- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
A business, to be effective, must run like a finely tuned machine. Your operation must be smooth and efficient to serve not only the customer but the ownership as well. Business systemization is the ultimate leverage when it comes to growth. Improve your systems and you improve the effectiveness of your business. Improve the effectiveness of your business and you increase the capacity for your business to grow.
Business efficiency is not an overnight occurrence. It requires strategic analysis and planning. Business systems must be designed and followed. It helps to look deeply at principles and values. In the end, your business systems will improve if they are driven by purpose and economy of motion.
Even if your business is running smoothly, changes in the economy and how business is done make it necessary to recalibrate from time to time. This article will explore some of the best ways to make the shift to better systems. In the end, you will find a path to efficiency that will give you the results you are looking for. Read on.
LOOK AT WHAT DOES NOT WORK
The first thing you must do when fine-tuning your business systems is to learn how to look objectively at what is not working. You can find inefficient processes almost anywhere. You must look at every facet of your operation and be objective about it. There may be a redundant process or an out of date procedure. There may be overly complex activities that hinder the completion of tasks or orders. Making a ruthless analysis of how your systems operate will give you the perspective you need to achieve peak efficiency.
Sometimes a company will have too many systems in place or too many steps in their systems. To avoid this kind of inefficiency business owners must have an acute awareness of their business and its capabilities. If the business is already struggling in a particular area, the ability to recognize the inefficiencies, solve the problems, and implement concise strategies forward will mean the difference between success or failure. It could also define how well future difficulties are identified and rectified.
Your business and your team all rely on technology. Everything from the apps your employees use to communicate with one another, to the tech tools they use to accomplish the basic tasks required for job completion need to be evaluated for effectiveness. One way to do that is to survey your staff and get their input on the technology in use. You may find out that you have too many apps in play or that there are better options.
It may be that you need a reevaluation of the tech tools in use. Examine what your technology tools can and cannot do. Evaluate how they perform. You may find that a tool in use in one department could be 10x as effective in another department. Or you could find that a tool you thought would work well, simply is not. All this information will be valuable in improving the efficiency of your business systems.
EXAMINE WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT
For a lot of companies, the warehouse is the heartbeat of the organization. If the warehousing systems are running efficiently, your company will be able to keep customers happy. Of course, if the warehousing systems are not up to efficiency standards, you might end up with a long line of frustrated customers. That is bad news for long-term and short-term business. Technology may offer solutions you never thought of. Some warehouses take advantage of advances in modern robotics for moving pallets to save time and increase safety for human workers.
If robots are not a suitable solution for you, consider geotagging. You can attach real-time location system tags to items and workers. This will help you keep track of what, where, and whom within your warehouse. All the data is effectively stored on a database immediately thanks to advanced geotagging software. The most effective geolocation warehousing systems inform management of potential errors and recommend action plans to resolve those errors. It’s a cost-effective way to manage logistics, human resources, and costs.
Improving workflow will greatly improve your staff’s effectiveness and productivity. It is not easy for your team to work productively if they are distracted. There has been research that says it takes 15 to 25 minutes to recover from unexpected interruptions. Unscheduled meetings and constant email alerts and notifications diminish efficiency dramatically.
This is a great opportunity to poll your team. Ask them what their primary distractions are and request their solutions. Some companies have blocked off time for focused work, airplane mode for devices, and working from home when projects require hyper-focused attention.
There are other solutions including letting your team know that it is okay with you and management if they delineate their blocks of time for focused work. This will give them a time buffer where they can tackle their most important tasks. This is a concept recommended by many top workflow consultants. It is important that management respects these scheduled blocks of focused work time. If they do, the result will be increased productivity and efficiency.
DAILY EFFICIENCY MEETING
People generally have mixed feelings about meetings. One reason for team members reluctant interest in meetings they seem to last forever. Managers and ladder climbers will take over a meeting and carry on and on. Keeping efficiency meetings on a tight, focused schedule and limiting them to 10 or 15 minutes will greatly improve productivity.
Those meetings must stick to the time. If you keep extending the meeting time it will lose effectiveness. And keep the topics on topic. Drifting off onto other areas of importance and not tackling the current agenda and daily objectives will diminish the effectiveness of your meetings.
Think of it as a daily roundup or huddle and only cover the current agenda and tasks. Check-in with each department, make room of new developments, assign what needs to be assigned and move on. It will serve as a touchpoint for team members and an encouraging pre-game pep talk.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell