Over the last few months, we’ve been helping lots of our clients with “process mapping”. Put simply, it involves looking at your basic business functions. Critical systems such as your purchases, payroll and bank. And then asking questions like: How are you doing these already? Where are things too slow? Where are the opportunities to go faster?
We’ve some great war stories from the past few months too. We’ve found important passwords kept in drawers. We’ve uncovered sign-off processes often falling to one person – even when they’re on holiday! These might sound surprising, but we’ve seen it all. And then we’ve worked with these businesses to get things fixed.
Before your next transformation project…
…get the basics right. Sort your essentials before you start thinking about change and growth. Or even better, use your essentials to support change and growth!
In some of the industries we work in, such as retail, the margins are so lean. It’s likely everything needs to be slick. So, whilst making tweaks to a sign-off process might seem menial, we know it can make a huge difference.
Why are we good at it?
Auditors are good at it because we ask questions. We’re curious. And at Cooper Parry, our auditors are more curious than anywhere else because of our culture. Clients like how we’re “straight talking” (Halfords). They like that we bring ourselves to work. They like that we ask, “Why?”.
We also collaborate with specialists from our IT solutions team to identify which issues are systems related and which are process and culture related.
So how does it go?
1) Process mapping – Clients have systems and controls. So, we start by going into these businesses to ask what the process is, who’s responsible, what happens in the system, what is done manually, what happens when there is an exception. It could be something very specific such as payroll or even marketing processes. It could be looking at everything at once.
2) Consolidation and 3) Reporting – We’ll work offsite to consolidate our findings. We’ll think hard about it. Then, we’ll present back to you what brilliant looks like, using diagrams, charts and lots of evidence. Together, we’ll then talk about where you can make the processes super-efficient and how we can help you get there.
But before 1), 2) and 3)…
… it all starts with a conversation. Well, at least it did with these clients.
If you’re interested in learning more about process mapping and the benefits it could bring to your business, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org