How Can I Make My Business More Efficient?
Efficiency, as Henry Ford knew, is the key to profitable production. This is true no matter what service or product your business sells. From staple guns to cloud storage, the more efficient your operations the more profit you make from each sale. Have a look at these tips for creating the most efficient business environment you can, and watch your bottom line improve.
Learn to manage your time
Time wasting is the business equivalent of throwing money down the drain. If you or your employees are not engaged in business-productive activities during the periods for which they (or you) are being paid, then there’s no return on the expenditure you are making. Most time-wasting is not malicious, but a simple matter of poor time management. Invest in training to bring your staff up to scratch, and don’t forget to attend yourself.
Design your processes properly
Designing a process is about minimising waste and maximising production. Like any system, the key to good design is to assess, develop, monitor and change. Begin by assessing what your process is supposed to achieve.
Develop it accordingly. Then monitor its success and modify what you’ve done to try and bring timing and costs within acceptable parameters. Don’t worry if you haven’t nailed it first time out – all the best business methods are evolved through weeks and months of trial, alteration and retrial.
Stop replicating work
Businesses with multiple departments, or even just with multiple employees, are often guilty of replicating work. Something as simple as contacting the same customer twice about an identical issue represents a loss of time and money, and can also damage your reputation with the people who pay your bills – your consumers.
Technology can help: business management systems with customer relations management capabilities centralise your whole operation, so every employee and department can see what has already been done.
Learn how to manage projects
Project management is a full time skill. You need to be able to select the most effective employees to perform each task, assign resources without going over budget, and keep an eye on the continually changing time frames your business is working to.
Investment in training for your project managers is your biggest ally here. Management staff who know how to connect outside contractors to internal services, and to create and monitor project budgets, are much more likely to bring home the project within acceptable cost and time parameters.
Keep track of your staff and equipment
Staff and equipment represent a massive investment for any business. Their efficient use requires special knowledge – about where they are, what they do, and how they are used when they are not onsite. Simply tracking the routes your delivery vehicles take to make routine drop-offs can seriously improve your fuel costs, for example.
You can read more about asset tracking here, and get an idea of the ways in which simple monitoring systems can keep your vehicles running smoothly and your employees using company property as they should be. It’s not Big Brother – it’s just common sense.