Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. When it happens, inefficiency is a business killer. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. Other times efficiency has a different look to it and makes your optimistic projections look foolish. Whatever the reason, inefficiency is more the rule than the exception, and it’s costing your business plenty. This month, we take a look at how inefficiency is a business killer, what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.
Breaking Down Inefficiency
You want your business to be more productive? If your business wants to confront its inefficiencies, it has to start at the beginning and define what efficient looks like. This may be different for each company, so don’t get yourself worked up comparing your business to competitors. Since inefficiency can come from any part of your business, it’s a decent idea to separate your search for inefficiencies into departments, or even specific workflows where you can define what efficient productivity looks like for that certain task.
Another determination is how much things change. Are you constantly tweaking your operational plan to try to draw as much out of each of your workers? Most changes that you make to workflows, no matter how small, are going to cause some initial inefficiency. Think about it: If someone has been doing something the same for a while and you ask him/her to do it differently to save time, it will take a little for them to get used to. It’s true that most people work at the speed they need to be the most effective. If you think that you need someone who works faster, it’s not necessarily an employee-related problem, it’s likely a company-related problem.
In truth, most times, when a business thinks it is having a problem with their productivity, they mean that the people that work for them aren’t pulling their weight. The question becomes how do you quantify a productive workforce? Today, more and more companies are using Key Performance Indicators (KPI). These are measures that allow decision makers to evaluate strategic performance, as well as employee performance.
One thing is for certain, making work harder on your employees is not going to result in better productivity. Your business is a second home for employees, the happier they are to spend a quarter-to-a third of their lives working for you, the more you are going to get out of them. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be performance metrics, and that you shouldn’t do everything you can to track their performance, but if you are making their lives outside of work better by providing the wages, benefits, and working conditions conducive for productivity, you will get more out of them.
In the productivity end, efficiency is built from having a good plan on what needs to happen and executing that plan. People like to act that automation is working against people’s interests, but nothing could be further from the truth. Automation builds efficiency, which allows for more productivity, which allows for more revenue, and higher profits, and if those profits are reinvested, more jobs.
Automation works to build efficiency and stopping inefficiency. There are many ways that a business can leverage automation into profitability. One is by utilizing a tool that automates all the little things. A properly working business typically has many different facets, and no matter how few people there are working these facets, they’ll have to be maintained. So, while payroll, accounts receivable, customer/vendor support, human resources could all be headed up by one person, with a software that automates a lot of the legwork associated with these tasks, that one person can accomplish everything listed above at a substantial cost reduction to the company. That’s not to say there isn’t cost, but when you can get people working rather than managing protocol, it substantially increases productivity throughout an organization.
People have been paying contract-workers and outsourcing for a long time. You may find that you could get similar benefits at a substantial cost reduction by outsourcing some elements of your organization’s operations to an outside company. Where this process gets costly is when contractors are brought in to complete core parts of the job.
It stands to reason that if you offer products or services that your organization would have market authority in that space. Say your organization makes toys, chances are the people running the show, and the employees you’ve hired to physically build toys are all better at it than any outsourced company could be. Outsourcing is most beneficial when it is brought in, to complete aspects of the job where you lack expertise. This could be human resources, marketing, benefits administration, and of course IT support.
We hope this showed how inefficiency is a business killer. The IT professionals at Symmetric IT Group know that technology is a major part of your business, and needs to function properly, and be protected. Our technicians have the experience and the knowledge to help you solve some of your most pressing operational inconsistencies. Call us today to learn more at (813) 749-0895. If you need help applying any of the tactics discussed in this blog article to your business, from automation to IT implementation, check out our enterprise solutions page to see what we can do for you.