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My name is Richard Watson and I'm a professional PHP developer
from Lurgan in Northern Ireland

Business Process Improvement & you

Posted by richard
Development | 30-06-2016

process improvement php business

Business Process Improvement by web development - is this really something that can be done and is it something you want?

According to Wikipedia, process improvement is defined as:

Process improvement is an aspect of organizational development (OD) in which a series of actions are taken by a process owner to identify, analyze and improve existing business processes within an organization to meet new goals and objectives, such as increasing profits and performance, reducing costs and accelerating schedules.

So, how does this apply to you and your business. Is this something you want to work towards, and is it something that would result in any tangible benefits as outlined above? Naturally! Productivity tools are the key but it goes so far beyond simple productivity.

Imagine this scenario; You're a small parts supply business. Your inventory is tracked by a mixture of various methods; spreadsheets, access databases, e-mails, even good old pen & paper. When it comes time to check that your records actually match your inventory, you're going to be bouncing from system to system and putting in work just to get some kind of idea what inventory you believe you actually have. Then, naturally, you have to reconcile multiple copies of the same spreadsheet people have been copying because Jenkins left the office with it open last night and you couldn't make any changes. Smith has just sent you 18 e-mails with various unrecorded stock changes he never told anyone about and Jones in the store 20 miles up the road just sent you an access database and 12 spreadsheets to incorporate into your data. Sounds like hell for a small business, right?

So imagine a second scenario - you decide to check your electronic records actually matches your inventory. Everyone in your office, and at your remove sites all log into a single web portal where they manage appropriate labelled stock. Every single thing anyone does is tracked. Why did Jones just update the system to say he has 87 Citroen 2CV steering wheels? It was 0 yesterday; Easy to rectify without having anyone sign out or unlock anything! Lets generate an up to date report that's accurate to the millisecond you click on "Generate stock audit". Even better, lets filter it by only your own office! £37,132 of stock, listed down to the smallest wing-nut. No locks, no reconciling data, no sharing and e-mailing and remote data access...dozens if not hundreds of hours saved annually. No more phone calls to Jones to ask him if he has any Skoda Fabia brake pedals in stock - you can look for yourself!

Even better, you can access it from anywhere on any internet capable device. Phones, tablets, computers, laptops - no issues. You don't need to be tied to a physical point of sale or an office machine to access what you need to know on the fly.

Does this sound like a lot of waffle? That's because it is. It is also what I do; Every year systems I create save hundreds (if not thousands) of man-hours by developing simple processes into shared web solutions. Interested? Get in touch.

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