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Re-Engineer your Business Processes this spring!

Re-engineer your business processes this spring

Are your business processes truly efficient, effective, compliant, and delivering the best possible service to your clients or, have they been dragged out of shape by regulatory change, the deployment of new technology, or just the day-to-day buffeting of running a busy adviser business? If you suspect there’s room for improvement then now’s a great time to do some Business Process Re-engineering (BPR).  

BPR is fundamentally a straightforward exercise, but it needs to be executed using a clearly defined methodology, a rigorous attitude, and an open mind! It starts by mapping your current processes (often using an appropriate software tool such as Engage Process). This is what we call defining the “As Is” state, i.e. how do things work now. You might think you already know how your processes work but, in all probability, this exercise will identify some variance in how the same task is being performed in different ways by some of your staff. That’s not to criticise your staff it’s just how things develop in a busy office environment where new staff join, others leave, and your business is responding to yet another change in regulatory requirements.

Next comes the all-important “Analysis” phase. Again, this sounds simple but it’s important to adopt a challenging and objective approach, to ask the difficult questions such as :

  • Do we even need to produce this document/report/output?

  • Can we improve the outputs to the benefit of clients?

  • Can we automate the process (use technology)?

  • Could we outsource the work to somebody that would do it faster, better, cheaper?

  • Can we streamline the process to reduce the work involved?

  • Can we simplify the task such that other, perhaps less experienced staff, can perform the work?

Many adviser firms find it’s useful to get some external input during the Analysis phase. This not only helps ensure effective challenge, but it also provides insight as to how other adviser firms operate, i.e. stimulating ideas for further improvement.

Then, having pulled your existing processes to pieces and having identified the opportunities for improvement the next task is to design and build your new operating systems. This is what we call creating the “To Be” state. Specifically, this will involve:

  • Mapping the new processes (again using an appropriate software tool)

  • Identifying and selecting any new technology tools (software applications) through which processes might be automated, streamlined, and improved

  • Identifying and selecting any new third-party service providers, e.g. it has been decided to outsource some elements of your operations

  • Drafting any new policies and procedures that might be required, e.g. policies to protect the quality of your data and ensure its security. 

  • Testing your new operating system

Finally, comes the task of implementation. This is when the “rubber hits the road” and is quite often where re-engineering projects fail; Not because of any fault in the analysis but because the critically important aspect of Change Management has been overlooked. Specifically, the re-engineering project has not done the “hard yards” of keeping staff informed and involved as the project progresses. Even the best, most efficient, and effective processes will be naught if the staff don’t embrace them enthusiastically. Hence, running in parallel to the main BPR project there needs to be a Change Management workstream that deals with any HR issues that might arise as well as thinking through how best to train and motivate staff to adopt the new ways of working.

As we all know the world of financial advice is changing quickly. Regulations seem to change every month and new technologies are launched even quicker, so it’s essential to review and enhance your operating procedures from time to time. And, when you do it’s even more important to do a thorough job to reassure yourself that your business is maximising its full potential.

At Jigsaw Tree we’ve been working with our clients over many years to deliver all kinds of Business Process Re-engineering projects, so we have the expertise and experience to provide you with whatever support you might need.  

So, if you’d like to get your business operations performing to their peak this spring clean then please contact the Jigsaw Tree team, and let's have a chat.

We also a FREE 30 minute consultation which you can book here.


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