Inefficiencies in a business operation can cost more than time—they can be quite costly. After all, time is money. Not only that, but they can create significant frustration within the organization, which can lead to demoralized workers, errors, turnover, and a host of other issues that are both bad for a brand’s reputation and its bottom line. When problems go undetected—or simply unaddressed—it becomes harder to meet consumer demands and more difficult for employees to do their jobs. This effect can snowball rapidly, leading to a place where a company can be put in real jeopardy of surviving in this ever-competitive environment.
This is why business efficiency is so important.
Business efficiency is a term that identifies how effectively your company is generating products and services in relation to the amount of time and money you’re spending to produce them. If your organization is efficient, you’re making the most of your resources by transforming labor, materials, and capital into the things you sell that make your company money. Companies that suffer from inefficiencies, however, usually lack organization, which can easily impact operations negatively, wasting money and time in the process.
Business Efficiency Explained
It’s natural for companies to look for ways to spend less money and make more. As your leadership team seeks ways to improve operations, they’re likely exploring opportunities that let your business produce high-quality products and services without raising costs while also increasing worker productivity without needing to add additional employees.
On paper, this sounds great. But, how exactly do you implement changes that enhance efficiency? The following guide will help your business prepare to be more efficient in 2023.
1. Incorporate AI and Automation
Sure, artificial intelligence has been around for a little while, but if you haven’t noticed, it’s far from disappearing. In fact, it’s being used in more places today than ever before. AI is one of the key transformational digital technologies that exist in our current era that can nearly instantaneously improve efficiency across various levels of your organization, no matter what industry you’re in.
As AI gets to know you, it’ll help eliminate manual, routine processes by taking the humans who currently do those tasks away and freeing them up to participate in projects that can help your organization bring in greater profits. This does, of course, mean you need to have proper technology platforms in place. In doing so, AI will assist with producing:
- A more effective sales and marketing team;
- Better customer service;
- More effective supply chains;
- Products and services that are more in alignment with your customers’ needs;
- Streamlined manufacturing methods.
Many AI technologies are now available in SaaS format via the cloud, enabling teams to access these tools from anywhere.
AI aside, there are lots of tools that can help you automate tasks, thereby reducing tedious, time-consuming processes. Focus on integrating a system that lets you automate inventory allocation, demand forecasting, and AP/AR so you can enjoy more accurate data and improved speed within your organization day-to-day activities.
As an example, NetSuite’s new SuiteBanking solution provides companies with more control of cash flow and gives them deeper insights into the cash requirements of their organizations. This tool delivers greater automation for accounts payable and accounts receivable processes, thereby making it easier to pay bills and send invoices.
2. Unify Your Databases into a Single System
It’s not uncommon for different departments to have systems that vary from one function to the next across organizations. Is that a good thing, though? Absolutely not. Disparate systems come with far more negative consequences than the fact that they’re simply frustrating and insert a barrier into efficiencies; they can actually harm your bottom line by inserting unnecessary time and resources into your teams’ workflows.
All of your customer data should be housed in a single platform so vital data can be accessed by whomever needs it, from sales to accounting and finance to customer relations and supply chain management. Removing siloes within your business will give you greater transparency and insight into the goings on of your processes so you can accumulate historical data that’ll help you forecast for the future and prepare for decisions that need to be made in real time.
3. Encourage Open Communication
Although your management team might have a good handle on much of your company’s operations, they might not be as familiar as your employees when it comes to understanding the day-to-day details, such as their big pain points and bottlenecks that prevent them from performing their jobs optimally.
When you foster open communication within your workplace, your employees will feel comfortable notifying their managers of inefficiencies that affect their roles. They’re also more likely to suggest ways to fix problems, particularly if they’ve been encountering them time and time again. This helps prevent small issues from snowballing into major problems that can be extremely costly to your business. Of course, open communication also helps ensure your staff feels like valued members of your team.
4. Minimize the Need for Multi-Tasking
There’s been a shift in thinking; once upon a time, it was believed that people who could successfully multi-task all day, every day were the most productive and efficient. Today, studies indicate that the opposite is true. Instead, it’s important to give employees the time and space to focus on a single task at a time without interruption as much as possible (barring emergencies and unexpected urgent situations that require immediate attention). When people constantly jump from one task to the next, it’s hard for them to actually complete any of the things on their plates. Specific focus time can help improve individuals’ performances, which, in turn, can enhance the company’s overall performance.
5. Streamline Your Customer Relationships
A great customer relationship management (CRM) tool is the backbone of many parts of your business. If you don’t have one in place now, it’s time to start shopping. Look for software that’s intuitive to use but also has robust functionality that’ll help you generate leads, improve sales, and retain more customers.
A well-built CRM will give you lots of data so you can learn more about your own company, refine your processes, and improve your products or services based on feedback you get from the people you currently serve.
6. Delegate Responsibilities
The old-school way of doing things was to constantly look over employees’ shoulders, examining every detail of their work. This is inefficient and causes stress and anxiety amongst the employees. Instead, delegate specific responsibilities to individuals on your team and be sure to set clear goals and expectations so your employees can have autonomy. This will also help ensure redundancies are avoided because every person is focused on the task they’ve been given, so you don’t have to worry about multiple people performing the same work.
7. Keep Morale High
Low employee morale is expensive in so many ways. Not only does it often leave to turnover, which is extremely costly for companies, but it also feeds inefficiencies and errors with the organization. Snacks and office parties are great, but they’re not at the heart of a healthy culture; workers want to feel that their efforts and time are being valued by the organizations they work for.
- Look for ways to ensure there are advancement opportunities offered to qualified individuals;
- Provide constructive and positive feedback;
- Reward employees for jobs well done.
These efforts will help ensure people feel valued, thereby increasing productivity.
Improve Your Business Efficiency With MIBAR and ERP Software in 2023
These are just a few of our favorite ways to increase business efficiency in 2023, but we’ve got plenty more! Identifying, implementing and monitoring efficiency improvements can be a time-consuming process. Tying up staff with many of the mundane processes that are required to improve business efficiency may not make sense. NetSuite’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) provides real-time visibility into a company’s operational and financial performance through a single, integrated suite of applications that manage accounting, order processing, inventory management, supply chain activities and warehouse operations.
MIBAR can helps companies of all sizes get a 360-degree view of their operations, automate manual business processes, realize their growth potential, and improve their efficiency through the implementation or optimization of NetSuite. Click here to learn more or schedule a demo with us today.