Bea Sanchez is a writer at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. She writes about business & entrepreneurship, branding, and digital marketing—content that educates small and medium-sized enterprises and helps them create informed decisions. Beyond writing articles, she's also fond of copywriting and social media content creation.
5 Common Business Bottlenecks Hindering Digital Operations
Digital operations are at the forefront of every business as companies transition online. With digital transformations boosting business and customer experiences, the fast nature of technology also means that organizations are not immune to hiccups. To be more precise, business bottlenecks are to be expected along the way.
Investopedia perfectly explains what a business bottleneck is: a congestion in a company’s production system. It occurs when a surge of workload happens and the production process struggles to keep up.
Fortunately, identifying digital and operations bottlenecks does not require much guesswork. Bonitasoft, a business process management software company, was able to pinpoint the most common bottlenecks hindering business growth and digital operations.
Not enough processes
Structure is needed if a business is to thrive. If systems and processes are not in place, it is not easy for a company to achieve their desired goals. A day-to-day roadmap to be followed by a team can take out the guesswork on what needs to be done next, and implementation will be clearer and easier.
Additionally, business process automation can prove to be beneficial to boost employee efficiency. Investing in a system that will help in the management of files and workflow can buy the whole company more time to work on time-sensitive matters.
Introducing systems can help with structure, but only the right processes will make an impact. Too much of everything will not serve your business and according to the previously mentioned research, 33.7% of bottlenecks are caused by too many processes and 45.3% are due to confusing systems in place.
While not streamlining your processes can have a detrimental impact on your business, too much can complicate how a business is run. Miscommunications can happen, which ultimately leads to inefficiency within the team.
Understaffed IT professionals
The role of IT experts is more important now than ever- even reaching the point where the lack of such professionals in a team can cause congestion in company process. One of the most common business bottlenecks is the understaffing of, or the lack of an IT department.
These professionals solve highly-technical problems that others will not be able to solve. While they can troubleshoot office computers and software, an understaffed IT sector will not be able to immediately accommodate the needs of the whole company. This also causes delays as almost everything is done with technology’s support.
Missed deadlines will lead to a stall in production. 32.6% of digital operations bottlenecks are because of staff and colleagues not being able to catch up with the intended timeframe. One main factor behind such workflow congestion is poor communication skills, and understaffing may also be a possibility.
In the same Bonitasoft report, 47.4% of respondents state that too much work in an understaffed workplace are one of the main business bottleneck culprits. The next time a company slows down in operations and production, an employee’s job roles should also be reconsidered as juggling too much workload can damage efficiency in the long-term.
Many say that a business’ quick ability to adapt is their competitive advantage. This extends to the technology they use. Companies who have inflexible technology may find that they have a harder time scaling as their systems are outdated.
The hesitance to test and see what works, failure to see the benefits of flexible technology, and inability to apply agile innovations can slow down a business’ digital transformation. In a time when a number of resources are within everyone’s hands, customizing systems according to how the company is growing can help decongest business workflow.
Business bottlenecks can majorly affect efficiency and supply chain, leading to longer turnaround times and a delay in responding to customer demand. One example is Adidas’ slow sales growth back in early 2019. Although the famous sports brand has grown its reputation and following in the past decades, the company still lost 200 million to 400 million euros when Asia-based producers lagged behind.
Identifying the bottlenecks in a company’s digital operations is a must, especially when one plans to scale the business. Maintaining the right processes, investing in efficient talents, and adapting the technology according to a company’s needs are just some of the solutions to decongest business bottlenecks.
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