(an excerpt from Chapter 6 in Becoming an OBM)
Look for any ongoing errors or delays in the business and ask yourself – how can this be automated.
One of my clients ran a 6-month coaching program and asked each member of the program to read and agree to a set of standards to complete their registration. She would send a PDF form for her coaching clients to print, read, sign and fax back. Then, a VA would gather the faxes, enter the client contact information into a spreadsheet and send the client a Welcome package. This was a lot of work for the VA to coordinate, and also created a gap between when a person would send in their fax and when they would receive their Welcome packet (sometimes a day or so, depending on how busy the VA was).
To simplify the process, we set up an online agreement form. Now, when someone registers for the program they are taken to a webpage with an online agreement form that they can immediately read and “sign” (by submitting their name). Once they submit their name, they gain immediate access to the online Welcome packet. What was a 7-step and labour-intensive process that took two days or more, is now a simple, three-step process that takes minutes and is easier for everyone involved.