It is a reasonable assumption that every business is interested in improving the efficiency of their daily operations. You want to be able to offer your customers or clients the best products and services at the lowest possible cost.
Unfortunately, increasing efficiency is not always an easy task. One simple mistake could force you to delay operations or deliver an inferior product or service.
If you are in charge of the daily operations of a business, then make it your goal in the next quarter to begin improving efficiency.
To get you started, here are 8 ways to increase business efficiency
#1 – Assess Employee Productivity
The first place to start is with an employee evaluation. Consider the productivity of your workforce. If your company has multiple departments, have your supervisors perform a job performance review of each of the employees within their respective department.
Reviews these employee assessments and discuss ways to boost productivity. Ask supervisors for their input, as they are the ones that directly deal with employees one-on-one on a daily basis.
Building clear communication channels between you and your supervisors, or granting them more flexibility with the management of their team, may also help boost productivity.
#2 – Promote Employee Collaboration
Along with increasing the collaboration between you and your supervisors to improve productivity, you should promote employee collaborations. Look into ways to increase the efficiency of projects that require coworkers to collaborate. This is often done through the use of specialized software.
Staying up to date with the latest technology and software dedicated to file sharing and inter-office communications can reduce the time needed to complete group projects.
Here are some examples of technologies that are available to streamline the collaboration process:
- Video conferencing software
- Company intranet for secure communications
- Cloud data storage
According to a survey from 2013, 82% of businesses plan to use more collaboration tools in the future. The majority of businesses recognize the importance of employee collaboration.
#3 – Analyze Customer Traffic with People Counting
If you are an online only store, then one of the best ways you do this is with website analytics software.
This software can help you more effectively manage your business because you’ll be able to see how people find your website, what pages they visit, how long they stay, and more.
Based off your behavior your can make adjustments to your site to improve the conversions on you website.
In other words, you can make tweaks to your website so that you can better accomplish your company goals, usually, more customers and more revenue.
If you are a brick and mortar store, you will need to look at more than the productivity of your workforce. This is especially true in a retail environment.
It is just as important to examine the behavior of your customers or clients. By utilizing the latest traffic monitoring software, you will gain a better sense of what your clients are interested in. Looking at detailed metrics, you can do the following:
- Compare the performance of different products
- Monitor the effects of sales and promotions
- Optimize your advertising budget
- Monitor customer wait-time
- Determine effects of changes to prices, products, and services
Using detailed traffic monitoring software, you can closely track how your customers respond to a large variety of factors. This is a useful step in learning how to anticipate the needs and wants of your customers.
#4 – Listen to Your Customers or Clients
After examining the behavior of your customers, you should make an effort to listen to what they actually have to say. Improve communications and customer satisfaction by utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) software. Some of the benefits of using CRM solutions include:
- Keep clients updated using auto-responders
- Improve client information database
- Track client correspondence and email responses
In addition to CRM software, you can gain input from your clients through social media. Encourage your customers and clients to leave feedback and comments on LinkedIn, Facebook and other major social media platforms.
#5 – Outsource Your Information Technology Needs
Outsourcing some of your IT tasks, or even a portion of your IT department, can help reduce operational costs. It can also streamline support and reduce the risk of data loss or compromised business systems.
While there are many benefits to outsourcing, you should remain aware of the potential drawbacks. Pay attention to hidden costs. There is also the potential for less focus on customer satisfaction. This could be crucial if your IT services coincide with the services that you offer your own customers or clients.
#6 – Keep Your Employees Satisfied
It was mentioned that improving employee productivity is a major part of boosting business efficiency. To help promote employee productivity, it is essential that you keep your workforce satisfied. Offer a method of communication that allows employees to provide their input.
Look for ways to boost morale, such as assessing your employee benefits, procedures for giving raises and pay increases. A happy and healthy employee is a productive employee.
Examine your incentive programs and employee benefits. It may help to examine the benefits offered by similar-sized companies or that of your competition.
#7 – Continue Using the Latest Technology
As you look towards software and technology to increase productivity, streamline operations and improve the efficiency of your business, stay updated about the latest technology.
Most businesses rely on technology for almost every task. Ensure you benefit from advances in enterprise technology by keeping up-to-date with emerging tech trends.
#8 – Create Achievable Goals
Once you have implemented some of these suggestions, you need to be able to define the level of improvement. Set achievable goals related to the methods you use. This allows you to monitor whether the changes you make have any impact on the overall productivity and efficiency of your business.
Create goals that span the entire company, with smaller goals dedicated to various departments or operations. Track your progress and use this as motivation to continue looking for ways to aid efficiency.
Always Look Towards New Methods of Increasing Efficiencies
Tweaking the performance of your company is never an easy task. However, you should not let this stop you from making changes and trying to find new methods of streamlining your operations. A business needs to continue moving forward to remain competitive.
You don’t need to cut any corners to promote growth, increase sales and expand your company. Start with the efficiency of your daily operations.
Read more: How ICT Can Improve Business Efficiency