4 Processes for optimal organization
Organization is not a process or plan but an efficient method to facilitate a process or plan. Companies strive to maximize cash flow. Since time is money, (or cash flow) then being organized will enhance the processes that facilitate cash flow by minimizing loss of time. It is very important to note that organization is not a process or plan but an efficient method to facilitate a process or plan.
Many businesses or business owners equate organization to having a clean desk or work space that is visually appealing to the eye and not cluttered. While that in many cases is a key part of being organized, it goes beyond that.
There are several key steps that can be taken to establish organization within a business:
The first is to establish central files, areas or databases that employees have access to and are clearly defined. It could be as simple as having marketing or sales literature in a designated area.
Database access should be clearly defined for certain processes.
An example is the process of setting up a new customer or vendor by filling out the required forms or paperwork. In an organized business, the responsible employees would be aware of the database location for the paperwork or forms. A law firm was able to improve their firm communication and branding by having their firm publication in their reception areas. This was the only publication in the two reception areas and enabled visitors to obtain a better understanding of the law firm. The publication was neatly organized and presented in the reception areas. The receptionists knew where the publications were kept for replacement.
Label files and areas.
Label files and areas. A more organized system is one where one knows what is contained in a file or area. Time is wasted and it is a source of stress having to go through a file. Consider consolidating files by subject matter, customer or activity. An example of this step is marketing, paying vendors or email correspondence.
Activities or tasks that are to be completed are much better organized on a viewable central list. The “to do” list can reference the file where the related paperwork is kept. The advantage of a list as opposed to an organized system within a desk is that the list is portable. Less is more.
Processes and work is more likely to be efficiently completed if it can be tracked on a list as opposed to visually on a desk or area. Many businesses today have taken the central list to another level by utilizing technology to facilitate organization.
Microsoft Outlook or Google Docs have enabled businesses to share calendars and tasks among employees. One business was able to increase the number of tasks completed on a weekly basis by incorporating technology. The task list was now able to be better organized and shared by more employees.
A weekly review is a very useful tool to improve organization. Review files and work areas. Eliminate or discard items or papers that are no longer needed. File away papers immediately upon completion of a task. Start every new week organized.
In summary integrating organization into these four processes will benefit the business in many ways:
- Processes will be clearer and more defined to those involved.
- Time lost looking for files or paperwork will be reduced.
- There will be greater visibility in the business because of the existence of lists, designated areas and central databases.
- The work place will be more visually appealing.
Sales, operational and financial processes will be more efficient ultimately leading to time and cash flow savings.