8 Ways to Improve Efficiency in Your Business
In business, efficiency is extremely important. The faster you can complete tasks without affecting the quality of your work, the more you can achieve in a shorter period of time. If operations are constantly being delayed or employees are under performing, it can significantly affect your bottom line.
Time and money are two of the most valuable resources to a business. Decreasing the amount spent on both will help you stay competitive and grow faster. This also applies to the customer experience. If your website is slow or your orders take ages to ship, your customers will be less likely to buy from you again.
In this post, we’ll explore how you can improve efficiency in your workplace, from automation to communication and more. While not every point may directly apply to your business, there is insight to be gained from every bit of advice here.
Use Productivity Software Where Possible
Let’s take a look at two common methods of internal communication between teams: Firstly, there’s email; it’s simple, professional and effective. But when compared to more modern software such as Slack, email seems like something from the stone ages.
Slack and similar software like Trello offer a more integrated, streamlined method of communication that allows teams to collaborate at a much faster pace. Private conversations can be initiated with a click, as well as group conversations where files and images can be shared.
These types of collaboration software are instantaneous, while email often leaves you waiting hours or days for a reply. Slack also allows you to monitor conversations and keep track of what’s been shared, which is significantly more efficient than sifting through endless email messages.
In conclusion, productivity software can be used in numerous departments to increase the efficiency of your business and facilitate more clear and concise communication, along with better management of tasks.
Schedule Better Meetings
According to Kristopher Jones of LSEO, unscheduled meetings distract from productivity and are inefficient uses of time and energy. The idea behind this is that almost nothing important can be discussed in “a minute” and that’s how short meetings become a waste of time.
To combat this, schedule organised, time-sensitive, face-to-face meetings. Specify a time, place and duration and aim to discuss everything that needs to be discussed within the said time period. This reduces the need for unscheduled meetings that will otherwise turn into a waste of time.
“In general, it takes about a minute to resume working effectively after an interruption,” says Boomerang’s Alexander Moore. This applies to things like chat notifications, email alerts and random announcements. The interruption in workflow has a domino effect on your team’s ability to continuously perform.
It is then wise to set certain times of the day for work only, allowing your employees to maintain a consistent flow and avoid being unnecessarily interrupted. Make use of notification blocking tools such as Inbox Pause, which reduces email notifications for a time period of your choice.
Use Data to Increase Efficiency
Let’s assume you have a company that ships products via your own transport fleet. If there’s an issue with one of your vehicles, be it something as simple as a flat tyre, or a more serious issue such as a vehicle malfunction, it may take hours for you to find out and organise the necessary resources to fix the issue and get back on the road.
However, if you make use of a fleet tracking service such asFleetGO, you will have remote access to all the important data on yourvehicles, allowing you to immediately determine what the issue is and act on it accordingly, thus saving you a significant amount of time and money. You’ll be able to transport your products sooner and continue operations.
FleetGO is one of the top services for this aspect of your business, offering a comprehensive vehicle tracking solution for you to monitor your vehicles, reduce fuel costs and improve the safety of your drivers and cargo. Everything from trailer tracking and tyre pressure info to temperature monitoring and malfunction insights can be carried out with fleetgo.com.
Utilise the Power of Automation
Business automation is no longer a luxury, but a necessity that you need to make use of wherever possible if you want to stay competitive. Using software to automate monotonous tasks not only saves you a great deal of time, but will also improve employee satisfaction by giving them more engaging and dynamic tasks to do.
Many automation services, be it invoicing or accounting, do come at a steep upfront cost, but analysis indicates that the initial invest mental ways pays itself off over time. This is where we can see a direct correlation between time and money.
When you don’t have to spend time on repetitive tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on improving tasks that require a human touch. This can result in you finding more innovative ways to perform daily operations, thus increasing your profits and creating a more productive workplace.
Encourage Face-to-Face Communication
It may initially seem quicker to simply leave a message or email when chatting with another employee, but over time, the constant back and forth becomes significantly less efficient. While it may generally be better to use digital communication for messages that don’t require a reply, full-on conversations are better done in-person.
According to Miles Jennings of Recruiter, encouraging employees to have face-to-face conversations with each other will create a steady flow of information. It could mean the difference between a two-minute conversation and 20 minutes of back-and-forth emails.
It’s easy to get lost in the countless open tabs on your browser and think that you’re an excellent multitasker. However, research tends to favour the idea of focusing on one task at a time until completion.
Single-tasking allows you to enter a flow and not only complete each task faster, but to also create a better product in the end as your entire focus is on that one task, as opposed to numerous things at once. This proves to be significantly more efficient than trying to juggle numerous tasks at once and never actually getting them done.
Focus on creating a culture of single-tasking in your workplace and encourage your employees to organise work in a manner that allows them to focus on one project at a time. This will also prevent them from being overwhelmed by a large influx of work at once.
Know Your Limits
It’s easy to get lost in the idea of automating everything and sticking to strict deadlines. However, this doesn’t come without its risks. Pushing the idea of efficiency on your team too hard can end up distracting everyone from focusing on what really matters, which is growth.
It’s important to remember the quality standards of your business and that the customer experience is still paramount. For example, it’s worth the extra time and money to have a live chat service to speak to customers instead of an automated one that results in nothing but frustration and dissatisfaction.
The last tip is an important one, as focusing too much on getting everything done at warp speed could end upburning out your employees and creating a negative workspace. Always be sure to get feedback from your team and work together when it comes to implementing new ways of working through daily operations.