It’s easy to talk about wanting to maximize profits and minimize costs, but the execution is where most managers fail. If you’re trying to break this cycle, you need practical strategies to see you through. Here are our seven tips to help you make the most out of your resource and increase your organization’s efficiency.
1. Determine Your Starting Point
The first step on the road to improvement and increasing efficiency is noting where you stand. It’s only by doing so that you can set an achievable goal within a realistic time frame. How do you calculate your operational efficiency? As with calculating any efficiency ratio, you need to measure input against output, and to do that, there are some metrics that you need to consider. Most importantly, there’s the Key Performance Index (KPI) which assigns a numerical value to the performance efficiency of your business. Combined with an accurate calculation of your operational costs, you can understand how efficiently you’re operating.
2. Knowledge Is Key
Let’s take a look at the benefits of promoting knowledge and providing training for your employees. The more they know about your organization and the way it operates, the more conscious they will be about the impact of their own role. Knowledge and training also mean that in the event of a crisis, it won’t take long for your departments to locate and fix the problem. Not just that, but through knowledge, you can remain aware of potential problems so you could take proactive measures. It only takes a few sessions led by yourself, a lecturer, or one of your department heads to spread the necessary information.
3. Streamline Communication
Whether it’s by encouraging employees to share their thoughts and ideas or establishing weekly/monthly department meetings, streamlined communication is vital to improve efficiency. Picture having a single app or tool through which all communications take place. Everyone will be able to get to you, and you will be able to get to anyone at the click of a button. Not to mention, by improving the way you share files and spreadsheets with your departments, you’d be making it easier and faster for everyone to access the information.
4. On-the-go Management
One of the main benefits of technology is allowing us to work remotely and on-the-go. Now more than ever, we truly understand how much work can be done off-site. Because efficiency is all about making the most out of your time, imagine how efficient your operations will be if you can finish some of your day-to-day operations using your phone. As we’ve seen from the WebFletch business manager, it’s more than possible to integrate business management software with all of your devices. That way, you can work from anywhere at any time. Make sure, however, that the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to is secure to avoid data theft.
5. Trim the Fat
Many companies make the mistake of keeping everything in-house. In some instances, it can be a huge money saver, like with companies that need steady media content or continuous IT support. At which point, it’s cheaper to hire an in-house media team or an IT technician. Outsourcing, however, comes with a lot of benefits, from saving time and money to taking away some of the burdens for you to do what you do best. What you need to ask yourself is whether or not it’s worth keeping some departments around rather than outsourcing the job to someone else.
6. Stay Up-to-Date
Regardless of the industry, you’re working in, there must be a lot of technological advancements constantly taking place around you. Some of these advancements are integral to improving operational efficiency by automating tasks and speeding up some processes. It’s your job to stay up-to-date when it comes to what’s new in your industry. If you find something useful, don’t hesitate to integrate it within your organization. In the business world, you can either adapt or step aside. What will your choice be?
After attempting to improve efficiency, it’s important to measure the fruits of your labor. Keep in mind that you should be using the same metrics you’ve used before to measure your starting point for the sake of consistency and accuracy. Once you’ve noted the percentage of improvement, you can then evaluate and assess the improvements you’ve implemented, what worked, and what didn’t, then hone your strategy. This stage will keep your strategy compatible with your organization’s state and size.
As you see, improving operational efficiency mainly involves cutting out the extra expenses and maximizing output and profits. That being said, one thing to take into consideration is your employees. Managers and bosses often focus so much on improving efficiency that they lose track of the people. The truth, however, is that you can’t take your organization to the next level if your people are not on your side. Make sure you let your employees know that they’ve seen, heard, and appreciated. This unity is the only way to make significant progress.