A Chef’s Guide to Improving Business Processes

Posted August 2014

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Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has a saying, “If you’re not chewing in the kitchen, you’re not cooking. You’ve got to taste the food as you go.” The same can be said when talking about improving business processes. Unless you’ve tasted what you’re cooking, there’s no way to know for sure that the automation you’re building will actually work.

Many small businesses don’t have the time or the expertise to architect and implement impactful business optimization so they outsource this very crucial task to a technology partner. Often times the partner uses a template from a previous project or maybe just advice from the software manufacturer on what to do and how the software should work when it’s up and running. Ultimately, most automation “experts” have never even used the software they’re implementing. They don’t “eat what they cook” and often times end up serving their customer a terrible meal.

When choosing a technology provider to automate such important business processes, make sure the vendor you choose has experience using the products they’re implementing within their own organization. Ask them how they use it, why they implemented it and what benefits they have realized. If they can’t answer any of these questions you should choose another vendor.

Five years or so ago, we had a few inherent issues with the way we did business that we needed to address in order to lower our costs, streamline our operation and continue our profit growth year over year.

Our main issues were:

  • Upper management had little to no visibility into the orders being placed every day at each branch which led to overspending in a lot of areas
  • Upper management had no visibility into exactly what equipment we had at each warehouse so when new orders were placed they were often times duplicates of what we already had in stock
  • In general, the company had a problem providing people with access to documentation when they needed it, making everyone’s job more difficult and making doing everything much slower than it needed to be.

So equipped with plenty of spoons we cooked our butts off, tasted and tested our work along the way. We burned steaks, added too much salt and certainly undercooked some chicken, but each time we tasted something rotten, we fixed it and the final meal was worthy of a five star recommendation.

Here’s how things changed:

  • The CEO now has visibility into every single PO the company issues and approves them all personally. He has access to the POs for approval from anywhere in the world. According to him, this alone has saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last 5 years.
  • Upper management now has visibility into all the equipment in every warehouse we operate. They have been able to cut down on duplicate orders resulting in more than $100K in savings each year for the first three years.
  • Since implementation, each sales rep has secure, controlled access to all their customer information at any time, the accounting department now has access to all warehouse documentation enabling them to get us paid faster and the HR department has shifted all employee data into our system, making it safer, more secure and more compliant with government restrictions, keeping us safe from law suits.

Do you find that you have the same issues in your business? Are you interested in dining at a five star technology establishment? Contact TGI to learn more and as Julia Child always said, “bon appetit!”

By Paul Franetovich – TGI Boca Raton Branch Manager

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