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Problem solving is a process of working on the minuteness of a problem in purpose of reaching a solution. These days, none of the businesses have immunity towards problems, so they face many problems every day. In one situation, problems can be small, easy and simple or big, difficult and complex in other. How a business handles a problem makes a huge difference in its success and failure.
Solving a problem may look straightforward initially, but it requires analytical skills, critical thinking and innovative ideas. So, it is important to work through four critical stages to successfully resolve problems. Assume you have a furniture company and you deliver to big giants across New Zealand.
You delivered a consignment to a store and your customer has spotted a quality issue. The wood colour is not matching on all furniture. Now, this customer is dissatisfied and doesn’t want to deal with you in future. So, when you get to know about the problem, you need to know where to start untangling and addressing the issue. Before you offer a replacement, find out how big or small this problem is and is the problem unique to this customer or has happened in past with others also. Because if this is a regular issue and then it needs to be addressed immediately or else the reputation of your business can be at stake.
You need to find out number of alternatives like offering replacement, discount on further purchases, personally checking all the quality standards, get production team involved and discuss the problem with them.
Once you have identified all possible alternatives by analysing the problem in detail, then you have done the groundwork for choosing an appropriate alternative. You need to evaluate the impact of the chosen solution on business. It is better to avoid taking any decision in hurry and regret later. In this case you chose to fix the machinery to meet quality standards.
Implementation is the critical point of the problem-solving process. Here you need to prepare for actions and communicate with people involved in the process. Actions like getting quotes from few companies for fixing the furniture. If it takes longer than expected and then communicate with customer that how much replacement time is involved.