Business Bottlenecks

Just what is a Business Bottleneck?

When we think of bottlenecks in business, we typically are thinking in terms of a process that gets bogged down, thus slowing everything after that point. Eventually, it may even cause everything to come to a halt. We generally picture a production line or something similar. But, bottlenecks can occur anywhere – manufacturing, marketing, accounting, sales, etc. All it really takes is for one thing to not happen when it is suppose to and a bottleneck may result.

What Causes Bottlenecks?

Again, we generally picture some physical process that is not occurring when or as fast as it should. However, think about when you have been waiting on somebody to make a decision. Until they do, you often cannot proceed. They may be struggling with a decision as they weigh two or more options, or they may still be stuck in a conceptual stage. Sometimes these types of bottlenecks are not the result of one person. It could be a committee that cannot seem to come to an agreement. Until they do, others are often left twiddling their thumbs and wondering what‘s next?

Why Does this Happen?

This was hinted at in the previous section, but lets go behind that and take a look at come typical reasons people or groups create a bottleneck:

  1. The wrong person or people in the wrong position(s). This can be the result of:
    1. simply not being up to the task
    2. not being properly trained
    3. being inflexible
    4. having outdated skills
  2. The process itself is broken or out of date. For example, other steps in a process may have become more efficient and one or more  steps have not kept pace
  3. The company management has not paused to review how things have changed or are changing and been deliberate to communicate change to employees

How are Bottlenecks Eliminated?

The marketplace is not static but rather dynamic, and the pace of change is accelerating. Therefore, we cannot expect people to automatically be up-to-date. Business owners and their entire management team need to make deliberate efforts to communicate change and provide the necessary instructions and training to keep employees current.

This may seem like a lot of effort, but in the long run it will prevent bottlenecks, help to reduce employee turnover, and generally make your small business a more efficient and competitive company.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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