The world of business moves very quickly. Companies that don’t keep up with changing times risk falling behind. With more online and offline businesses competing with your company, you need to do whatever you can to streamline operations. With efficient operations, you can provide quick and efficient service to your customers. The following are things you can do to easily streamline your operations.
Reduce Paper Expenses
Using paper to send mail, create invoices or store information is inefficient when you can use the Internet for nearly everything. You can buy stamps online, send invoices via Internet spreadsheets and store information online. If you can eliminate the need for paper, it will make your communications and information storage more effective. It will also reduce company expenses.
Reduce Communications Costs
If a large chunk of your company’s overhead is going toward communication costs, it ties up money that is better used elsewhere. It’s important to find ways to reduce your expenses wherever possible. Look into cheaper business phone and cell phone packages. You should have no problem finding a network provider that offers a lower price on your communications packages.
Switch to B2B Communications
Using B2B (business-to-business) communications with your providers and partners is another good idea. Not only will provide better customer service, but you can reduce your inventory and improve your savings and cash flow — all by electronically sharing your information with those doing business with you.
Consolidate Software and Information
What happens when one set of computers is using Microsoft Excel to do the bookkeeping while another set is using QuickBooks? Having different software and computer-operating systems makes it difficult and time-consuming to share information between employees. It slows things down if you have to convert your QuickBooks file into an Excel-friendly format or change your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation into a format accessible via a Mac. Consolidating your software to make it compatible speeds up information-sharing
Eliminate Redundant Personnel
Isn’t it annoying to run a new idea or an important decision up the chain of command and wait for it to return before you can take action? What if there were a way to eliminate the chain altogether?
It’s important to see if there are any redundant personnel on your staff. Are there two people doing a job one could do or are there managers overseeing projects your employees could handle without oversight? Could a vertical storage carousel electronically track high amounts of inventory just as effectively as multiple managers? Eliminating redundant personnel and empowering employees to make simple decisions on eliminates bottlenecks and red tape.
Use Cloud Storage
There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for the IT department to fix a broken computer so you can access the important files stored on the computer’s hard drive. Even working with a shared server is risky, as the server is likely to crash as any computer. The best way to prevent data loss is to use cloud storage where the information is stored safely. Even if your office computers die simultaneously, the information is accessible from anywhere.
Create Business Apps
Do your employees have to use a number of programs to track their progress, log their work hours, check their work email and accomplish other tasks in a day? Consider making an application or software suite that allows them to do everything in one program. An app that can be used from any computer or smartphone will help your employees be more productive and may even allow them to work from home — thus reducing the need for physical office space.
About the Author: As a business consultant, Bob Farckin is familiar with top-heavy business operations. His helps people streamline processes, thus enabling them to work as efficiently as possible.