Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to undertake many tasks, processes, and operations in its daily functions. These vital actions can range from planning for the future and attempting to reduce the uncertainty in decision-making to understanding how a company’s overall culture and structure directly affect tasks undertaken. As a business grows, its processes become more complex, and there may be current ways of undertaking work that may stifle innovation and positive change.
All businesses must strive to ensure that they operate most cost-effectively and competitively. The modern trading environment is characterised by uncertainty and a global marketplace for goods. This marketplace is filled with an increasing number of competitors seeking to gain trading advantages.
However, regardless of sector or size, an enterprise needs to examine its key functions and processes carefully. What’s more, there needs to be an unbiased assessment of whether these systems are still fit for use and, if so, allow the firm to remain competitive.
The following article explores four critical business processes, methodologies, and functions in detail, with advice on how to improve them to gain a competitive advantage.
Table of Contents
Subcontract Your Accountancy Needs
There has been a noticeable trend in recent decades of companies outsourcing their accountancy functions. Many smaller to medium businesses do not have accountancy teams. Instead, they employ an external team of highly trained accountancy staff for their business needs.
Additionally, the growth of dedicated online accountancy apps has reduced the need for a large team of in-house accountancy professionals. Many everyday tasks can be automated or scheduled to run with the data provided. This automation means companies can benefit from lower staffing costs by subcontracting all their accountancy needs to external specialists and focusing on other tasks.
A range of firms offers bespoke accountancy solutions for businesses. For example, if you are based in Maidstone or surrounding areas, it is possible to find dedicated external Maidstone accountants who can offer solutions. Many will use real-time accountancy applications to give you up-to-date information on your finances and offer advice and services that ensure businesses pay the lowest possible tax rates.
Across the globe, there has been a growing realisation that the threats posed by climate change and global warming are now becoming a reality. Businesses, in particular, need to be acutely aware of their impact on the wider environment and take all available steps to ensure that they operate sustainably.
It is a fact that customers prefer to trade with companies that can demonstrate that they are operating in an environmentally friendly manner. In fact, many consumers will actively avoid dealing with businesses that cannot verify this.
One way to operate with the environment in mind is to minimise waste. By moving to a paperless office relying on cloud-based storage and using tablets and other tech devices, vast quantities of paper can be saved each year while ensuring business continuity.
Business Intelligence Systems
Data-driven decision-making is a vital way to improve any organisation’s future planning. However, in the past, data, reports and statistics will have been taken from smaller data sources, often only by looking at a single source of information. This could lead to decisions that were not based on all the relevant information, leading to poorer outcomes.
Now, a wide range of business intelligence applications, such as Microsoft Power BI, are available. These applications use advanced analytics and multiple data sources to create insightful, data-driven visualisations and statistics. This critical information can allow businesses to make far more informed decisions that will enable uncertainty to be minimised and effective plans and strategies to be created.
Consider Changing Your Organisational Structure
As a final key point, many businesses find that their overall organisational structure is no longer fit for purpose in the modern business world and can hamper creativity and improvement. That’s why switching your structure can have such an impact.
There has been a shift from older, more rigid, authoritarian structures that are “top-down” in nature to more organic flatter structures. This flat organisational structure can help foster creativity and new ideas within teams and the wider organisation as it relies far less on decision-making, only taking place at higher levels. Many companies who operate remote or hybrid working practices find that a more organic structure can help to improve teamwork and decision-making when a workforce is dispersed from a central hub. In short, this change to the structure and culture of an organisation can empower its workforce and lead to a wide range of improvements.