Enterprise Process Bottlenecks in the Gulf [With Tips to Resolve Them]

Inturact StemeXe
March 2, 2023

In the Gulf region, many enterprises are finding themselves struggling with process bottlenecks. These can result from a number of factors, including a lack of process standardization, siloed departments, and overreliance on manual processes. While these bottlenecks can be frustrating, there are some steps that organizations just like yours can take to resolve them.

What is An Enterprise Process Bottleneck?

An enterprise process bottleneck is a phrase used in business process management to describe a point in a process where the flow of work is constricted. The phrase is often used interchangeably with simply the word "bottleneck." 

Process bottlenecks can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are due to an outdated or inefficient process that has not been updated to keep pace with technological changes or the marketplace. Other times, bottlenecks occur because of inadequate resources, such as staff or funding. 

Whatever the cause, bottlenecks can have a serious impact on an organization, slowing down progress and ultimately leading to lost revenue. To avoid these problems, it is important to identify and address bottlenecks early on in the process.

Eliminating Process Bottlenecks In Your Organization

The four most common enterprise process bottlenecks are:

  • Outdated software
  • Inefficient workflows
  • Unoptimized workforce
  • Lack of automation

The question is, what are the best methods of eliminating process bottlenecks such as these? We'll examine them one by one and give you our best tips.

1. Outdated Software

At first glance, eliminating process bottlenecks related to outdated software may seem simple enough, but there are a few factors you will need to consider before just clicking “update” on your programs.

There are a few ways to deal with process bottlenecks caused by outdated software.

  • One way is to invest in new software compatible with your current systems. Another way is to create a process improvement plan that will streamline the current process.
  • Lastly, organizations can outsource their processes to third-party companies that specialize in the various aspects of the workflow software was intended to assist with.

Each organization will have to decide which solution is best for them based on their budget and resources. However, investing in new software or outsourcing processes are usually the most effective ways to deal with process bottlenecks caused by outdated software.

Your best first step is to do a software audit. 

Ask yourself:

-- What software are we currently using in our systems and processes and what does each program actually do? 

This question alone may reveal that you actually have multiple programs performing the same tasks and/or that you're completing things more than once. For example, if you run an eCommerce store and have two programs that check your inventory before an order can be filled, it can cause an error as to how many items you actually have in stock.

-- Do we have software that is out of date but find it too complicated to use? 

Assume for a moment you determine your company is doing just fine without a program you have previously purchased. In this case, updating the software would be a waste of money. 

As an added benefit, by simply deleting instead of updating the software you may enjoy a boost to your computer's processing power because the systems no longer have to use valuable memory running the program.

It’s also worth noting that many organizations invest heavily in process software that is too complicated to use. Some programs are also too difficult to update/modify and have low adaptability in the workplace. For example, let’s say you purchase an applicant tracking system (ATS) for new hires. An ideal ATS must improve the amount of time it takes to hire new candidates and speed up the recruitment process from start to finish. If instead it actually adds to the time it takes to bring on new hires, then it is a drain on your valuable resources and should likely be done away with entirely.

This is actually a major issue we see across a number of industries. Well-intentioned managers purchase software in hopes of saving time, but the process of implementing and/or updating the software is simply too complicated.

-- What happens if the software audit reveals you need those programs?

In the event your audit reveals you need the software you are currently utilizing, you can do one of two things to eliminate process bottlenecks.

Option 1: Simply update the software

Option 2: Look for alternatives that do a better job completing the tasks in your workflow. Perhaps your outdated software problem will reveal alternatives that work faster and are more compatible with other programs you use.

2. Inefficient Workflows

An inefficient workflow is a process that has bottlenecks, or areas where the flow of work is slowed down or stopped. This can happen for a number of reasons, including poor design, inadequate resources, and bad communication. Inefficient workflows can cause frustration and lost productivity for employees, and can even lead to errors and mistakes.

There are a few ways to identify inefficient workflows. 

One is to simply ask employees how they feel about the work process. Do they feel like they're able to work quickly and efficiently, or do they find themselves constantly waiting for somebody else to finish a task before they can move on? 

Another way to identify inefficiencies is to look at the data. Are there tasks that are taking longer than they should? Or perhaps are there areas where errors are being made?

Simply by investigating where the hiccups are in your workflow, the resolutions may reveal themselves. If it's a team member problem, for example, perhaps more training is needed or you may need to make the difficult decision to replace that team member. In other cases, the resolution may be that you need to automate repetitive tasks with software or bring on more team members in certain departments that are overrun with issues they can't manage quickly enough. This leads us to our next bottleneck...

3. Unoptimized workforce

An unoptimized workforce may look like not having enough employees to complete tasks in the workflow. However, it can also look like an overworked workforce. When you set the expectations for your team too high, they can get bogged down and start working slower as a result. This is especially true if there is no incentive to work faster. For example, if you're constantly asking team members to work overtime to meet demands, they won't be able to work at peak performance indefinitely. Just like an engine running full time will eventually break down, your employees need adequate rest off the clock to recharge their proverbial batteries and work more efficiently.

Workforce optimization is the process of identifying and addressing process bottlenecks within an organization in order to improve efficiency and productivity. There are a number of ways to optimize a workforce, but some common methods include analyzing data to identify areas of improvement, implementing new technologies or processes, training employees on best practices, and bringing in additional team members on a temporary or even permanent basis to keep up with the workflow.

4. Lack of automation

We've alluded to this one a few times. Automation is the use of machines, control systems, software, and/or information technologies to minimize the need for human intervention in the production of goods and services. The goal of automation is to increase productivity, efficiency, and quality while reducing costs, waste, and environmental impact.

In addition, automation solutions are looked at by customers because they are tired of someone dropping the ball throughout the process, and automation eliminates this bottleneck.

Process bottlenecks are choke points that restrict the flow of materials, information, or people through a system/workflow. Automation can help to remove these choke points, and in many cases, provide a more consistent and reliable output than manual processes. If you're looking for ways to implement automation in your business, but don't want to invest in engineers or learn how to code, StemeXe can offer solutions that are perfect for your organization.

Click here to see the solutions StemeXe provides for eliminating process bottlenecks in a variety of industries.

Enterprise Process Bottlenecks
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