Optimization — what exactly does it mean?
If you would like to stay on the surface of troubled waters of the modern world’s business, you have to continuously improve and enhance, that is, optimize every area of your organization’s operation. Each one because no area can remain not upgraded.
The survival of your company depends on smooth, uninterrupted, and relatively stable business processes. Optimization, however, is related to a change. Does it mean you should be afraid of optimization?
Let’s go over what the optimization process looks like from the beginning. The first step is to decide that you need a new IT solution that would fully fulfill your business needs. You go through the process of requests for quotation, you assess providers, and you sign a contract for an audit of the current processes and their enhancement. You set up the project team and resources so that the project would start soon. All this to ensure your company’s transition to a higher level. Now, take a deep breath… because it is just the beginning.
Optimization with no changes? It does not work that way!
A new IT solution should not mean that you would run all your processes as you have done it for the past several years. It does not mean that you should do everything exactly the same as usual but with a fancy IT tool. It could be compared to a situation in which you buy a shiny new yacht, but still use rows to cruise the seas.
The new tool, solution, or software, no matter how you call it, should mean readiness for some serious process remodeling. Why? Because you have just invested a lot of money to carry out the optimization, and its complete success depends on whether you can accept any necessary changes in the existing ecosystem. Usually, it is difficult; most of us do not like changes. And it is true — changes brutally pull you out of your comfort zone but are essential if you want to unleash the full potential of your company.
Optimization in practice — from courage to benefits
That is enough theory. Let’s follow some real-life examples to show you the true power of optimization.
It was 1974 when McDonald’s started its McDrive revolution. Imagine that before, the only way to order your favorite Big Mac was by doing it in person. You had to get out of your car, place an order, pay, and patiently wait before you could consume. Someone had to be creative and brave enough to bring about a change in the process of ordering food. That is how you become a pioneer in the market. Today, most of McDonald’s income comes from customers who don’t get out of their cars!
Let’s follow another example. In the middle 1930s, cinemas were going through a massive crisis. Due a high level of society impoverishment a large part of it could not afford to buy basic goods, let alone to purchase cinema tickets. In those days, popcorn street sellers hit upon the idea to sell their snacks to potential moviegoers right before they enter the cinema building. Street sellers made a profit, but cinemas — bankrupted one by one.
Eventually, the cinema owners have spotted an opportunity to optimize their income by cutting out middlemen, and providing popcorn and drinks of their own. In 1945, half of the popcorn consumed in the USA was sold in cinemas. Needless to say, the profit from selling food and drinks in the modern cinemas is significant. It got to the point that some cinemas started to serve dinner and dessert meals. It proves that there is always room for optimization and advancement.
Do you want more examples? No problem. Does the term “assembly line” ring any bell? Or maybe “IVR,” when you call your bank or insurance company? Booking a plane or hotel through a website? Once, these were unimaginable. Today, these are standard solutions that facilitate running a business, some of the many examples of the optimization. We could multiply examples because, practically, there are no limits to the optimization.
Optimization — do not miss your chance for change
The only thing you need to start are good ideas and a clear vision of the planned optimization. Then, let your project team operate so the ideas could be transformed into IT solutions. Because there is no mountain high enough for them!
You don’t feel convinced yet? Then, take let’s take a look at the issue from another angle. What will happen if you miss the opportunity, and you will not improve the work of your organization? Do you remember the Kodak company? Surely you do! Back in the day, you could see its logo almost everywhere. But the company did not realize the potential of digital photography, and they did not optimize their processes; they did not transform a family business into a smoothly operating machine. They did not spot the opportunity given by the digital photography, and they failed to keep up with the modern world’s order. And that is why they nearly bankrupted, and never got back their lost position on the market. It is a huge simplification, but it also shows a dire threat if you drop optimization.
The benefits of optimization can be easily listed:
- reducing the time required to perform repeatable activities,
- increasing the dynamics of the company’s growth,
- increasing the satisfaction and comfort of employees,
- increasing the turnover of the company,
- full use of the company’s potential,
- new development opportunities,
- the reduction of fixed costs,
- positive publicity on the market
- encouraging experts and specialists to join your organization,
- new sales and marketing opportunities.
I could give many other examples. But each one of you needs to answer the question: what optimization benefits do you look forward to? And then, you need to plan further operations correspondingly. One thing is sure: everything is worth optimizing because, at the end of the day, the winners are those who keep going forward. You may say that those who do not develop go backward. When you feel full and satisfied, the competition is just starting to plan the next improvements. So, I suggest you get on a train directly from Optimization to Benefits just now!
Do you still have doubts whether you should change anything or not? Why not operate as always? No worries. I will cover the ground in the forthcoming articles.
- Business and System Analyst
An analyst with extensive experience. He has been involved in the IT industry for 7 years, he has participated in projects for Polish and international clients operating in financial, healthcare, car audio, and pharma industries. For nearly 3 years, he has been carrying out projects based on the Salesforce platform. An enthusiast of Agile and optimization projects, a team player, motivator, and smile bringer.