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Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. It happens when purposes for certain tasks change or are abandoned altogether. Whatever the reason, it’s costing your business. This month, we take a look at what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.


Employee Productivity

You want your business to be more productive? Join the club. Every business has revenue-costing inefficiencies that they need to address. Some overcome them, some don’t. If your business wants to confront its inefficiencies, it has to start at the beginning and define what "efficient" looks like. Since inefficiency can stem from any part of your business, it’s a decent idea to separate your search for inefficiencies into departments, or even specific workflows where you can define what efficient productivity looks like for that certain task. This definition is effectively your criteria for claiming inefficiency, and should only change if process or workflow changes.

Another determination is how much things change. Are you constantly tweaking your operational plan to try to draw as much out of each of your workers? Most changes that you make to workflows, no matter how small, are going to cause some initial inefficiency. Think about it: If someone has been doing something the same for a while and you ask him/her to do it differently to save time, it seems, unless you have evidence that it will work, that you are likely digging your own efficiency grave by changing a completely functional process to try to get more out of it. It’s true that most people work at the speed they need to be the most effective. If you think that you need someone who works faster, it’s not necessarily an employee-related problem, it’s likely a company-related problem.

In truth, most times, when a business thinks it is having a problem with their productivity, they mean that the people that work for them aren’t pulling their weight. The question becomes how do you quantify a productive workforce? Today, more and more companies are using Key Performance Indicators (KPI). These are measures that allow decision makers to evaluate strategic performance, as well as employee performance. Taking time to understand how your business, and your employees, can be most effective to help you meet your organizational goals is just as important as having the resources in place to do so.

One thing is for certain, making work harder on your employees is not going to result in better productivity. Your business is a second home to your employees, and the lion’s share of people show up regardless of what is going on in their lives. The happier they are to spend a quarter-to-a third of their lives working for you, the more you are going to get out of them. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be performance metrics, and that you shouldn’t do everything you can to track their performance, but if you are making their lives outside of work better by providing the wages, benefits, and working conditions conducive for productivity, you will get more out of them.

Automation

In the productivity end, efficiency is built from having a good plan on what needs to happen, and executing that plan. If the plan shifts after some time, it's fair to expect that efficiency will take some time to catch up. Unless, that is, that plan includes automating portions of the workflow. People like to act that automation is working against people’s interests, but nothing could be further from the truth. Automation builds efficiency, which allows for more productivity, which allows for more revenue, and higher profits, and if those profits are reinvested, more jobs.

Automation works to build efficiency. That’s its one benefit, and it will cost you. There are many ways that a business can leverage automation into profitability. One is by utilizing a tool that automates all the little things. A properly working business typically has many different facets, and no matter how few people there are working these facets, they’ll have to be maintained. So, while payroll, accounts receivable, customer/vendor support, human resources could all be headed up by one person, with a software that automates a lot of the legwork associated with these tasks, that one person can accomplish everything listed above at a substantial cost reduction to the company. That’s not to say there isn’t cost, but when you can get people working rather than managing protocol, it substantially increases productivity throughout an organization.

Outsourcing

Contracting work that you cannot efficiently do yourself is nothing new. People have been paying contract-workers for a long time. You may find that you could get similar benefits at a substantial cost reduction by outsourcing some elements of your organization’s operations to an outside company. Where this process gets costly is when contractors are brought in to complete core parts of the job.

It stands to reason that if you offer products or services that your organization would have market authority in that space. Say your organization makes toys, chances are the people running the show, and the employees you’ve hired to physically build toys are all better at it than any outsourced company could be. Outsourcing is most beneficial when it is brought in, to complete aspects of the job where you lack expertise. This could be human resources, marketing, benefits administration, and of course IT support.

The IT professionals at Machado Consulting know that technology is a major part of your business, and needs to function properly, and be protected. Our technicians have the experience and the knowledge to help you solve some of your most pressing operational inconsistencies. Call us today to learn more at (508) 453-4700.

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Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Your relationships with your customers and clients depend on one thing above any other: communication. In order to optimize this communication, many businesses are leveraging technology solutions, and are enjoying a variety of operational benefits as a result. Is your business one of them?

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Featured

Tip of the Week: How to Consolidate Your Email Management

Tip of the Week: How to Consolidate Your Email Management

Quick question for you: how many email accounts do you have? How many do you have to regularly check? How many different platforms do they utilize? If there’s too many, important communications are easy to miss in the ensuing mess of messages. Fortunately, there are a few ways that this can be avoided, which we’ll review for this week’s tip.

