Systems Are The Backbone Of Every Business
Systems are the backbone of your business. Systems increase efficiency and can assist you with everything from training new hires to managing documents or distributing products. When you’ve got a system, you’ve got a routine that anyone can follow in your absence, saving you both time and money.
Here’s what you need to know about using systems to strengthen your business operations:
Creating a system can help automate part of your business
When you’ve got a system in place that works, you may be able to turn it into an automated process. For example, if you have a system for posting messages on social media at certain times, you can use software to automate the posting process according to the times dictated by your system.
If you have a system for creating new web pages and populating them with content from your marketing team, you can find a software developer who can automate the process of creating the pages. Then, you can populate the content, saving you plenty of time.
Know the difference between outsourcing and automation
Outsourcing and automation are two different strategies, often used together, but they serve different purposes. For example, many companies use automation within the company but never outsource.
Investopedia defines outsourcing as “the practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and create goods that traditionally were performed in-house.”
Companies that don’t outsource like to keep things in-house for various reasons. However, that doesn’t mean outsourcing is terrible. In fact, outsourcing can support some companies exceptionally well.
The key to efficient outsourcing is being able to outline what you need so you can compile a list of tasks you’d like to be completed.
For example, you may want to have someone gather data and crunch numbers for you. Or, you may want to have someone send a premade email blast to a specific list.
Successful automation runs on an efficient system
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines automation as “the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically.”
For a system to operate automatically, it must first be fully functional. It takes time and effort to work and re-work a system, but once it’s running smoothly, it’s time to automate it.
Create systems that support your vulnerabilities
Every business is vulnerable to some degree. If you can identify your vulnerabilities, you’ll be able to mitigate them with systems.
For instance, truck drivers, bus drivers, and people who operate machinery like forklifts are prone to fatigue. When drivers don’t get adequate rest, their fatigue becomes a hazard to others on the road. Fatigued drivers are a huge liability for the companies that employ them.
In Australia, a brilliant fatigue-management system was implemented as national legislation that requires truck drivers to keep a daily work diary. This diary is designed for the driver to record their work and rest hours to ensure they’re compliant with relevant laws. This new requirement has several advantages for people on all sides of the issue:
- If a truck driver is involved in an accident, the diary will provide a written record of their activities. If the driver didn’t record getting adequate rest, the diary could potentially be used as evidence for the other driver(s) to recover compensation.
- If the driver had taken adequate rest, the diary could potentially be used to support the driver and the company’s case.
- If the driver recorded that they’ve taken all legally required rest periods, they wouldn’t be able to sue the company later for any type of break violations.
- These diaries could serve as official company records for any future legal claims, accident or otherwise. For instance, if someone accuses the driver of being somewhere at a specific time, the diary might provide evidence for their whereabouts.
Your systems are your success
Systems ensure consistency and prevent employees from doing things in multiple ways. For instance, if you run a coffee shop and you have a system where decaf is placed on the left, you’ll never have to ask the barista which cup is decaf before passing it to the customer. Without such a system, decaf could be on the right or the left, depending on the employee. They may not even remember what side it’s on and they’ll have to remake it.
Systems also make processes easy for everyone. Imagine having new hires, but being unable to come into the office to train them. Instead of rescheduling their orientation process, if you have a documented system in place, you can ask another employee to do it.