By Eric Dickmann

April 23, 2023

Business Process, Business Process Improvement

Processes are essential to daily business operations, whether formal or informal. They are critical to commercial success and should not be overlooked. Neglecting processes can limit success or damage a company's bottom line. Process improvement can play a vital role in addressing business problems and establishing a strong foundation for success.

Process Improvement involves making changes or optimizations to improve a process. It is crucial for organizations to proactively identify, evaluate, and modify their existing processes to maximize efficiency. This can be complicated because processes often evolve over time instead of being intentionally designed. Therefore, it requires breaking down and rebuilding the process to adapt to new and more efficient business realities.

What is a Business Process?

A business process is a set of activities or tasks that a company performs to achieve a specific goal. These processes can be related to various aspects of a business, such as sales, marketing, production, or customer service. Business processes are crucial for the efficient functioning of an organization, as they help to streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve productivity. By mapping out and optimizing their business processes, companies can ensure that they are delivering high-quality products or services to their customers, while also maximizing their profits and staying competitive in the market.

What is Process Improvement?

Process improvement refers to the systematic approach of identifying, analyzing, and improving the existing processes in a company. It aims to enhance efficiency, reduce waste, and increase productivity. The process improvement methodology involves identifying the current process, analyzing it, identifying areas of improvement, implementing changes, and monitoring the results. The ultimate goal of process improvement is to achieve better results, meet customer needs, and improve the overall functioning of the organization. It helps companies stay competitive in the market by constantly improving their processes and staying ahead of their competitors.

Customer complaints can arise due to poor product quality or bad service. Work duplication, increased cost, and wasted resources are often the result. Teams can face bottlenecks, causing missed deadlines and frustration. Profitability is heavily influenced by efficiency. Streamlining processes can yield significant results and have a major impact on the bottom line.

What are the Benefits of Process Improvement?

Successful companies are always looking for the next innovation. They know the importance of continuous improvement. Even if things are going well, they look for ways to perform better. Here are some benefits of process improvement:

  • Process Improvement Results to Higher Quality Products and Services - An efficient process resolves the performance and security issues of a product or service. It helps achieves timely delivery. As a result, customers often return, and that loyalty increases revenue.
  • Streamlining Tasks Improve Efficiency - Removing unnecessary steps and adopting new methodologies make a process more efficient. Using business analytics can provide insight into potential bottlenecks, highlight trends, and monitor workflow processes. Such steps ultimately can increase productivity.
  • Improve Processes Reduce Business Costs - Balancing the increase in value maximizes resource allocation. Likewise, an improved process can speed up both production and delivery. When implemented, it can result in a reduction in both material and labor costs.
  • Improved Employee Morale - Efficient processes reduce poor decision making and the frustration employees feel knowing a process is inefficient. It creates confidence among the team that their efforts are producing tangible results. In contrast, inefficient processes are highly discouraging for workers. It weakens the morale of employees if their efforts are overwhelmed by the flaws of the system.
  • Provides a Competitive Advantage - Continuous process improvements can help set companies apart from their competition. A good process is a company asset. But it must be adaptive to changing circumstances such as a competitor’s action. Take Amazon as an example. They relentlessly work to improve their processes to get packages to your door faster. This has given them an undeniable competitive advantage in the marketplace. It didn't happen overnight but is the result of constant process improvement efforts.

How to Improve a Business Process

Like good maintenance, business process improvement usually happens in a recurring cycle. According to Kissflow's Business Process Improvement Guide, there are four basic steps to improving your business processes:

  • Analyze - Use a flowchart to detail the stages of the current process you want to improve. Identify the areas that need improvement and prioritize steps that will have the greatest impact. Identify the specific goals you want to achieve.
  • Redesign - Brainstorm with the people who handle the process. They will provide good insights into how the process needs to be changed. Set up scenarios, and see how the ideas will translate in a real-life situation. You can then fine-tune the workflow design. This stage is an excellent time to bring in an outside facilitator. Sometimes, employees are too close to existing processes and how things are currently done. Bringing in someone from the outside who can facilitate a meaningful dialog to challenge current thinking and assumptions can often be extremely helpful in process redesign.
  • Implement - Inform all stakeholders of the change. Execute the new process on a daily basis. Monitor and gather data, using analytical tools if possible to track progress. Check for possible bottlenecks and improvement points.
  • Test - Check how changes affect progress in real-time. Test what works and what doesn't work. Update as needed. Understand that some ideas don't translate as expected from the whiteboard to reality. Be flexible and adapt as needed.

How a Fractional CMO Can Help with Process Improvement

Understands Your Vision

Have a big vision for growth? A fractional CMO will explore how you'll get from here to there and what steps are necessary to grow your business. There are no cookie-cutter plans. Each business is unique, and a comprehensive strategy only works with a detailed understanding of where you want your business to go.

Creates a Strategic Plan

An effective marketing strategy can be crafted and executed efficiently with market-based insights. A fractional CMO will collaborate with you and your team to determine areas of opportunity and how to build a plan to capitalize on market potential. A fractional CMO brings the best ideas, within or outside your industry, to deliver results. This executive-as-a-service model lets you engage the best marketing minds in a cost-effective manner. Time is money, and a fractional CMO gets your strategy underway quickly.

Executes, Measures, and Optimizes

A strategy is only as good as the results it produces. To that end, using the right tools to execute tactics, measure results, and analyze outcomes is critical to an effective marking plan. A fractional CMO knows the tools, metrics, and resources needed to help your company get the best ROI for its marketing investments.

Process Improvement in Marketing

Process improvement in marketing is the act of examining and optimizing the various activities and procedures involved in a marketing campaign to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall performance. This involves analyzing the current marketing processes, identifying areas of improvement, and implementing changes to streamline the workflow and enhance the quality of the output. Process improvement in marketing can involve anything from automating repetitive tasks to redefining the roles and responsibilities of team members. The goal of process improvement is to create a more effective and efficient marketing campaign, which can lead to increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, and a competitive advantage in the market.

How Can a Fractional CMO Help?

A fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) can help with business process improvement by bringing in a fresh perspective and experience in marketing strategy and implementation. They can assess the current marketing process and identify areas of improvement, such as optimizing the sales funnel, improving lead generation, and enhancing customer experience. A fractional CMO can also help with developing and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with the business goals and objectives. They can provide guidance and support to the marketing team, ensuring that the marketing initiatives are aligned with the overall business strategy. With their expertise, a fractional CMO can help the business streamline its marketing process, reduce costs, and increase revenue.


Improving your company's processes is an ongoing journey towards success. By making it a priority, you can reduce costs, increase profitability, and set your business up for growth. Remember, there is always room for improvement, so make it a regular focus of your attention and watch your company thrive. Happy optimizing!

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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