Is your business operating at its full potential? Are your employees engaged? Are your business processes working? Are you managing your cash flow, or is it managing you?
Growing companies can benefit from an internal operational assessment and can see significant increases in revenue, employee engagement, and operational efficiencies by doing so.
Organizations are built upon four pillars which are intrinsically related: Strategy, People, Process, and Technology. If one of these pillars isn’t optimized, the other three pillars will ultimately suffer. An organization must have a strong governance framework and operational discipline to achieve operational excellence.
If you are a growing company and are struggling to streamline your operations, an operational assessment will help you evaluate all aspects of the business – from the people to the processes and technology deployed.
How to perform an Operational Assessment
An operational assessment is a 8 step process, which includes:
- RISK ASSESSMENT AND KICK OFF meeting with executive management to evaluate current business objectives and organizational risks.
- INTERVIEWS with key employees to assess roles and responsibilities and business process walkthroughs.
- ASSESSMENT of each individual business process, employee engagement, and the relationship between them. This includes comparing current processes with best in class processes.
- ANALYSIS of all technology and business systems (accounting, sales, inventory, and compliance) that are being used and a review of all transactional data to identify any trends or abnormalities in sales, accounts receivable, cash, fixed assets, inventory, and payables and purchasing.
- EVALUATION of internal controls and process gaps. During the evaluation process you will want to identify all problems and focus on the areas that require immediate improvement.
- IMPROVEMENT PLAN will include a detailed roadmap of the areas in the business that need to be improved. During this process you will want to detail out actionable steps for the improvement, the stakeholders involved, and a date when the improvement should be implemented.
- COMMUNICATION PLAN of the operational changes that will be impacting the business and it’s employees
- MONITORING of the improvement and communication plan is critical to effective change and process improvement. Monitoring can be done on a monthly or quarterly basis.
What should be evaluated during an Operational Assessment?
Every operation is different, therefore a risk based approach should be utilized when designing the operational assessment. This will allow you to focus on the areas that are the riskiest in the business. Also, when evaluating the business and organizational processes, it’s important to take a standardized approach and methodology in how you assess each cycle. Here are some of the business cycles you should focus on during your operational assessment.
- Sales and Customer management
- Customer Invoicing an Contracts
- Billings and Collections
- Cash Management
- Purchasing and Procurement
- Inventory Management
- Asset Management
- Payroll and Human Resources
- Employee engagement and development
- Accounting and Financial Reporting
- Regulatory Compliance
- Contract Management
Who should be involved in an Operational Assessment
All levels of the organization should be involved in an operational assessment, although the roles that each level plays varies in the amount of involvement and time spent in the process.
- An objective leader should champion and execute the operational assessment. It’s important for this individual to have a clear understanding of the operations, an ability to analyze data, and communicate with multiple people in the organization.
- Leadership should be involved in the planning of the operational assessment to ensure that the Company’s objectives and risks are being evaluated during the assessment.
- Business process owners are heavily involved in their respective function of the business and will serve as a key resource for the Operational Assessment champion.
- Employees and staff have their role in the operational assessment as they are the front line of the business and tend to identify issues that management or executive leadership is unaware of. Additionally, key staff should be interviewed and included in certain planning and discovery meetings as any issues or recommendations identified in the operational assessment could impact their job function or morale.
How long is an Operational Assessment
An operational assessment will vary depending on the size of the Company and the level of detail that is analyzed and reviewed. The average operational assessment process should be started, assessed, and completed in less than one month.
What are the benefits of an Operational Assessment?
The benefits of an operational assessment are massive. An operational assessment helps identify areas where there is revenue leakage, identifies ares where there are cost saving strategies, and areas for employee improvement and engagement.
Most importantly, an operational assessment provides your business with a process improvement plan and roadmap that can help you meet your business objectives and needs.
Schedule your Operational Assessment Today
Using an objective and experienced advisor like myself will bring an outside perspective to your organization and will help you achieve the results at a much faster pace. By utilizing an outside advisor with actual operational and organizational development expertise you will able to assess, identify, and implement change into your organization more effectively. Schedule your free consultation today.