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Are Your Processes Just Beachy?

By Joey Havens

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Sitting on the balcony of an 18th-floor condo overlooking the beach, it’s a great time to reflect, recharge and THINK. We are on our annual Havens Beach Retreat with almost 40 family members including kids and grandkids. Mom and Pop Joe are the headliners and run the nightly domino games. What a blessing with a mixture of fun and chaos!

I’m enjoying some precious early morning moments with coffee (likely my only opportunity for think time this week) as I notice the busy beach chair staff preparing the setups for the day in the sun. I watch intently as this one guy loads up eight chairs for one trip from the boxes to the front of the beach, which is about 70 yards or so. First, he stacks a chair in front and back, then one on each side so four chairs surround him. Next, he stretches and hangs two more chairs on the front corners on each side, then two chairs on the back two corners. Finally, he begins a fast trot carrying eight chairs at once. He has mastered how to be most effective — more chairs, fewer trips.

Watching the two beach services on each side of his, I see them only taking four chairs per trip and sometimes just two. The duplicated manual processes and lost time are so clear as I am watching this unfold right before my eyes. After 30 minutes, I’m pretty sure he has set up twice as many beach chairs as his two competitors.

Remember, this is THINK time, too, so let’s take the elevator up to the 18th floor in our businesses so we can step back and see all of the manual processes that our team follows every day. I’m not sure about you, but I see many manual processes and silos of information and data.

What are our opportunities to automate or (stack) many of these processes to save time and improve accuracy and outcomes? For me, I see a bucketful. How can customized bots make our businesses run smoother and free up our team members to elevate higher-worth activities? What processes could be eliminated?

I’m sure things feel just beachy, yet when we rise above and look closely, we may see an opportunity to transform our business processes.