Many companies have an increased focus on operational efficiency due to economic uncertainty like Coronavirus (COVID-19) that exposes the importance of ensuring continuity of operations under a broad range of circumstances such as remote working, which requires more digitally enabled collaboration.
The current situation has shown that we need to expect the unexpected and be as prepared as possible to face serious threats to our business. In some cases, technology could be the enabler to minimize the risk to your business efficiency.
What is the best way to ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible? You probably already have several things you wish would go more smoothly, right? But do you know what are the most critical areas of your business to prioritize first?
At Encode, we have specialized in business efficiency since 2001 - specifically through business process automation and improvements such as reduced time to market, less approval rounds, more precise compliance process, increased quality of the final marketing collateral, reduced production costs, and more precision and commercial agility in the campaigning process.
We will share two things with you that we know benefit the most companies in terms of business efficiency at different companies across several industries.
But before we talk about improving your business efficiency, a brief definition is in order. Because efficiency in business management can be divided into several subcategories:
- Operational efficiency
- Financial efficiency
- Labor efficiency
- Process efficiency
- And many, many more.
We will focus on your options in terms of process efficiency. Process efficiency ensures that you meet the desired results or output of your business processes in the best possible way – meaning at the right cost and on time. No matter which challenges you to meet, and no matter under which conditions you need to work.
The reason you should consider business process improvement as your starting point for general business efficiency is that processes throughout your business are often repeated day after day - which, of course, contains great potential for optimizing your business and your efficiency if business processes are continuously streamlined.
Looking at the businesses Encode has helped optimize their efficiency, there are 2 general areas of development that come to mind:
Step 1: Audit your business processes
Think of your business processes as the vehicle, which moves you and your business forward. Any any other vehicle, they need a service check and maintenance every now and then. Take the time to audit your business processes by looking at existing workflows.
Once you have mapped out your workflows, you will have a great insight into the current state of your business processes, having identified redundant tasks, bottlenecks, typical hold-ups, and steps with a high risk of error and more. So, now you have the foundation to improve your business efficiency.
These will probably also be the areas creating the most significant challenges for you in a situation of crisis.
If a thorough analysis of your workflows seems like a daunting task - take a closer look here and read more about workflows and workflow tools.
Step 2: Next level: automating your business processes
Another step to improve business efficiency is to automate processes. Say automation, and most people will think about email marketing – but that is not what we are talking about here. Business process automation is using advanced software to help execute parts of your workflow: recurring tasks or processes.
The reason why automation is essential when you aim to improve your business efficiency is that it streamlines and standardizes your operations – thereby shortening your time to market and freeing up time and resources in your team that can be spent on more value-adding projects and work.
To sum up, if you want to be better prepared for the next crisis to occur, process efficiency is the place to focus. Analyze your current key workflows and find areas suited for automation.
In that way, you can use the resources you have better, cut costs, and speed up your processes, resulting in overall improved business efficiency. In our experience, it will furthermore make you better equipped and prepared when the unexpected happens.