Have you ever stopped to think about why you do what you do in your grain business every day? I am not talking about your management hierarchy; but rather, the daily, weekly and monthly routines you go through just to keep your business running & operating.
You could be wasting a great deal of time and effort if you have not critically reviewed your operational processes. I suspect that when this evaluation starts some of the answers will be “we’ve always done it that way”, “that’s the way it was set up & no one has changed it” or even “good luck coming up with a better plan for that”. When employees & managers change (or even when they don’t), it’s a good idea to review the business. Old habits die hard but if they can be replaced or removed with new technology or a better process, they should be.
Just doing the review is not enough – the next step is to assign value to each specific operational process and to each of its individual internal components. What does it cost in time and effort to complete each process? What is the cost and consequence of not completing each individual process? Is there a benefit to the customer or the management team? Are the processes difficult to complete or is the method used ripe for miscalculations? Think about all the steps required from the point of view of both your customers and your employees. Is there a mountain of paper consumed & created that is not really necessary in today’s digital world?
Carefully consider these key business activities:
· What is the process and procedures to receive a load of grain in?
· What is the process to see your current inventory?
· What is the process to transfer grain from one of your sites to another site?
· What is the process to blend grain to fulfill a delivery contract?
· What is the process to schedule & coordinate a series of loads to fulfill a contract?
Making it easier & quicker to fulfill any of the items above means more is accomplished in the same amount of time. If the new processes result in less errors that need to be fixed later, that also translates to a more efficient business & happier employees. In addition, using software provides an audit trail should questions arise in the future.
Have you looked into your business recently? If not you should. We can help you see what could be improved and determine if technology could be a part of the solution.
If you are looking for someone who has years of experience in evaluating grain processes, reach out to the Proceres team – happy to chat more!
Mike Dorris, Business Development Manager