Why Systems Fail & Five Ways You Can Prevent It

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So Making Tax Digital has been delayed for another year. Whilst some may breathe a sigh of relief, we have always championed and encouraged early adoption? Why? Because digitalized systems save time & more often than not improve the bottom line. So if you find yourself erring on the side of reluctance to adapt what seems like another automation in a technological world gone mad, you might find the following article useful.

We know that your fear is systems run business & systems fail often. Have a look at the following problems that are common among small or new businesses and learn how to handle systems, processes, and operations better. 

1. Failure to Learn from Mistakes

One of the best ways to create more resilient systems is to learn from past mistakes. It’s essential to look at past performances to see what worked and what didn’t. That should allow you to see any recent changes or failure to adjust that may have caused an internal system to fail. What problems does your business have. Is there a solution for it on the market. Is that old and recurring mistake costing you?

2. Not Using Modern Solutions

Companies are relying more and more on tech. However, some business owners and executives are still not emphasising the use of industry-specific software as much as they should. Sometimes, systems fail because people patch them up with traditional fixes alone. 

For example, delayed payments and cash flow problems have strong ties to invoicing and payment processing systems. And not using good invoicing software and digital payment platforms can be a big mistake in today’s environment. That’s why we also recommend good cloud based solutions like Xero that link up to banks, forecasting apps and receipt catching technology.

3. Not Changing the Culture

While systems and processes may run businesses, it is often people who run the systems. Unfortunately, some people become complacent. There is nearly always a human behind a decision to not change a culture or adapt to technological progression and it can often be expensive. Sometimes, it happens when no decision is made at all. A culture of complacency can cause systems to fail. 

People get accustomed to configuring a system, automating it, and never looking back. But everything needs the occasional adjustment over time. Preventing systems from failing is sometimes as easy as changing the company culture. Instead of allowing people to become complacent, as a business leader, lead by example. Encourage ideas and exposure by visiting industry exhibitors. Be open minded and willing to listen. Push a progressive agenda that values constant improvement and monitoring of vital business systems. Doing so should give people extra motivation to make the systems resilient and resistant to failure, knowing that a failure is one step closure to a success.

4. Too Many Complications

Successful businesses don’t have to have complicated systems. In fact, the simpler the better. Simplicity equals clarity.  Working with simple systems can increase employee productivity and lower the risk of something terrible happening. We also know that simple systems keeps our clients bills down. When they buy our time and our expertise, they get value that accelerates their success.

5. Not Having Expert Help

Since people run and manage the systems, it makes sense that well meaning but inexperienced employees could cause a system to not operate at maximum efficiency or even break down. One solution is to pay more attention to who you hire. Make sure they’re truly qualified to handle the tasks assigned to them.

Another solution is to bring in outside help. Either hire an expert consultant to fix your systems or outsource some of the company’s systems to a third-party provider. Someone who is a specialist and inevitably will make the boat go faster. It’s not a requirement to do everything in-house, especially when your team lacks the expertise and it may feel like a time saver, but in the long run it rarely works out that way. And what happens if that employee leaves, taking all that knowledge with them?

6. Never Stop Paying Attention

Prevention is the best way to prevent failing systems. Instead of worrying about how you could fix something when it breaks, try continually working on ensuring it won’t happen. This is best done by making regular risk assessments, testing the system and having a plan B up your sleeve.

Hopefully some of the points addressed will allay some of your concerns. If cash flow and financial operations systems are causing you a headache, let us know. I bet we have a solution up our sleeve. We’d be happy to help and your future will thank you for it.

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