How to optimize processes while increasing the value of a product?

Archer Blog - How to decrease costs and increase value
The less you spend on processes, the more profit you will put in your pocket. Under normal conditions, it is simply a matter of earning revenue beyond costs. In crisis conditions though, it is a matter of survival.

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Cost reduction is the first step that most companies take to adapt to crisis conditions, and it is one of the best crisis management strategies.

However, a crisis is not always just a loss. It is also an opportunity to become more flexible, thoughtful, adaptive, and to improve the quality of your product. In this article, we have compiled a guide that will help you reduce costs without sacrificing quality.

4 first steps to jump-start process optimization

Remote work was already a trend and has now become a necessity. Many companies were not ready to build a new business model on the go without a plan and preparation. And yet the remote working model has proven to be effective with many people wanting to preserve these options after the lockdown is over.

The crisis has shown that a lot of work can be done outside the office. There are even considerations in many companies to no longer return to a traditional office working environment. And they are probably right. The thing you need to do to adapt is to optimize your processes.

1. Break the process down to manageable parts

Even before self-development became mainstream, business experts have said that you should not bite off more than you can chew. It is necessary to break up a difficult task into smaller ones, identify the stages of execution, and come up with a performance management system.

2. Appoint people on the team responsible for each part

It is also necessary to appoint a responsible person for each stage, and it is important to optimize time. Tasks should be assigned in a way that the time each team member spends allows everyone on the team to stay effective and not just busy. This is one of the ideas of a lean startup book, we'll talk more on that later.

3. Prioritize and document each step

The performance management system should have clear indicators that can be measured. That is why it is necessary to prioritize, document each step, and measure the results. Even (or maybe even more so) in remote working conditions, balancing labor invested and the result obtained is the best approach.

4. Be ready to adjust as fast as possible

The current pandemic crisis will still offer surprises that we know nothing about. That is why it is necessary to maintain flexibility in thinking and promote that concept with team members. Maintain the open-mindedness to see not just the threats that come your way, but also the opportunities that actively changing environment has to offer.

Let the power of Agile methods work to your benefit

The flexibility of Agile methodology and remote work is a perfect match. You just need to change the management process and get the best out of this approach. The Agile framework was invented for startup development, however, its ideas work great for all types of businesses especially in a crisis. A lean startup approach works as well - watch our webinar to learn more.

  • Provide everyone with the equipment and supplies they need

The lockdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak took many companies by surprise. They were not ready for a quick transition to remote work. The first thing to do is to make sure that everyone has all the necessary equipment for working at home.

  • Make sure every tool your staff needs can be used online

Furthermore, it is necessary to think about what process management tools you will use. Most companies are switching to cloud services, and the popularity of Zoom has skyrocketed. Think of what 

  • Give your team the accesses, codes, and passwords they need

Optimizing your workflow means eliminating downtime. In the case of remote work, it is necessary to make sure that a member of your team is not waiting for a password, access or code and that this does not slow down the whole process.

Use the best of Lean Startup strategies

The lean startup methodology originated in the automotive industry and has become popular in startup development, but theoretically, it can work for any type of business. Regardless of your industry, this is a great answer to the question of how to reduce the cost of production while increasing the value of the product. And here is how:

  • Cut the wait time

According to Lean principles, this is called waste elimination. Wait time, unnecessary lines of code, conversations about nothing, and all kinds of distractions should be removed.

  • Create with high quality in mind

This rule sounds like something a lazy person might say: "It is better to do it right on the first try than to correct it several times." But it’s actually a smart approach. For example, you can automate some parts of a task or develop new quality standards if you take your time.

  • Motivate your team to communicate and share knowledge

Remote work is impossible without good communication. Now is a good time to learn effective communication strategies, develop a corporate communication culture based on the principles of cost reduction and quality improvement. The simplest thing you can do is teach your team members how to quickly respond to messages, emails, and calls, and to not delay the implementation of their tasks.

  • Deliver fast and respond to your audience's needs

In crisis conditions, user preferences become unpredictable. Today they may buy fitness products and order healthy food, and tomorrow they might drink alcohol to soothe their sense of isolation. That is why crisis development should be quick and phased, taking into account the changing demands of the audience without loss of quality, of course.

Conclusion

These tips are not an innovation methodology. However, it is quite possible to stay afloat and provide good quality and reliability, and even earn money in a recession. The only thing you need to do is to rethink your business and quickly adapt to changes.

 

Contact us at info@archer-soft.com to learn more.

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