Go with the flow: Creating a friction-free business culture

| By: Craig Fulton

Is your business rubbing you the wrong way?

Information stored all over the place. Inefficient hand-offs between teams. Complicated processes. Systems that don’t work together. These challenges feed friction in the workplace and create a stumbling block to success that we call Silos of Chaos®.

Consider flow as the opposite of friction. For our definition here, friction is any process or action that works against winning with the customer, while a culture of flow is designed to eliminate any obstacles in the way of a strong performance and a successful client experience.

Retail magnate James Cash Penney summed it up well, “The keystone of successful business is cooperation. Friction retards progress.“

Some level of friction exists in every business. HR and IT departments historically seem to bear the lion’s share of blame. Even though playing critical roles, both areas inherently struggle to strategically partner within an organization due to lack of empathy with actual business needs. We’ll focus here on a core area of ConnectWise expertise and experience—IT.

Whether IT supports the core business or IS the core business, it should help the organization work more effectively, stay ahead of competitors and seize new opportunities. Ask these questions in evaluating your friction and flow rating.

Do we make it too hard?

Complicated procedures and processes slow things down, even if they were originally designed to help. Software development demands and restrictions can put a project on indefinite hold. For both employee and customer satisfaction, strive for flexibility rather than rules, and simplicity over complexity.

Are we easily understood?

Not everyone is comfortable with technical jargon. It’s important that you learn to speak ‘customer.’ Most clients care far less about how the technology works than how it will help their business. Clearly communicate the benefits of your service, and eliminate the need for a translator. Enough said?

Are we investing properly into IT’s mission?

Duplicated work and miscommunication result in lost time and money, not to mention frustrated employees and customers. Smooth interaction between teams results in serving clients more effectively. The same applies to your systems and tools. The primary purpose of IT is to enhance the business process. Take a look at how your systems are interacting and then invest in needed improvements. In areas like scheduling, invoicing, sales, projects, purchasing and accounting, seamless integration and information management are essential.

From system integration to software development and business process automation, creating flow is at the heart of everything ConnectWise offers.

Whether learning how to fail well, reinventing your business, or managing friction into flow, ConnectWise is your best practices partner, helping make sure 2015 takes you to new levels of productivity and profitability.