In today’s highly innovative and competitive world, every business seeks to move away from the rest of the pack. And with the advent of technological tools that can highlight your best practices and underscore your flaws so you can improve on them, becoming and staying differentiated has gotten a wee bit easier than, say, ten years back.
Differentiation can mean differently for different business entities. But for most sectors of the market, it means delivering unique and quality goods and services on time and on budget.
While we can never underestimate the creativity and insight needed to make a product or service stand out in a saturated marketplace, and a topic that deserves a discussion all its own, ensuring that your product or service is delivered on plan and on schedule is critical. Efficiency, as has been said time and again, is a deal clincher.
How to improve efficiency in your business
Much as we know that today’s customers are increasingly becoming more and more savvy, oftentimes requiring personalized and immediate service and support, below are four ways that might help to improve efficiency in your business:
Make information easily accessible.
Everything starts with proper dissemination of information. One reason most businesses fail is because their information repository is either non-existent or their dissemination method is not effective.
Status briefings can do a business a lot of good, provided they accomplish what they have been designed to accomplish. But what if the people that should have been part of a briefing are not present because they didn’t get the memo? Scheduling another meeting results in wasted time and resources.
Having all of your information materials easily accessible in one location that all involved parties have access to should significantly cut down on the time and resources needed to get everyone up to speed.
Provide anytime, anywhere delivery.
The fact that information is critical cannot be overstated. Given the growing popularity of outsourcing and offsite workers, or workers who need to travel on business on a regular basis, information that can be accessed anywhere and anytime is imperative. This is where web-based company portals and messaging systems play a very important role.
Offsite or onsite, your employees should at all times know what they’re doing, how they’re tracking towards their goals, if adjustments have to be undertaken to meet the changing demands of a client, et cetera.
Enhance team collaboration.
Team collaboration is that one thread that can keep an organization from unraveling. With team collaboration, members know what is expected of them and how their individual assignments contribute to the overall picture.
Team collaboration, however, isn’t merely about grouping individual employees together to form a team. It’s about developing a sense of oneness that prompts members to be responsible for project outcomes, whether good or bad, which is, in and of itself, a dynamic process that involves some planning and strategy.
Utilize available technological tools.
Luckily for most modern businesses, there are a lot of efficiency tools available for implementation nowadays. One example is workflow management software. The workflow management software, in a nutshell, is an automation system that streamlines and simplifies workflow sequences, provides delivery of next-step tasks that fosters overall visibility, among others.
As a rule of thumb, for a work software to be considered ideal, it should be able to accomplish the first three bullet points above – easy access to information, mobility and team collaboration.
I recognize that what I’ve outlined above is just a partial list and hasn’t even scratched the surface. There are still so many other ways to improve efficiency in your business. How does your company’s efficiency rating fare so far? Are there any pointers you would like to share with us?
Maricel is a freelance technology and business writer. Currently, she writes web content for Comindware, a business solutions provider.