Improving operational efficiency requires a multi-faced approach and is well worth the resource investment. The net result is typically an improvement in operational mobility, profitability, scalability and versatility among other tangible benefits.
Typically, your operations are bogged down by a lack of technological progress. Technology (or a lack thereof) is rated as one of the biggest obstacles to improving supply chain processes among others such as a lack of collaboration across functions.
It’s essential to rely on the latest technological tools to improve operational efficiency in your business. However, there are many other ways to generate an improvement in operational efficiency outside of technology.
Improving management practices, workplace culture, communication via In-App Messaging and team engagement are all ways to generate more motivation, responsiveness, efficiency and interest from your staff which in turn improve your operational efficiency.
Below are some of the easy ways that you can improve operational efficiency starting today including both tech-related and non-tech practices.
1. Utilize newer inventory management software (or other relevant software)
Simply upgrading to newer software can provide a range of operational efficiency improvements. Through actionable reports and Automation, you can significantly streamline your organization and remove bottlenecks.
Reports on profitable suppliers, inventory movement, and product profitability help you hone in on exactly what is working and the dead weight in your operation.
Although there may be a learning curve for new inventory management software or other types of relevant software that you may need (warehouse management, ecommerce, point of sale, etc.), there are many efficiency advantages you can experience when you upgrade.
2. Improve your customer service and sales responsiveness
Adding more customer service and salespeople and improving your processes can result in far greater operational efficiency. This includes responding quickly to new inquiries but also implementing new technology where required.
Automate as much of your sales funnel as you possibly can with technological tools such as CRMs. Consider adding new channels for outreach such as a live chat feature on your website. Make sure there is always someone available during your peak hours.
3. Change your work culture
Your workplace culture can have a dramatic impact on the efficiency of your organization. To improve your operational efficiency, change the way that your employees and contractors work by helping them work smarter rather than harder. Identify tools that can speed up their work and make their jobs easier. Provide supplementary training as required.
You may implement procedures like reducing unnecessary meetings, eliminating communication distractions and minimising distracting digital notifications. You might encourage productivity by rewarding top producing employees with more bonuses.
You might also improve collaboration across siloed departments to allow employees to gain insights and understand the bigger picture. The possibilities are endless but the effort you take to improve your work culture will go a long way in efficiency, the two are substantially tied together.
4. Improve your communication
Along with the general work culture of your organization, communication is inherently tied to operational efficiency. Improving your internal and external communication provides greater clarity to your workers, the mission of your organization and the greatest priority tasks at hand.
You may consider utilising project management tools like Asana, Trello or Slack if you haven’t already. You might look to eliminate inefficient communication like redundant platforms or meetings that tend to repeat the same topics.
You may also need to increase the number of meetings, create new protocols, and create a centralised source of Notifications regarding the top priorities for your company.
5. Engage your team
Keep your team engaged and motivated. It’s easy to let this fall behind when you are juggling all of the other Tasks of your business, but it’s essential to maintain. If your team is more engaged they will be more motivated, they will work harder, and more efficiently.
How do you go about this? Communication of your goals and the direction of the company is certainly one way. Getting your team involved in strategic work is another – meet with them to develop the strategy for your organization in order to help them take ownership.
Show them that you value their input; they know a lot more than you may think and can prove themselves to be valuable in many ways, and in turn they will reward you with harder and more efficient and motivated work.