Business growth and competitive sales performance is the name of the game, but given the not-so-pleasant economic circumstances perpetuated by the Covid-19 global pandemic, actionable growth opportunities have run dry, and risks are rampant. As a result, despite the broader implications of a positive economic outlook for the latter half of 2021, several firms have opted to employ a more risk-averse approach to limit any untoward external threat from harming the current bullish momentum.
However, unbeknownst to numerous businesses is the fact that what’s draining their growth potential is not any external economic turbulence but more toward internal issues, specifically, workflow inefficiencies undermining their progress. And while the numbers may seem insignificant at face value, these problems accumulate over time and are learned destructive habits that could threaten the longevity and sustainability of your core operations.
Project Delays And Deadline Extensions Cost Money
Workflow inefficiencies are not uncommon, but just because project delays and deadline extensions seemingly occur without you knowing doesn’t mean these issues don’t drive your expenses higher than expected. And failure to employ a careful eye that monitors the adverse effects of said inefficiencies could cost you more money than the variable costs related to service delivery and production. Therefore, you might want to limit your exposure to any of these common work productivity disruptions, namely, (1) unnecessary in-between tasks, (2) poor project management, and (3) the underutilization of resources.
- Unnecessary In-Between Tasks: Firstly, an infamous problem that robs companies blind of their money are the unnecessary in-between tasks that only add clutter to the general process without increasing value. For example, constant backtracking and progress review may appear smart on paper, but it only adds unnecessary time when quality control and assurance can be allocated a dedicated phase itself. And given the recession risk factors in the economy, now’s not the time to be complacent and stagnant with work productivity.
- Poor Management And Communication: In addition to unnecessary in-between tasks, many businesses regularly face poor management and communication between teams and departments. And while running some documents to and from different teams may not seem as heavy of a time dump in the bigger picture, it does increase the risk of errors popping up and wastes time that could be used elsewhere. Especially for firms that operate with multiple departments, both remote and in-office, it compromises the quality of service and product output.
- Significant Underutilization Of Resources: Lastly, one major workflow inefficiency that can cripple a business without them knowing is the significant underutilization of resources. You see, modern innovation, research, and development have been focused on getting more out of less, and if your input is capable of creating more output, then the inability to maximize your resources reduces your long-term competitiveness. For example, the global chip shortage has been hurting every industry that relies on semiconductors and causing unprecedented delays for products in demand.
Pinpoint Specific Areas Prone To Work Congestion
While reducing workflow inefficiencies to a complete zero may be close to impossible given that outliers will happen from time to time, reaching close to zero percent workflow inefficiencies is not entirely impossible with the right amount of effort and time invested. Therefore, it is in your best interests to pinpoint the specific areas in your core operations that are prone to work congestion and are at risk of resource wastage through delays, miscommunication, and the like.
- Implement Employee Skills Training: Your employees are the lifeline of your business, and because work productivity is directly tied to the ability of your teams to complete tasks and projects on schedule, improving their capacity to meet new demands is crucial to business growth. So, we suggest that you implement more employee skills training and workshops onto your roadmap to empower your workforce for bigger and more impactful responsibilities.
- Upgrade Any Outdated Information Systems: Apart from helping your employees, another excellent way of addressing workflow inefficiencies and reducing the risks of work congestion is by upgrading any outdated information systems present in the company. Especially given that most business operations now happen on the digital landscape, any legacy systems that are subject to time delays will significantly impact the quality.
What About Introducing Automation?
Automation is most certainly an excellent method of reducing workflow inefficiencies because it completely negates the need for manual entry and only requires the supervision of one employee adept at manipulating the software or machine. As a result, you free up more hands and can reassign tasks and projects more efficiently, giving you the productive edge against your competition. However, it often comes with a hefty initial investment which is why many firms cannot implement full-scale automation of business processes.
Gauge Effectiveness With A Comprehensive Review
At the end of the day, regardless of what intervention measures you implement to address workflow inefficiencies, we must always gauge the effectiveness after the fact with a comprehensive review of how well it is progressing. And much like how we compare tax software for better evaluations, workflow analysis must also be observed after any significant change has been overseen.