time and energy in the process is spent analyzing the problem and getting the right people involved in agreeing that it is, in fact, a problem.’

This is crucial because otherwise you can end up breaking a process that was actually working fine or have to fix it all over again because the process breaks again.


If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution to start auditing your processes that can be set up in minutes, contact Sticker Control for a demo today.



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