5 Methods To Improve Operational Efficiency Using Technology
5 Methods To Improve Operational Efficiency Using Technolog
What is operational efficiency?
To get the most out of your business, it’s often helpful to think in terms of operational efficiencies to figure out where you can make improvements and more easily reach your goals. The definition of an operational efficiency is essentially the ratio between the input (time, money, personnel or effort) to output (production, revenue, or opportunities) in a given process within your business.
A good operational efficiency is therefore one where you have to dedicate fewer resources to a process to create a high output. Improving operational efficiencies comes down to either reducing the necessary input, or increasing the eventual output. One of the best ways to do this is to look to technology for new solutions that could help to elevate your business. Here are just a few examples of how you can use technology to create greater operational efficiency and effectiveness.
1. Go paperless
This one might not sound particularly revolutionary, but it’s an important first step if your business hasn’t already addressed it. Physically printing out materials can be costly and time-consuming, so wherever possible you should consider using electronic documents instead.
As well as reducing your printing costs and allowing quicker distribution, going paperless has the added advantage of making filing and information management much easier – there’s no risk of important documents going missing, and automated file searches are much easier than rooting around in drawers and filing cabinets for the document you need. This means you can save time and effort, increasing your operational efficiency as a result. Plus, as an added bonus, reducing your paper usage is better for the environment.
2. Make use of the Cloud
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a rapid shift towards working from home for many businesses, with as many as 75% of Australians expecting home-working to continue even after the pandemic. Because of this, there’s never been a better time to embrace cloud technologies.
Utilising the cloud can give you access to key data, documents, software and other important resources from anywhere at any time, allowing your business to be much more flexible in its operations. Not only does the cloud offer remote access, it can also reduce your physical infrastructure costs – if you use a dedicated cloud hosting service, the maintenance and running cost of your servers is carried by the service provider.
The cloud also offers the opportunity to consolidate any overlapping or redundant systems and databases into one single, centralised online presence. As a result, you can streamline your business, while increasing operational efficiency by reducing running costs and creating greater ease of access.
3. Track key performance indicators on a KPI dashboard
If you’ve established KPIs for your business – such as the time taken to produce a given number of items, a benchmark for sales, or customers gained from marketing campaigns – then you can never have too much data when tracking them. However, all of this raw data can be overwhelming. This is where KPI dashboarding software comes in.
KPI dashboards allow you to centralise data on your KPIs into a single system, and provide you with helpful analysis and visualisation tools to get the most out of the data you’re tracking. By providing you with real-time updates on the most important areas of your business, KPI tracking allows you to identify areas for improvement and more effectively address your operational efficiencies.
4. Improve communication and collaboration
With more and more people working remotely, the lack of a physical shared workspace can be a barrier to efficient working in many cases. However, this can be mitigated by making use of technology designed to aid collaborative work no matter where the participants are. Group video calling services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are a perfect example of this, allowing meetings and presentations to go ahead out of the office and keeping workers in the loop.
Other applications like Slack allow you to set up collaborative virtual workspaces by creating text channels for different teams, projects and announcements, providing an easier and more intuitive alternative to endlessly cluttered email inboxes.
You can also use Google’s suite of online services like Docs, Sheets and Drive to allow easy access to projects and data for multiple users. All of these services help to maintain good teamwork and effective communication even outside of the office, driving operational efficiency by making collaborative work easier and less time-consuming.
5. Automate processes wherever possible
Not everything in your business has to be done manually. In fact, it’s often better to delegate simple or repetitive tasks to automated systems rather than relying on human input. By automating processes, you free up your team to work on more productive areas, increasing your overall output and improving your operational efficiency as a result.
A few examples of processes you can automate include:
- Customer service – implementing an AI chatbot into your website can help to automate customer service by providing them with answers to frequently asked questions without having to contact a customer service representative, saving time and effort
- Social media management – instead of manually publishing every social media post on every platform, use a social media management service that allows you to schedule multiple posts at once and publish them to all your profiles.
- Hiring – rather than having to manually search through dozens of job applications, automated hiring software can help you pick out the most qualified candidates by searching for specific keywords and qualifications.
Automating aspects of your business means you spend less time and effort on these processes, freeing up your team to work on more productive processes and increasing your output, in turn improving overall operational efficiency.
These are far from the only methods of using technology to increase operational efficiency – as technology advances, more and more innovative solutions and services become available, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest industry trends. By implementing technological solutions into your business wherever possible, you can create a much more efficient operating model and benefit from higher outputs from lower inputs – or in other words, you can reap the rewards of working smarter, not harder.
By implementing technological solutions into your business wherever possible, you can create a much more efficient operating model and benefit from higher outputs from lower inputs – or in other words, you can reap the rewards of working smarter, not harder. Not sure where to start? Get in touch with us and we can help you find the tech solutions to supercharge your business.