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Best Ways to Streamline a Business: Processes & Workflows

Almost every business could be more efficient in some way, especially as technology continues to evolve and become more capable of handling tasks that once required human effort. Local plumbing companies trying to scale up can take advantage of the latest technology to streamline their processes and workflows.

Is your business' growth is being held back because you would need to hire additional employees to handle a heavier workload? It may be time to consider whether streamlining your business processes and workflows would free up resources so you can scale your business without new hires.

In this blog, we'll review the basics of streamlining your business, including signs your systems are outdated, how to select which processes to streamline, and common challenges you might face. 

 

streamlining plumbing company

What Are Processes and Workflows? 

Before we can dive into what streamlining is, it’s important to understand what processes and workflows are. These terms are very similar and are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a key difference between them.

Processes refer to high-level tasks that are geared toward organizational goals, while workflows are the systems designed to complete those tasks. In other words, workflows are always part of larger processes. (1

 

What Is Streamlining? 

Have you ever wondered how national companies are capable of continual growth? Streamlining processes is one of the keys to their success. Streamlining is exactly what it sounds like — it’s the process of simplifying or eliminating workflows to make daily operations more efficient. For example, plumbing companies may implement software that automatically generates invoices upon completing a service call, so technicians don’t have to spend time writing up those invoices themselves and checking back in with office staff to confirm the costs of the services and materials provided. (2)

By eliminating inefficiencies in various processes, streamlining can help you make better use of your own time, as well as your employees’ time. This is essential for allowing your business to scale up and continue to grow, as you can do more with the talent you already have and ensure that new hires are following the most efficient processes.

Larger companies are able to tap into more resources to facilitate streamlining operational procedures so they can make more efficient use of their employees’ time, better serve their customers, and increase sales. By becoming a P3 partner company, you can gain access to additional resources and insight from industry leaders to help you streamline your own business processes without losing your local branding and existing company leadership. In turn, you’ll be able to scale your business to serve more customers and generate more revenue as a local leader in the plumbing industry. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Operational Excellence for Home Services Companies

 

Signs It's Time to Update Your Business Technology

In 2024, streamlining processes typically means using technology like scheduling software, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and other forms of automation to reduce or eliminate the time employees need to spend on different tasks. Recognizing when it's time to update your technology can help you remain more capable of continually streamlining workflows. Here are some important signs that it’s time to update your technology:

  • You’re still relying on employees to input data into spreadsheets for scheduling, invoicing, and other tasks.
  • Your existing software is bulky or takes a long time to load. If employees are waiting for pages to load or various features to function properly, it’s time to upgrade to more efficient software systems.
  • Your current systems are lacking in manufacturer support because they are outdated. 

 

streamlining plumbing company with technology

How to Choose Which Business Processes to Streamline

While you probably know that technology can help automate or speed up various processes and workflows, you may be unsure which of your processes would benefit the most from streamlining.

You’ll need to start with process mapping, which involves assessing your current processes and the workflows nested in them. Then, you can determine which ones are good candidates for automation. Some processes require human judgment and creativity, or have too many variables to be managed through automation. (3) Other tasks, however, are well-suited to automation, including: 

  • Scheduling and dispatching
  • Invoicing
  • Communication/customer tracking
  • Payroll

Determining how to streamline business processes and ultimately scale your business can be challenging as a small business owner. Under the P3 Services umbrella, you will have the logistical support and guidance of a continually growing, well-resourced parent company that can analyze your current operations and help you adjust in the most efficient, effective ways. 

 

Common Challenges of Streamlining Business Processes

While there are many benefits to streamlining processes, there are also challenges that can arise when you take on this effort.

First is simply selecting the right technologies and tools to best serve your business. This can be a daunting task because of the wide selection from which to choose. It will be vital to properly research your options and determine the best tools for your unique needs. 

Once you decide on the right technological solutions, then you will need to train your employees to use these tools and incorporate them into their workflows. (4) Some employees may be resistant to change or face a learning curve. 

These are areas where P3 can help. We are committed to helping local plumbing companies become innovative industry leaders by adopting proven technologies to optimize workflows while offering support for employee training and recruiting. 

 

Building People, Supporting Service

As a P3 partner, you don’t have to compromise the integrity or reputation of your brand to scale your business and evolve with modern technologies. Our partner companies retain their local branding and management, but they gain access to the resources, recruiting capabilities, training, technology, and logistical support of a national company.

If you are exploring ways to streamline your business processes and take the next steps to becoming an industry leader in your local market, learn how to become one of our partner companies

 

 

  1. Indeed Editorial Team, 6 Ways to Streamline Business Processes and Workflows, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/streamline-processes-and-workflow
  2. Service Titan, 11 Plumbing Business Management Tips to Streamline and Grow, https://www.servicetitan.com/blog/plumbing-management-tips
  3. LinkedIn Community, What are some of the best practices for streamlining and automating your business processes? https://www.linkedin.com/advice/0/what-some-best-practices-streamlining-automating
  4. Madison Nelson II, Piping Hot Challenges: Plumbing Professionals Tackle Industry Hurdles, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/piping-hot-challenges-plumbing-professionals-tackle-nelson-iii/