Can Reorganization Be Healthy For Your Business?
By Bill Capraro, Jr.
Published September 4, 2005
The idea that a small- to mid-sized company has experienced or plans to go through a reorganization often stirs mixed feelings, both internally and in the marketplace. It's often perceived negatively and customers tend to think the company is experiencing problems thereby taking their business elsewhere.
However, the reality is that reorganization or internal change can be positive if it proves to be challenged and your customers are treated with the highest priority.
The term, "reorganization," is usually associated with a company that is in financial trouble and needs to quickly reduce expenses and eliminate existing debt to remain in business. However, replacing that term with "fine-tuning your company," gives the whole idea a new perspective.
You are essentially looking at your business from a clear vantage point and assessing areas that require attention and would benefit from internal restructuring or change. The overall goal is to lower the cost to run the business, while preserving the quality of service.
Working smarter and reducing expenses contributes to the bottom line, but it often takes aggressive measures to make the changes necessary when most employees would agree that "if it's not broken, don't fix it."
Analyze current operational processes for duplication of efforts that can be easily be removed.
By reducing duplication, you'll likely have a small group of displaced employees. However, finding areas that require greater attention and redirecting the talent will improve processes elsewhere in the company and present new growth opportunities within the company for those employees.
Streamline operations to increase the productivity per employee.
It is good business practice to perform annual vendor reviews to ensure that the goods or services you are purchasing provide noticeable savings or reduce the cost to maintain your end user.
For example, the products or services your organization uses on a daily basis should help employees care for customers quickly and easily. The support processes should reduce customer down time, create efficiencies and make employees available to handle other relevant issues.
In addition, upgrading your internal systems with newer products or services can reduce staff training time, minimize customer support concerns and shorten billing cycles. The goal is to positively affect the bottom line but not at the cost to the customer.
Automate systems with vendors and customers to reduce unnecessary paper and improve productivity.
A paperless environment is the direction most companies are attempting to achieve, but it's not an easy road. When analyzing current operational processes look for areas within the organization that can more easily adapt to an automated system. By taking a step-by-step approach across the company, it is a less daunting task to implement and will improve areas of operation that may otherwise be overlooked.
Service and procedures
Most companies today follow stringent procedures in all areas of their business. While the procedures may have worked previously, they may not be producing the speed to market or level of customer care that is necessary to remain competitive.
Review and update procedures regularly.
If your company upgrades its technology or systems used to service its clients, procedures may need to be revisited. Look for ways to streamline procedures to operate your business more efficiently. This helps keep you current with the changes occurring among your competitors and with your customers. updating also reduces errors, which often cost more money to fix than if done right the first time.
Sounds familiar, but it's not an easy task. In any business, your customer expects your to deliver on time and on budget. To be a leader in your market, deliver the product or service faster with greater accuracy.
Utilize your resources wisely and select vendors that provide higher quality products on time. Shorten the window of your product development and sales cycles, as well as implementation and delivery processes to positively affect your customer relations and retention rate. Additionally, by reducing the life of outstanding account receivables you will produce cash flow and feed your profit margin in a shorter period of time.
One of the most critical areas to regularly "fine tune" is your customer support model. The customer experience starts prior to the sale and is critical at each touch-point in the customer's lifecycle, not just when something is broken. Your business depends on your customers so it is imperative that you continually strive to improve the customer's experience.
Your goal is to decrease customer churn and increase your customer base. You can accomplish this more easily when you listen to the customer, provide the type of products and services to meet their needs, and keep costs desirable. Maintaining a positive relationship after the sale is as equally important as building the initial relationship--that's the meaning of quality customer care.
Your company can be better prepared to meet challenges, whether driven by the market or competitively, if you engage in periodic tune-ups. It is a smart and healthy practice to employ because of the benefits it will produce for your employees, customers and the bottom line.
A healthy business equals repeat business, so go ahead and reorganize or in this case, "fine tune your company."