Processes in times of crisis

Milena Rusková
April 23, 2020
English

Our society is dealing with very difficult times at this moment, which has forced us to consider and implement necessary and urgent measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Likewise, it has also resulted in a significant slump and economic downturn.

Both large and small companies have been forced to stop their production, and the majority of them don't have a clue about what will come next or how to outlive this situation. Because of how rapidly things are shifting everyday, it’s very difficult to have a clear understanding of what steps to take, as there seems to be more questions than answers.

Where are we now and what will happen?

Unfortunately, there are very few certainties. Many industrial branches and services providers  have felt a decrease in demand for services and products (often to zero). As a consequence many companies are not able to meet their financial obligations to their partners and employees. This has caused thousands of jobs to be endangered, and even self-employed individuals have scaled back, resulting in increasing unemployment rates. The global effect of this is that the buying power of the population will also decrease and have a negative impact on economic stability and its recovery.

Currently this means that there is an increased drive to maintain production of essential services, including the medical field. As we weather the storm, it’s also important for companies to be ready to kick things back into gear once the pandemic begins to recede.

How will the world look like after the coronavirus? This is a difficult question to answer right now, but what we do know for sure is it will likely mean an expansion of on-line businesses.

Management will  also look different, as more people end up working from home, which can help save companies money. New business and education models will also likely appear, and long distance communication will become a staple.

New opportunity

Even though the pandemic has negatively affected businesses, there are still opportunities here to improve the way you do things, and we want to focus on one in particular – auditing your processes. Managers must take a moment to think about how to reach the highest work efficiency and optimize the processes in their company, especially if one considers that there might be future pandemics or unexpected global events that affect business. The first step is to maximize the capacity of the company, which might entail remodeling its current structure for on-line operation. 

Rapid modern technology development is on its rise, and currently on the market is a tool that helps automatically manage processes using artificial intelligence. This tool can respond to changes in a seconds and re-plan the processes so that they are set up as efficiently as possible, resulting in better business results. 

For companies it will also become important to recover quickly from the current situation and prepare for economic growth.

Start with process revision

In particular, companies need to have a well-prepared crisis plan.

So far, companies have been thinking about processes from the point of their implementation or optimization. The current economic situation due to the pandemic, however, forces companies to think about how to keep the company running even under conditions where workers must be at home due to either taking care of children who cannot go to school, or because of obligatory quarantine protocols.

Take the recruitment of new employees, for example – a process that every company deals with (you can find an example HERE). If a company does not have a perfectly mapped process, employees may work on certain tasks independently of their colleagues. For example, it may happen that a candidate is invited to the second selection round without  going through the initial interview. Or there may be a situation when candidates are asked the same questions in both the first round and second round of recruitment, which defeats the purpose. Not only does the company lose the time that could have been spent more effectively, but it might also lead to duplicating the data. 

Now let's have a look at what the same situation might look like. Companies usually have a purely naturally chosen procedure to fulfill their orders as well as routine administrative internal matters. However, these procedures are not visually arranged. Only after drawing the mind map will they be able to fully visualize the processes. At this point, a manager might want to focus on the continuity of individual steps and discover a more efficient course of action. This is an example of the importance of mapping processes first. Our consultants will be happy to offer support in this matter, in addition to helping to organize the follow-up of tasks, pinpoint bottlenecks, and suggest improvements. This is done by drawing the processes with specific subtasks directly into ApuTime. Management also decides on the competencies of the employees and assigns tasks to the responsible employees so that recruitment needs only be performed by a single HR employee rather than a service technician. 

Let’s see how this might play out in a given business day. On Monday morning, a staff member of the HR department, Mrs. Smith, logs in to ApuTime, where she sees the task “1. round interview with Mr. Hanson”. The task can be accompanied by a CV and a document with questions to ask the candidate, where answers will be filled in during the interview. When working from home, all she needs to do is make a video call with the candidate and ask the right questions. After finishing the first round interview (and completion of the document), the first task is completed, and only after then will the second task be unlocked (“2. interview with Mr. Hanson”). The second task may be assigned to a different team member, Mrs. Newman, who can then fill out the answers are attached in the document. Mrs. Newman can be assured that the candidate passed the first round of the selection procedure without having to check with her co-workers or double-check results.

This was just one process example. Imagine that a company has tens or hundreds of these processes. Watching over each one of them, checking whether they are being fulfilled before the deadline, and monitoring how long employees spend on tasks would be a very difficult task without the appropriate tools. With ApuTime you can do this easily by logging into the application - anytime and anywhere, so working at home is not an obstacle.


So are you ready for the future? Contact ApuTime to prepare for it, we will help you.


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