|By Jamie Fens |
DOCUMENT YOUR PROCEDURES
Does your firm have its own internal Procedure Manual that tells how your company handles things in ProfitMaker? If not, get started. It can help protect you from a "personnel disaster".
The busier your office is, the more you need more than one person to know how to perform each of the basic operations in your office. This especially includes computer operations.
Two simple steps you can take to protect your business operations at fairly low cost from losing the "know how" that make operations hum are:
- Document processes
- Cross training
One very simple way to document your critical processes within ProfitMaker is get a printout of criticial ProfitMaker screens then make notes on that printout. This allows you to capture and catalog the most important information about how you do business. It also provides a quick and easy set of training materials for new hires.
A "print screen" can be done to get an exact copy of a screen on paper. To do a print screen use the “Print Screen” key or use the Hardcopy program included on the ProfitMaker for Windows update CD.
Have the people who actually use the screen take a few moments to highlight, make notes and write policies right on the printout to which it applies. Those who use the features frequently will probably know the most about your busines processes. Investing a few minutes from each person thinking about the critical items for your company's business processes will quickly and efficiently capture your internal "know how".
Put all these screen captures with notes written on them into a binder. Making a few copies and keeping one copy off site can offer ample protection.
Once you have captured your internal processes, it is important to do some cross training. Cross training can protect you from personnel disasters, employee turnover/layoffs and and somewhat from dishonesty.
You can do your own cross training in your office, but it takes COMMITMENT. It will never be done if you wait until it’s convenient. Make it a priority. One or two hours a week is a small investment for the security and efficiency benefits an office can realize. Have the order entry person prepare and enter cash receipts under the regular person’s guidance. Have the bookkeeper and a couple salespeople enter and print an order under the guidance of the order entry person. Teach everyone how to use customer service options. You will be protecting yourself in case of a personnel problem later.
Another side benefit of documenting and processes cross training is that business can become more efficient. For those who really want to pursue the path of making their business move faster while improving the quality of product, delivery, and service check out ISO 9000 procedures. While not for everyone, the International Standards Organization provides very good ideas for making your processes fast, accurate, and safe.
Owners and managers need to have a good general idea of business performance from day to day, as well as over specific periods. You also need to personally be aware of cash in and out of the company. There are a number of summary reports designed specifically to show owners and managers this overview. In particular you need to see:
- Monthly Booked Orders
- Cash Requirements Summary Report
- Accounts Receivable Summary Aging
- Monthly Payment Report
- Company Management Report
There are also several Business Intelligence Reports that can help better understand your business. We will cover these in future issues of ProfitBuzz.