I wrote a previous article on Process Mapping where I explained a simple step-by-step overview on how to create a process by agreeing on the steps taken within your organization to complete a specific task or group of tasks.
Remember that there should be an overall process structure or flow to your organization PLUS smaller processes within the overall flow to truly make sure that all members of your organization or team truly understand what is expected and how something should be completed properly.
Once you have started to write your processes and subprocesses it is important that you combine the written documented processes with some visual aids to help you and others quickly identify if a process has been missed or if it is completed incorrectly.
In the case of the collision centre you can use posters with pictures of everything from a correct repair to an incorrect repair. In the case of the front office … do you have a sample copy of what a final invoice package should look like for quick reference? These are all ideas that can help with consistency in the process and to help you make sure that steps do not get missed.
The final step is to audit the process. Most process-driven organizations have yearly and/or quarterly audits. This can help with making sure that both the process is still being followed and to give you a scheduled time to review the process and adjust it as technology changes and as new ideas for leaner (less waste) changes emerge.
** If you try to audit your processes monthly … it is my experience that unless you have a full-time staff member that does NOTHING else … you will get discouraged, you will feel that it is too much work and you will not only stop auditing but stop improving as well **