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways to Promote Operational Efficiency

Tip of the Week: Three Ways to Promote Operational Efficiency

Revenue is a key component of any business, crucial to the continued success and efficacy of it. However, in order to sustain an incoming revenue stream, a business needs to be able to operate efficiently enough to support it. In this week’s tip, we’ll review a few ways that you can build this efficiency in your own operations to assist your efforts to build a prosperous business.

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Has Your IT Team Attained these Goals Yet?

Has Your IT Team Attained these Goals Yet?

For any business to be successful, it needs access to the technology solutions that allow it to operate efficiently. Your IT team is responsible for ensuring that this access is not interrupted, which isn’t an insignificant responsibility. However, by clearly defining goals for your IT team to strive for, you provide a benefit to all members of your staff.

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Tip of the Week: Use this Free PC Tool to Find Out Which Files You Should Delete Next

Tip of the Week: Use this Free PC Tool to Find Out Which Files You Should Delete Next

Fact: your PC has a limited amount of storage space. When a user runs out of space or comes close to it, they need to come up with a solution. Without taking any action, performance will lag and saving data for future projects will be impossible. By using a helpful tool like WinDirStat, you can free up space by easily identifying and then taking action with your PC’s biggest files.

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The Easiest Way to Manage Your IT Happens to Also Be the Best

The Easiest Way to Manage Your IT Happens to Also Be the Best

You know better than anyone that managing your business isn’t something to be taken lightly. Keeping your technology in proper working order is just the icing on the proverbial cake, making the task of managing your business even more difficult. If you’re using normal break-fix IT services, this might be the case. Alternatively, managed IT services aren’t designed to burden you.

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Tip of the Week: How to Get the Most Out of Your Meetings

Tip of the Week: How to Get the Most Out of Your Meetings

Meetings: they’re known in the business world as a necessary evil. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a few adjustments, you can create the ideal conditions for effective and efficient meetings.

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Make Sure Your Business Technology Covers These 2 Areas

Make Sure Your Business Technology Covers These 2 Areas

All businesses need to use some sort of technology to keep their operations moving forward. Yet, it’s often difficult to gauge how new solutions will function with your current systems. You need to take your options into careful consideration before making such an important choice, and only an analysis of your current setup will help you ensure the success of your new technology.

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Tip of the Week: Stop Micromanaging and Improve Employee Focus and Collaboration

Tip of the Week: Stop Micromanaging and Improve Employee Focus and Collaboration

With the opportunity to track metrics becoming more readily available for all types of businesses, some organizations invest heavily into time-tracking software and other KPIs that they believe will help their team be more efficient in the workplace. However, this might be having a negative effect on the quality of work being performed. Irv Shapiro, CEO of DialogTech, suggests that, instead of tracking time, employers should be tracking results.

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Getting Help Desk Support Is More Affordable Than You Would Think

b2ap3_thumbnail_single_conduit_callcenter_400.jpgCan you imagine how much easier it would be to manage your IT problems if you had a dedicated support team who you could always count on to receive calls and answer any questions your team has? This would technically qualify as an internal help desk, and they could potentially save you a ton of money and time in the long run. Why? Because your team wouldn’t have to waste time digging through complicated systems to find answers to their dilemmas.

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Stop Ignoring Unneeded Applications That Take Up Space on Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_trash_apps_to_improve_performance_400.jpgThere’s a value to having a neat and tidy office where everything is where it’s supposed to be. In addition to seeing a boost in productivity because you’re not having to fight clutter, you just feel good about working in a space that’s clean and orderly. These same principles of organization apply to your company’s network.

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How Are Modern Businesses Taking Advantage of the Cloud?

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_computing_for_business_400.jpgFor the modern-day business owner, moving to the cloud means to take advantage of the several strategic advantages it offers. Companies no longer have to restrict themselves by relying on physical servers, desktops, or hardware. Most businesses see the value that cloud-based operations can offer them, and they are racing to take advantage of this fairly recent development. In fact, Joe McKendrick of Forbes magazine says that four-out-of-five small businesses will be based in the cloud in the near future.

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Mobile Devices Leaving an Unsavory Taste in Restaurant Owner’s Mouth

b2ap3_thumbnail_problems_for_smartphones_restaurant_400.jpgSmartphones have revolutionized the way that we communicate with each other and increased productivity, but for some businesses, they are only making things worse. A perfect example of this is the restaurant business - in fact, one restaurant owner decided to take matters into his own hands, and has performed a study which examined their business before and after the mobile revolution.

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George R. R. Martin’s Tech is as Ancient as His Fantasy Works!

b2ap3_thumbnail_george_r_r_martin_400.jpgWhen it comes to productivity, the latest technology can be a huge boon. A proper word processor can increase your productivity drastically if you know how to use it. However, one of today's most ingenious writers - George R. R. Martin - is still stuck in the Stone Age of word processing technology!

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