The relevance of efficiency
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Efficiency. Quite the catchphrase of late, and grossly misunderstood by the working masses. While it is perceived that one of the by-products of a company becoming more efficient is role redundancy, this is not necessarily the case.
When tedious, time-consuming tasks and processes are made more efficient, the organisation can generate more cashflow and use time more effectively. More time and more cashflow in an organisation means: higher investment opportunity, resulting in disruptive innovation (a topic to be covered soon); and higher dividends for shareholders.
How do you, as a business leader, bring about efficiency in your own organisation?
1. Uncover and know all the business elements
A business can be likened to a motor vehicle engine. An engine is composed of several parts and these are in constant motion in order to enable the vehicle to drive. Much the same, a business is usually divided into smaller business units or activities all contributing to the financial health of the business. To appropriately manage the business, management must be acutely aware of each business element. If one business unit is neglected or if management does not have an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the business, the well-being of the greater organisation will be negatively impacted.
2. Bring in the right tech
The good news is the right technology can improve your business. One cannot simply onboard a new tech and hope that it will resolve inefficient processes. However, when you find the correct tech for your business, the results are profound. Many entities invest in technologies in a hurry because they are under pressure to keep up with competitors as they transform, or because they need a quick solution to a pressing problem. Instead, invest time into researching the various options available to you, so that you can find the best possible solution at the best price. In addition, layering automated systems and technology over poorly functioning business processes won’t make any difference from an efficiency perspective. Systems merely automate manual processes and a poorly functioning manual process will be a poorly functioning automated process.
3. Train your team
Training has become a more complex subject in the ever-changing business environment of today. With technology changing at such a rapid rate, knowledge and the application thereof have become a contentious subject. There are two questions that management should be asking: are we training employees on relevant material; and is our training effective? The days of bombarding a classroom packed to the rafters with an overload of information that is never actually practically applied to the business are over. The trick is to keep training relevant, incremental and value-delivering.
4. If it’s not tech, business function or training what is it? Your process.
What is a process? It’s easy and obvious steps taken to achieve a specific objective. The definition paints a picture that seems simple and frankly quite apparent, but it’s a different story when it comes to organisational processes. The organisational process sets business elements or functions in motion. The challenge comes in when management does not constantly manage, review and define the strategic goals for each business process, leading to a situation of multiple elements experiencing issues at once, which results in a breakdown. Take the example of Blockbuster, a multibillion-dollar business that was disrupted by a small tech start-up called Netflix as a result of focusing on expansion rather than focusing on a process of innovation which ultimately caused their own irrelevance in the market.
Constant retrospection and continuous improvement of processes is critical to both efficiency and the growth and survival of business.
Although driving efficiency may seem daunting, it is a necessary part of transforming business against the backdrop of digitalisation in the economy. To flourish in an ever-changing world is to become efficient, and sooner rather than later.
To find out more about how Quick Consols can assist you in your transformation of becoming efficient, contact us for a coffee and a chat.