(3 min read)
Striving to achieve efficiency in business is ongoing, driven by ever-changing customer expectations and technology dependence. At AIS, we aim to innovate and improve every aspect of our business including focusing on operational efficiency and effectiveness, in order to simplify processes, cut costs and streamline the user experience to better serve our customers.
Quick wins can typically be found through workflow analysis, implementation of a uniform system or technology, as well as understanding the link between efficiency and expense.
Start by performing a deep review of the most common functions – What’s being processed? How many hands are touching it, frequency, time spent? Next, take a step back and ask – Is there an easier way? How can we streamline, simplify? Is this necessary anymore? Often the most common processes have been in play since the beginning, so it’s easy to forget that times have changed. Accept that striving for operational efficiency is never-ending. As time moves on and the business changes, it’s likely that your processes should too.
Technology / Automation
Visualizing the optimal process or workflow will help determine where best to infuse technology. Finding ways to automate easy, routine tasks ensures that your time and most valuable resources (personnel) are best utilized for high valued customer touches. While systems or new technology are costly, be open to taking the time to research options. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure the agreement clearly outlines your pain points, expected outcomes and how to measure success. Remain focused on simplifying processes and improving the user experience, but keep an eye out for additional efficiency gains the technology will bring.
Moving from snail mail to email (reducing postage), from wet signature to E-signature (less paper usage), from paper cups to BYOM (bring-your-own-mug), companies large and small can always find ways to cut costs, eliminate waste or be more efficient. Dual monitors minimizes printing, but also increases productivity. Homebased workers reduces facilities expense, but also brings scheduling flexibility and greater employee satisfaction. When prioritizing your efficiency goals, it’s important to factor-in areas where expense reduction may occur. In most cases, an initial investment will be required, but over time, you want to be sure the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Above all, engage your team. Involving the staff members affected increases buy-in, ensures processes are accurately documented and provides meaningful insight into areas of inefficiency. From clerical to customer-facing functions, ongoing feedback is critical to measuring effectiveness. When the workplace runs efficiently and employees are engaged, they are well equipped to deliver a best-in-class experience to your customers.
The article above is part of our B2B series offering tips to other business owners, managers and entrepreneurs as AIS celebrates 50 years in business. See our tips on Sales and Marketing, Finance, and company direction all written by the subject matter experts. Follow us on LinkedIn for more business-related topics. It’s always a pleasure to assist others striving to excel in business, many of who are Business Insurance customers of ours.