Inefficiencies in an organization are costly, with some studies saying as much as 20-30% of potential revenue is lost annually. This is also a shame for the loss of opportunities to improve operations and expand.
Inefficiencies can lead to a reduction in the quality of work, or product, and of morale. Issues can arise from employees, equipment, processes, management, and even, sometimes, forces beyond any control. Improving efficiency doesn’t come from telling your employees to be more productive or cutting corners.
Here are a few smart tips to improve your operations without making things worse.
The first step is a big one: Figure out the sources of inefficiencies and triage your problem-solving order. It may be out-dated processes, weak training, redundancies, wasteful spending, data management, or low employee productivity.
A large part of figuring out how to solve a problem is first identifying it and then what’s causing it. It cannot be adequately resolved if the source of the issue continues, nor can it be prevented. Ascertain the seriousness of each item. It may be more comfortable and quicker to fix a simple problem, but a more heavily impactful one is better to tackle first. Putting a bandage on a hand won’t matter if the whole arm is about to be cut off.
A great way to keep track of managing your operations and departments is utilizing an Enterprise Resource Management system, like cloud-based ERP software. Professionals like IWI Consulting Group can find the right solution to suit your company’s specific needs that can be tailored for you. ERP solutions can make tracking sales, personnel, costs, revenues, data, and workflows streamlined and interconnected. Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management (formerly known as X3) in particular is focused on growth, which it does in part by increasing efficiencies at the micro and macro levels.
It features real-time and centralized data and reports to make better decisions on the spot and allows all players to be connected and on the same page. You can monitor the activities of your company and find smart ways to reduce costs, identify and manage risks.
In-line with going digital, try to automate as many processes as possible and that is reasonable. Reasonable meaning doesn’t replace all of your valuable employees with a machine because you think it might save money. Machines can’t do everything a well-trained professional can, and this could lead to more inefficiencies in a multitude of ways that can end up being costlier, in the end.
A simple concept that has many slapping their foreheads is “single-tasking”. For too long an emphasis has been put on multitasking, yet trying to do too many things at once decreases efficiency because fewer things get completed and completed right. Employees prioritizing and focusing on single tasks done well and sequentially will allow for a smooth workflow with better accuracy.
Community development can be a valuable resource that takes some of the pressure and workload off employees that allows consumers and your valuable customers to provide input and be heard. Allowing for feedback in public forums can identity problems that could be missed by your company’s tunnel vision. New ideas that lead to innovations can come from fans (and opponents) of your product or service. Plus, everyone appreciates the feeling of being listened to.
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