Business Analysis

It may be that you are quite happy with the processes (business functions), IT systems and software applications that you currently use but often, whilst things appear to be going well, we sometimes forget to review what we do in our everyday work and miss opportunities for refining our ways of working to potentially save time, energy and perhaps even money!

How can I help?

If you look closely at the processes in your office, there are probably many ways in which they can be improved but as a start I would look at your current business processes (who does what, when), documentation and file structure, IT applications and their use.  I can:

  • document and advise on where business processes can be improved,
  • advise  and support in using your current application and system more effectively,
  • offer advice and support in organising your documentation,
  • create/update technical documentation,
  • review and potentially pull your data into a single, relational database (such as MS Access) that is more effective than using many single files/documents,
  • support your workforce with training needs and/or further guidance that they may require.

Software Development Company?

If your business is in supplying and developing software for others, I may also be able to support you with identifying new/further development opportunities, testing, training, updating user guides/documentation and with client liaison and soft sales of your products.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you can use my skills, either on a regular basis or for a particular project you have in mind.

Business Processes

business process diagramFunctional areas of a business (Sales, Purchasing, Finance, IT etc) often carry out similar functions no matter what the business is, but specific processes may be quite different according to its specific purpose (as well as size/number of employees and other factors).

Having spent a much time working with businesses, large and small, to assess their IT solutions requirements, I can help identify where there may be ‘waste’ or ‘gaps’ that need addressing in your business processes and advise on how best to improve them (with or without further IT development).

Business documentation

Your business documentation may benefit from some revision (especially if there are any changes to business process), a general tidy-up (archiving old, removing duplicates) and/or revising your file structure.  Efficient storage of your information will speed up your system and the ability to find what you need when you need it.

Note: If you are having a documentation ‘tidy-up’, please don’t forget to take a backup of anything that you move, archive or delete, just in case you need to retrieve it at a later date!

I can help support you with revision of your documentation and file structure or even with document re-branding requirements.  Alternatively, you may want support with transferring data onto cloud storage, or even have a bespoke CMS (Content Management System) created for easy access to your documents – especially if you want to share those documents with customers or on-site engineers etc…

IT Applications

Refining your use of the technology already available to you can mean that tasks are less repetitive, easier to complete and more efficient for both the IT systems and the people using them.

In some cases you may have various applications that you have bought or subscribe to but do not use to their full potential.  For example, have you considered using (and sharing) MS Outlook or Google calendars, not only for planning in your own meetings, but also for planning and communicating full work schedules for your employees (perhaps instead of the old whiteboard or wallchart that you currently use?)!  Using shared calendars makes it easy for you and your employees to access the information from mobile devices as well as in the office and can even be set up with reminders!

Do you currently use a range of spreadsheets and databases to store your business information?  Typing in the same data into more than one place (known as data redundancy) wastes time and can be open to more input errors (typos, missing values or incorrect data being copied across), so it is worth considering ‘pooling’ these documents into a single, relational database, using applications that you already have (such as MS Access).  It is important to remember however, that some software applications/systems may not be supported any more, in which case this solution may not be appropriate or even feasible.

 If your IT Applications are not quite meeting your requirements, check out my systems design and development page to find out more about having bespoke data management and/or scheduling systems created for you….

 

Helen Ward
BA Hons (ICT with Education), PGCE

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