The improvement of the efficiency of a certain process within an organization

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What is Streamlining?

Streamlining refers to the improvement of the efficiency of a certain process within an organization. It can be done by automation, simplification of tasks, or elimination of unnecessary steps using modern techniques and technology.

Streamlining - Image of the word streamlining in a green jigsaw puzzle piece next to related concepts

Streamlining means optimization. Companies strive for more efficient and automated operations to minimize costs and maximize profits.

Quick Summary 

  • Streamlining is the optimization of business processes within an organization. Fully optimized and automated operations help businesses achieve their highest potential, saving time, and minimizing risks.
  • Companies should think of working capital processes to be automated and streamlined.
  • Implementing an information system to help employees easily access needed databases from other departments can significantly improve inter-departmental efficiency.

Streamlining Financial Processes for Growth

Finance departments are responsible for an organization’s entire cash flow. They monitor all cash inflows and outflows, making sure that money is paid and received properly.

When a company grows at a very fast rate, the quantity of documentation and invoices increases as well. Suppose project managers regularly request the finance team to provide reports about their budgets. This puts pressure on the finance team to keep up with the rapid growth, increasing operational risk. To address the issue, the company can opt to hire more employees; however, that does not address the root of the problem.

If hiring is not the solution, how will the company streamline financial processes so that risks are minimized?

The company can transfer more responsibility and accountability to budget managers outside of the finance department. One solution is to automate the budgeting process. The company can provide an online dashboard of budget allocations for each project manager.

By doing so, project managers will gain instant, automated access to their budget reports. They will also be able to see the impact of their project decisions on cash inflows and outflows. This helps solve the scalability problem of the finance team.

Streamlining Efficiency with Working Capital

Streamlining efficiency with working capital is very important for a business. Let us look at some strategies that organizations utilize to streamline efficiency.

A company can eliminate errors by automating the processes of collecting account receivables and paying account payables. The manual work of preparing invoices and settling payables can lead to mistakes that will slow things down in the long term. It is worth it to invest in technical systems to automate the accounts receivable and accounts payable processes.

Another strategy can be using non-cash options. Vendors and customers can receive and send payments online through a payment platform, bank (wire) transfers, or credit cards so that everything is streamlined in one place.

One other strategy is to centralize supplier and customer information, so everyone in the company who needs access to the database is aware of where to go and how to find it. For example, information systems are extensively used by business entities and are becoming more and more popular. They speed up the communication process between the departments. This is especially critical in relation to requesting information from other departments.

Finally, one can standardize the terms for collections and payments, which means saving time for team members. They will not need to spend significant amounts of time managing complicated systems with various terms relevant to customers and suppliers.

The main point is that all the options above aim to significantly improve efficiency for the company.

Additional Resources

CFI offers the Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and developing your knowledge base, please explore the additional relevant CFI resources below:

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