Increasing the Efficiency of Your Business

Make certain that your business runs like a well-oiled machine

10/2/2017 3:00:00 PM
Increasing the Efficiency of Your Business

A business is only as successful as its ability to operate at optimum efficiency; if all resources — human, production, capital and time, just to name some of the key properties — are being used optimally, then it stands to reason that your business is in both the best position to excel and the best position to bounce back when something unexpected takes things off the rails.
Perhaps you feel that your business runs fairly efficiently but could stand a revamp for better use of resources. Perhaps you are just starting out and you want to know how to run the tightest ship possible straight out of the harbor. If your aim is to make your business more efficient, consider these tips for improvement.

Run an analysis of your operations

Marina Martin, former Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs and author of “Business Efficiency for Dummies,” offers a five-step list of how to bolster organizational efficiency that is aimed at identification and improvement.

The first recommendation is to survey your business and the way it currently operates. Martin suggests spectrums up to and including the quality of your products and services, the quality of work being done by your employees and the opinion that your customers have of your business. Consider, as writer John Rampton suggests, a time audit aimed at figuring out how long tasks take compared to how long they should take at optimum efficiency. Chances are, any red flags that you notice can be improved by means of improving efficiency.

The second step is to brainstorm a list of inefficiencies in your organization and a corresponding list of how to fix those problems. If in step one you come to the conclusion that customer response is not where you’d like it to be, you and your team can mull over the potential causes. Is it related to an issue with customer service? With product quality? What can you do to ensure that your customer-facing operations are as efficient as your behind-the-scenes operations and streamline the process?
From here, you actualize those potential solutions. First, you should attempt to quantify what impact these corrective measures may have on other areas of business. If you are looking to improve product quality, how will it affect the efficiency of your finances and the efficiency of your workforce? When you are satisfied that these changes promote efficiency across the board, you can set goals and establish projects aimed at accomplishing those goals. Finally, ensure that those projects are clearly defined and implement them.

Work together and work smart

As the head of your business, you may feel that it is your responsibility to take on tasks alone with the aim of increasing efficiency. But as tech giant Cisco points out in an article entitled “Ten Tips for Making Your Business More Efficient,” collaboration is imperative for any business to operate on all cylinders. From employees to suppliers to customers, there should be a collaborative feeling to your business that allows different aspects to feed seamlessly together.
To ensure the ideal collaboration, Cisco suggests arming yourself with all the necessary tools. To ensure that your employees have the ability to work quickly in the office, provide them with a reliable network and all necessary hardware. To give them the opportunity to work beyond the standard 9 to 5, provide them with tools like a virtual private network. For your customers, a customer relationship management system for your phone network gives you the information you need to streamline the interaction process and improve customer attitudes.
Running an efficient business is never a perfect process; there are always areas that can stand to improve and easy solutions for making those improvements happen. The most important thing to remember is that efficiency is a marathon, not a sprint; give yourself the time you need to implement changes, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself or you employees and understand that positive change will take time and pay dividends in the end.
Published by North Shore Bank. Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.

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