Thursday, March 21, 2013

Procrastination and Streamlining

Sitting through my lunch brainstorming a topic to discuss, and all that's running through my mind is inefficiency. With all the focus there is on process improvement and simplifying one's life, it is downright frustrating to frequently run into bottlenecks all the time.

Some delays are expected. Certain things can't be controlled. But whether at work or at home, many of the delays we run into are either self-inflicted or arise out of poor planning.

Procrastination is a big obstacle regardless of the environment we're operating in. Some procrastinate intentionally, putting off a task or the implementation of a process for whatever reason. Sometimes it stems from the lack of funds, other times its to avoid falling prey to a costly risk. It's fair to say, however, that a lot of it stems from needless caution.

You find this careless procrastination in the service industry. Many businesses fail to deliver and meet customer needs since they neglect to analyze their processes. Like the bank that continues to mail scanned copies of checks or overlooks honoring a request for documentation. One would expect a more efficient response to simple requests.

Then there are those businesses who a adopt a piecemeal streamline strategy. New processes are added in stages, which is expected due to the costs and training involved. Problems arise when they fail to follow up and see these projects to the end, or when they wait too long. This causes a dual problem for companies, because they are not meeting the needs or their staffs and the consumers they serve.

There is no solution that will eradicate inefficiencies, so they are expected. But when carelessness or insufficient planning is the reason, there is reason to reconsider strategies and the direction a company is taking. It costs a lot more to replace an employee and lure new customers than to keep the existing ones. Streamlining the way you do business and following up for potential improvements can save plenty of time, and money.

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