Business development · 13 November 2019

5 ways to increase business efficiency

Business efficiency

Business efficiency is about using resources in the best possible way. The greatest benefits of improving efficiency are that organisations can reduce costs, increase profit and become more competitive.

Here are five of the best ways to increase business efficiency:

1. Standardise processes

Your business consists of hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, tasks that must be completed in order for the company to either produce products or offer services.

Every one of those tasks requires rules that define how it is to be performed. When these rules are not standardised, tasks are performed according to how the individual doing them feels they are done best. If someone else needs to perform the task, they “do it their way”. This results in inconsistencies in product or service quality.

Image Credit: Business2community

The 4 phases to standardise processes

An example is a chain of restaurants – all outlets offer the same menu, but when processes are not standardised, the food preparation differs and this affects the end product.

The restaurant at this location serves sloppy hash browns, but the same restaurant in another location serves crispy hash browns.

The quality between locations is inconsistent and this impacts the overall brand reputation.

Standardising processes ensure consistency in the end result, and anyone who becomes responsible for performing the task knows how it should be done right from the get-go.

2. Automate business processes

Automating business processes involves using technology to complete recurring tasks or processes that would have required humans in pre-tech days. The greatest benefits to automation are: reduces cost, increases efficiency, and streamlines processes, cutting down mistakes, inconsistencies, and risks.

Examples of processes that can be automated to save substantial amounts of time include employee and client onboarding, sales orders, payroll, and purchase orders.

Which processes should be automated?

Processes with a high volume of repetitive tasks

● Where it takes many people to complete tasks

● When tasks are time-sensitive

● When tasks have a big impact on other business activities

● Tasks that need to be audited

3. Invest in software that increases productivity

The benefit of productivity software is that it increases efficiency by streamlining peoples’ tasks.

For example, Microsoft Word was one of the first technologies that simplified ways of doing things, as it makes creating, editing, storing and sharing documents a lot more efficient than using paper and cardboard files.

Image Credit: Becca

For example, studies have shown that revenue increases by 41% per salesperson when CRM software is used.

Types of productivity software include:

● Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

● Collaboration

● Time management

● Project management

● Marketing automation

● Staff scheduling

Before using rota software from Deputy, Gelato Messina scheduled their employee roster manually.

The software allows the company to easily manage employees and check the status of staff at each store.

No need to perform anything manually, as the system allows them to see things like who is working on which shift, who are working overtime, and so on. Done manually, tasks around rostering undermines efficiency considerably.

Start off by investing in software that will bring your business the fastest wins for the most problematic areas.

4. Outsource irregular tasks

Outsourcing irregular tasks, or processes that are not your core processes, and which require expertise, will increase efficiency as long as you find the right partners.

The best way to do this is by:

1. Understanding exactly what you want to achieve by outsourcing certain functions

2. Look for reviews to find out what their clients say

3. Find a partner whose qualities and priorities match yours

4. Check for hidden costs

5. Perform competency tests and dig a little into their business operations to find out how they resolve issues and track progress

5. Communicate clearly

According to HBR, 57% of employees say they don’t get given clear instructions.

69% of managers admit that they are not comfortable communicating with staff. The problem is that no business can experience a high-performance culture and efficiency without good communication in the workplace.

That’s because communication has an impact in different ways:

Decreases confusion

● Provides purpose

● Fosters positivity

● Creates accountability

When people understand their roles, how their work fits into the bigger picture, how they should do things, what they are doing well and what needs improvement, and when they know what’s going on in the company, they are more productive and happy.

Summary Efficiency = Higher profit.

Make your business more efficient by:

1. Making sure people know how to do things.

2. Using technology to simplify, make tasks faster, making the best of human resources and maintaining consistency.

3. Use software that increases productivity.

4. Hire outsiders for irregular work that requires expertise

5. Develop a culture of communication

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