Have you experienced any of the following information process gaps?
- Planning failures, such as overproduction or underutilization of resources.
- Incomplete, outdated, or inconsistent data.
- Bottlenecks or unnecessary dependencies — such as an approval that can’t happen unless a certain person is in the office.
- Inconsistent work levels, like one person being constantly overbooked and another staff member having little to do.
- Workflows that prioritize sequential tasks (one thing needing to be complete before another is started), rather than parallel (that can be completed at the same time).
- Poor quality control.
- Inefficient systems that hinder decision-making.
- Human errors that go unidentified until damage is caused, for example, manually entering in the wrong customer email address when sending an invoice.
A gap can be defined as the space between where you currently are and where you want to be. So, if any of these things are causing chaos in your business, fear not; they can be fixed.
To start, it can be helpful to identify the future state you want to achieve. If you answered “yes” to any of the above scenarios, then you can identify a problem that you want to solve. For example, if you are consistently working with incomplete and outdated data, the future state you might want to achieve would be working with complete and current data.
You also don’t want to ignore potential gaps. Even if you didn’t identify with any of the gaps on the above list, it’s possible there are others that just aren’t as big of an issue yet. But if, say, a competitor is planning to release a new service that’s better than yours in some way, then that is a gap you would want to address, but you may not be able to until you have more information.
The next step is to figure out how you’ll bridge the gap. If you are working with incomplete and outdated data, you would want to establish how you will get to complete and current data. There can be a variety of solutions to this, but often the best solution can lie in your business technology.
There are many business intelligence solutions that exist today that are designed to deal with exactly these types of information process problems.
Business intelligence solutions can help you:
- Automate time-consuming processes, such as the employee expense process or the accounts receivable process.
- Design and implement efficient workflows that allow for parallel timelines.
- Migrate and integrate data into one system of record, while catching errors.
- Easily turn raw data into graphs, charts, and other visualizations for better analysis.
- Calculate production costs and sequences and identify the best course of action for your team.
Cloud-based software can go a long way to bridging the gaps in your data management and information processes. The key is choosing the right application for your specific organization and your specific gaps. It’s possible that there is software you’re currently using that could be better utilized to solve these deficiencies.
A great way to start your gap analysis is by bringing in outside eyes. A professional business consultant can take an objective look at your organization and see where improvements can be made, without being influenced by office politics. An experienced consultant can also bring best practices from others in your industry or information on how other companies have solved similar problems, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
At SHEA Global, for example, we can evaluate your data management process, identify gaps, and recommend solutions. We can even create customized integrations that help manage the collection and rationalization of your data from multiple sources, if that is the best option for you. Our experienced team also offers corporate training that can help your employees better understand how to implement more efficient processes and use software effectively.
Your data management gap doesn’t have to be a forever thing. Learn more about how SHEA Global can help. Call 905-470-6830 or visit SHEAGlobal.com