Are you tired of seeing projects delayed by days? Does productivity around your business feel like the spinning of wheels in the mud? This piece takes a look at ways to improve overall efficiency of your business.
Adopt face to face communication
A quick email or chat message to a co-worker often seems like an efficient way of getting a response. In some cases however, it ends up having an opposite effect. The regular back and forth ends up taking longer time than a quick face-to-face. So encourage your staff to use video communication tools where possible. Skype is often good enough for many businesses but you could consider other more robust video conferencing solutions.
Cut down on the interruptions
If you find your employees stalling on projects, it could be as a result of constant interruptions. Some businesses still operate a model where staff members are called to meetings on short notice many times over the week. This is counter productive. You can increase efficiency if you lump several meetings into one day. This will ensure that your employees are working the rest of the time.
One task at time
It doesn’t matter how good you think you are with multitasking, you will be more productive when you do one thing at a time. This applies to your business. Why begin work on several projects all at once when you can do more by tackling them one at a time? Cultivate a culture where old projects must be finished before embarking on a new one and you will see an increase in productivity.
Don’t throw out the established process
Do you have a project that is already underway? Stick with the established process and avoid trying to cut corners. Whenever you try to cut corners and speed up a process, there is a high chance of something getting missed. Such things must be fixed later and will still cost time and money leading to reduced efficiency. Your business efficiency can be improved on if you always stick to tried and tested methods.
Regardless of how well your business runs now, automation can take things further. In a competitive environment as you find yourself in today, business automation is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Automating monotonous tasks such as bottling or packaging in the food industry using conveyor systems for example.
Embrace smart devices
Smart devices, including tablets and phone are vital towards enhancing efficiency in the business environment. Providing your sales staff for example, with these devices can ensure adequate communications with the office over phone and email whilst on the go. Tablets ensure they can quickly modify presentations on the fly without returning to their desks in the office. These smart devices also open them up to a slew of apps that have been developed to enhance efficiency by combining and prioritising new tasks. With smart mobile device usage, your company will move towards more effective procedures. This often translates to a better experience for both employees and clients leading to tangible improvements in the bottom line.
Treat employee feedback with the seriousness it deserves
Many businesses already have channels for listening to their customers. However, few listen to the opinion of employees. To improve efficiency around your business, you need to create an outlet for both negative and positive feedback from your employees. You can do this by creating a hub within the business where staff can gather to communicate and make suggestions about the company. This could be a portion of the company website but more practical options include having a session for feedback during standard meetings and attaching a bulletin board to a part of the office where ideas can be shared.
Ensure adequately streamlined consumer communications
Customers are more satisfied when you interact with them in an efficient and knowledgeable manner. Satisfied customers are of course the dream of any business. You can enhance customer communications in various ways but one you should explore is the linking of an IP communication system to a customer relationship management solution. With such a solution, your customer service personnel immediately see in one window, important information such as pending orders, recent returns, past complaints etc. as soon as a customer calls. Such solution will greatly improve customer service efficiency.
Cut down on travel induced lost man-hours
Time spent travelling especially by air can deal a significant dent on your operational efficiency. It is best therefore to embrace IP communications solutions that will ensure crisp communication via video. With this, you can cut down travel to offsite meetings, training sessions etc. Time saved from travelling can be used for more productive ventures. Reducing travel equally adds to the bottomline by saving you money.
Image Credit: European Parliament