“That’s the way we’ve always done it” is a commonly heard phrase at many security businesses. Some would say that if a process isn’t broken, you shouldn’t fix it. However, what happens if the process is broken but you don’t realize it? Processes at security dealers should be audited and actively managed. Otherwise, you may be risking (or already experiencing) significant harm to your business.
Business Processes in the Security Industry
A process is a repeatable collection of tasks that are used to achieve some operational goal. In the security industry, there are processes for almost every aspect of operations. This includes onboarding customers, sending invoices, scheduling equipment installations, responding to customer requests, and more.
It is common for security dealer’s processes to rely heavily on manual entry of information. Many legacy processes are built using multiple, disparate systems. For example, your team may create a proposal with one system then reenter all the information to create an invoice in another system.
Many teams in the security industry are hesitant to change what is currently working. Unfortunately, this appeal to tradition often leaves those businesses in risky situations.
Common Problems with Legacy Processes
Multiple hidden problems may exist within your current processes. The following are a few of the most common issues faced by security teams.
If you need to check on the current status of work in the field, how do you do it? If your security business is like many others, you likely need to call your technician or wait for them to return with paper records of their work.
What if you think there may be a bottleneck and want to gather business intelligence data on your operations performance? Many businesses simply do not have performance data reporting systems at all. Others may require manual entry. This low visibility of the current state and performance of the business can have significant strategic implications.
Manual Data Reproduction
When you onboard a new customer, your team likely sends a proposal. What happens when you need to invoice that customer? What happens when that customer needs a technician to come and do some work? For many security dealers, the answer is that the relevant information needs to be entered into a separate system.
Manual data reproduction is not a huge problem for small companies with only a few clients. However, as you grow, it becomes increasingly problematic. Eventually, you may find that data entry errors between systems and general inefficiency have substantial performance impacts.
Repeated work can extend beyond data entry. This can happen due to parallel processes that are achieving the same goal but not sharing the results. It is very common to have duplicate work when different company departments are working in information silos.
Sometimes replication also happens because mistakes are made. For example, someone may fail to properly record a completed work order. Human errors happen; your processes should be sufficiently robust that a person being forgetful or making a mistake should not cause major issues.
Impacts of Outdated Processes
The above problems are common, but you may be wondering how substantial their impacts really are. Is it worth investing in improving your processes just because you have poor visibility? The short answer is yes. The following are a few of the significant impacts that can arise from outdated processes.
Perhaps the most significant issue is reduced productivity. This may happen because there is a bottleneck in your operations. For example, you may have a strong sales team and plenty of technicians but have a slow point when work orders need to be entered. This can cause customer frustrations and even reduced revenue.
Inaccurate Business Intelligence Reporting
Knowing what is happening in your security dealer business is essential for making strategic decisions. As mentioned above, this can be significantly hampered by manual entry, errors, or lack of data collection. In turn, these inaccuracies can lead to missed opportunities and threats or even making poor business decisions.
Customer and Employee Frustration
Dealing with inefficient processes, red tape, and bottlenecks can be very frustrating for your team members. People usually want their work to be meaningful. So, if they are simply repeating tasks completed by someone else, this can lead to dissatisfaction. Customers may also be frustrated by slow work, mistakes, and service issues.
Decreased Bottom Line
Ultimately, inefficient processes can reduce revenue and increase costs. That means that your bottom line will not be as strong as it could be. Simply investing in process improvement could help provide substantial returns.
How To Improve Your Operations
There are many ways to improve your operations. You can map, measure, and optimize your workflows using business process management. Additionally, you can find technology-based solutions that will improve your efficiency. One of the best options is to implement software designed to handle all the major business operations of security dealers.
Enhance Your Processes with Security Financial Management Solutions
Set your business up for success with SedonaOffice or AlarmBiller from Bold Group. These financial management solutions can help your business with everything from proposals to invoicing to scheduling work orders. By integrating your core functions into a single system, you can improve efficiency and strengthen your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more and get started.