The CEO’s 2013 Resolution: Business Improvement
As I sit here planning for the New Year, I try to prioritize what is important and critical to our success in 2013 and beyond. I reflect on what we accomplished last year and try to observe where our greatest gains came from so we might apply some of our best lessons of the past year to aid in the new year’s success. Some of our greatest success came from making the decision to change the way we do things through business process improvements and applying better controls.
This is an area I have great knowledge about, but I often fail to put into practice, as I am personally NOT a process person. I am a busy CEO that focuses on two extremes: the big stuff and the little details, but NOT the process of how it gets done on a day-to-day basis. This was one of the significant motivators for creating iSynergy and Progression, to address my personal weakness and what I had observed as a weakness in many of the organizations I have worked with.
So I started iDatix to provide Business Process Automation solutions, because I hate doing things the hard way. I don’t like the details of paperwork; I just want to get things done. (Trust me when I say, this is a horrible attitude for a CEO to have and thankfully one I have consciously focused on to compensate.)
In recognizing that good processes are critical to success, that making workflows easy to follow and perform for all brings tremendous benefit and my personal stress is reduced when things are done right, all set me up to do more with our own products. Since iDatix is a Business Process Automation Company, we already have our big processes automated, like sales orders, fulfillment and accounting, but in 2012 we focused on some smaller processes that were just little headaches. We implemented a new time-off request process, expense report process that lets you use your smart phone and take pictures of expenses and a purchase request process for both major expenses and all those little day to day things. As CEO, wow what a difference!
It was amazing to me how much simpler things were without all this stuff coming across my desk the old-fashioned way. I can approve time-off requests on my phone at a stop light. All the documentation for expense reports are on my iPad, and I can use the camera of my phone to take a picture of the receipt so it couldn’t be misplaced.
Over the past few years you cannot escape hearing everyone espousing the importance of Mobility. I even saw a presentation by renowned physicist Michio Kaku forecasting the future and the coming age of abundance from technology and specifically Mobility and how Mobility will be playing the major part in everyone’s life and work. But I still did not fully “GET IT” until I performed my mundane, required tasks with a simple click on my phone.
I know it is how we have built our company. We say it in our marketing. We see it as benefits we document for our clients. But, when you can personally experience just how easy it is and that it is NOT just something that your employees do, you really get just how powerful it can be.
Today you would never think of keeping you corporate books on paper using an adding machine to close-out and balance each month of business. You can no longer run a business like that. Yet we still use paper invoices and purchase requests to get work done. Paper is not only obsolete in business processes, you will not be able to afford to stay in business if you continue to use it. It’s just too easy, convenient and stress reducing to click “Approve” or “Deny” on my phone, tablet or laptop to get the work done. And, I do mean “Stress Reducing”. When you click it, you know and have peace-of-mind it’s done and done right!
So, my 2013 plan as CEO is to continue to reduce the workload of our employees and give them the satisfaction of knowing that they have gotten their work done and done correctly by continuing to automate as much as possible. I am sure as the reader you might think this post is self-serving, but please let me assure you that once you personally experience the ease at which work can get done as we and our clients have, you will understand that now is a critical time for you to make this a priority in your business.
Best wishes in the coming New Year for you, your family and your business!