Every entrepreneur wants to find ways to save their company money and time. Ensuring your business is running as efficiently as possible is vital if you want it to achieve long term success.
Poor productivity levels and excessive spending are the antitheses of efficiency. A company that is run efficiently minimizes wasted time and costs, by ensuring that productivity levels are high and that spending remains manageable.
In the current economic climate, many businesses are facing a wide range of challenges in their fight for survival. This makes it even more crucial than ever to ensure that your company is running as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips to help you boost efficiency in your business:
Assess Current Efficiency
Many business owners believe that their companies are operating efficiently, and can be quite shocked to realize that this is not the case. Unless you regularly assess productivity levels and monitor spending closely, there is always the danger that your business is using these vital resources inefficiently without you even realizing. This can provide a harsh wake-up call and highlights the importance of keeping a close eye on the operational side of your business to monitor spending and ensure productivity levels are consistently high.
Setting aside some time initially to go through all of your figures is an excellent starting point to help you identify aspects of your business where inefficiencies can be found. Scheduling dates into your calendar to periodically revisit these figures and check on the progress that you are making is an excellent way to ensure that your company is always running as efficiently as possible.
Set Efficiency Targets
Once you have established your current situation, and have identified areas for improvement, it is crucial to set efficiency targets. Setting efficiency targets will help you to monitor your progress, and stay on track while you actively work towards transforming your business into a more efficient operation.
Setting vague goals, such as ‘reduce running costs,’ doesn’t give you much to work with, and are unlikely to yield any genuine benefits. Instead, it is more helpful to go with that old favorite, the SMART method and create efficiency goals that are specific and actionable. For example, ‘reduce energy usage costs by 5% in Q3.’ With specific goals in place, you can then develop targeted action points that can be implemented step by step to make your goals a reality.
It is useful to produce separate goals for each aspect of your business so that you can make them a focus and see the results of your efficiency savings faster. As an example, you may want to divide time and cost efficiency targets into areas such as; IT systems, energy consumption, and material wastage. You can then choose whether to implement changes simultaneously or to work on one area at a time. Dividing targets into specific areas also enables you to assign members of your team to oversee the efficiency savings and manage the process in their area.
How to Implement Efficiency Savings
Identifying areas where efficiency savings can be made, and then setting clear goals to make these savings a reality is the first step towards improving productivity and reducing costs. The next stage of the process is where you start to implement these efficiency savings and see how your plans work in action. Here are some suggestions for efficiency savings that can be made in each area of your business:
Improving Efficiency in Your IT Systems
IT departments are no longer a standalone entity in an organization. Nowadays, IT systems are the backbone of businesses, and almost every aspect of an organization is dependent on its IT capabilities. Due to the importance of IT, it can be tempting to avoid making changes to your IT processes and systems for fear that something will go wrong, or because you are not sure how to make improvements. However, the vital nature of IT means that any changes you make can have the most significant impact on your business, and could actually achieve the most noticeable results.
Managing data efficiently is a significant consideration for businesses of all sizes. Finding a way to safely handle your business’s data can be a major challenge, which makes it hard to see where efficiency savings can be made. Choosing to migrate your data from your current database over to a different one can provide many advantages, but the migration process is not always simple. It is crucial that you weigh up the benefits of the new database to establish the efficiency savings that could be made before you begin the migration. If you currently use Oracle, you may find it advantageous to switch to a database such as PostgreSQL. Switching to PostgreSQL could offer you many benefits such as increased functionality, the ability to scale more easily, and as it is free to use, considerable cost savings can be made. As the migration process can get a little complicated you may find it helpful to read through The Complete Oracle to PostgreSQL Migration Guide to make the process as hassle-free as possible.
Improving Energy Efficiency
While efficiency savings in your IT capabilities may be a little complex, by contrast, improving energy efficiency can be a far less complicated task. Even simple changes can make a big difference to improve your energy consumption. Switching off equipment that is not in use may put an end to machinery draining power when it doesn’t need to. Encouraging your teams to go paperless will also help, by cutting down on the usage of printers, scanners, and photocopiers. You may also want to consider whether lighting that is triggered by movement is a practical addition to your workplace, as this could help you make big electricity savings.
Transforming your business into a fully efficient organization may seem like a lot of effort. However, the results of the transformation will speak for themselves in the form of increased productivity, reduced running costs, and a much healthier bottom line.