Tue, 08 Jan 2019
AN entrepreneur from Newbury has launched a new company that aims to tackle poor and inefficient processes in UK small businesses.
Alister Esam was previously founder and chief executive of eShare, based in Oxford Road, which he built without investment to have a presence in more 30 countries, employing 70 people and counting some of the world’s biggest brands among its clients.
Mr Esam sold eShare in 2018, and has set up a new firm called Process Bliss to change businesses through the power of process.
Research commissioned for the company’s launch has shown that SMEs are beset with issues caused by inefficient processes.
More than half of UK SME bosses are wasting one day each week managing processes, while a further third (34 per cent) are wasting two days.
The research also revealed 76 per cent of SME bosses believe they do not manage processes well, with 12 per cent admitting they stay on top of processes for finance, marketing, HR and more, by managing them in their head only.
This wasted time and inefficient process management can lead to variety of issues across the business, with the majority of processes for SMEs found within HR, finance, operations, marketing and sales.
Mr Esam said: “Processes are hugely polarising.
“People are mostly either really detail-orientated and love them or are more ‘big picture’ and feel restricted by processes.
“But whatever your personality type, processes are integral to any business and should be managed in a way that means people aren’t wasting so much valuable time each week.
“When addressed in this way, processes give us reassurance that tasks are completed, everything is running as it should and free up our time for more enjoyable parts of the job.”
Process Bliss is a process management tool that is used to help businesses stay on top of their everyday processes and tasks.
“We’ve created a product in Process Bliss that allows a business to be more productive, freeing up staff from process while providing reassurance that tasks are getting done,” said Mr Esam.
“It is intuitive, collaborative, simple to use and fits seamlessly into day-to-day SME life, and will help address many of the issues that were raised in our research.”
The State of Process Management in UK SMEs report showed that there is not a standard way of managing processes within most SMEs.
The most common ways of managing process information are within individual systems (41 per cent) or on spreadsheets (30 per cent), neither of which are truly effective and can make reporting and cross-referencing information a significant challenge.
Worryingly, the third most common way of managing process for SME managers is in their head, with 12 per cent admitting that was how they stayed on top of process and tasks.
Mr Esam said: “For many SMEs, processes can feel like a chore and an element of the job that people resent, so they seek shortcuts, such as relying on their memory.
“This is a sure route to process failure, which in turn can have an impact on the customer experience, accounts, HR and virtually every function in the business.
“Using the right tools to manage processes is a no-brainer – for smaller companies the cost is nothing and they can be up and running within minutes.”
A fifth of senior managers say process management software would boost their efficiency, while the research respondents were also mindful of exactly where in their business that process improvements could be most effective.
The greatest business benefits cited by SME managers were improved efficiencies (18 per cent), better control (17 per cent) and improved communication (16 per cent).