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UK SME bosses wasting two days a week managing process and procedure
UK SMEs are beset by issues caused by poor and inefficient processes, according to new research by software firm, Process Bliss. More than half (54%) of senior managers in SMEs are wasting a day every week just managing process, with a further third (34%) wasting two days each week. This wasted time and inefficient process management can lead to variety of issues across the business, with the majority of processes for SMEs found within HR, finance, operations, marketing and sales. SME leaders do recognise that there is a great deal of room for improvement, with 76% admitting that they do not manage process – the small day-to-day and repeatable tasks that drive a business – effectively.
“Processes are hugely polarising – people are mostly either really detail-orientated and love them or are more ‘big picture’ and feel restricted by processes,” said Alister Esam, CEO, Process Bliss. “But whatever your personality type, processes are integral to any business and should be managed in a way that means people aren’t wasting so much valuable time each week. When addressed in this way, processes give us reassurance that tasks are completed, everything is running as it should and free up our time for more enjoyable parts of the job.”
No one ‘way’
The research showed that there is not a standard way of managing processes within most SMEs. The most common ways of managing process information are within individual systems (41%) or on spreadsheets (30%), neither of which are truly effective and can make reporting and cross-referencing information a significant challenge. Worryingly, the third most common way of managing process for SME managers is in their head, with 12% admitting that was how they stayed on top of process and tasks.
“For many SMEs, processes can feel like a chore and an element of the job that people resent, so they seek shortcuts, such as relying on their memory,” said Alister Esam. “This is a sure route to process failure, which in turn can have an impact on the customer experience, accounts, HR and virtually every function in the business. Using the right tools to manage processes is a no-brainer – for smaller companies the cost is nothing and they can be up and running within minutes.”
A fifth of senior managers say process management software would boost their efficiency, while the research respondents were also mindful of exactly where in their business that process improvements could be most effective. The greatest business benefits cited by SME managers were improved efficiencies (18%), better control (17%) and improved communication (16%).
Process Bliss is process management tool launched in January 2018 that is used to help small businesses stay on top of their everyday processes and tasks.
About the research
100 survey respondents comprised senior managers (e.g. owners, managing director, CEO) of UK-based SMEs (15 employees – 250 employees), working in project driven and compliance-orientated organisations (e.g. architects, events and exhibition companies, TV, film and theatre production) or high-care organisations (e.g. care homes, leisure attractions and centres, transportation of hazardous materials).