Inefficiency could be costing your business between 20 to 30 percent of it’s annual turnover. Imagine what your company could do with even 20 percent more disposable income to spend on marketing. Contrary to popular belief, improving efficiency is not about cutting costs and making compromises on quality, it’s about making the most of your time and manpower.
Employee sentiment is often overlooked, but can have a significant impact on productivity. If your staff are overworked, bored, or working in a dirty and unsafe environment, then they are not going to achieve anywhere near their maximum potential output. For this reason, taking measures to make the workplace safer, cleaner, and less tedious can have a significant effect on productivity.
Many repetitive data input and data manipulation processes can be automated, This reduces human input error, and allows your staff to focus on other tasks. The kind of processes that can be automated are generally unfulfilling and tedious, so automation also has a positive impact on morale.
One of the most effective ways to improve efficiency is by locating bottlenecks in production and administrative procedures then addressing them. For example, maybe your employees are spending too much time preparing expense reports when intelligent expenses software could be doing most of the work for them. Or perhaps your business still relies on hard copy documentation which is adding several steps to the process which could be totally eradicated by a digital alternative.
Make Information Available
Information is a valuable asset, and productivity can easily suffer when a person does not have the information they need to complete an order. Often such issues could be easily prevented through the use of help desk software or the creation of an intranet resource.
Another valuable information resource is your companies website. Make sure that you have a detailed FAQ section which addresses all of the most commonly asked questions about your products or services. If your customers can find the information they are looking for online, sales staff will spend less time answering questions, and therefore be able to handle more calls each day.
Ask Your Employees for Feedback
Never underestimate the importance on hands-on experience, asking your staff for feedback on how you can improve efficiency is one of the smartest things a business owners can do.
Your staff may identify bottlenecks that you never knew existed, and often something as simple as installing a shelf a shelf to make parts more easily accessible can have a visible impact on productivity.
Avoid Internal Emails
An independent study conducted by Atos Origin revealed that average employees spend 40% of their work day reading and responding to internal emails that add no value to your business.
Sending an email takes much more time than a quick call, and should only be used as a non-urgent form of communication with free extension calls or face to face conversation being the preferred method of internal communication.