Business owners are always looking to improve their production capacity. With high production output, your services and products will always be on time with a high level of quality that will satisfy clients. And with satisfied clients, your reputation will increase, and you’ll get more customers. This is operational efficiency, a cascading effect that will ultimately benefit your business.
Defining Operational Efficiency
Before we go into the nitty-gritty of things, what is operational efficiency? In simplest terms, it means using company resources such as equipment and tools, manpower, time, and even money in the most efficient and optimized manner possible. With efficiency comes better production rates, thus making your business more profitable than before.
Operational efficiency isn’t just for manufacturers. It’s for every business that considers frequency and quality of output important. It’s not just about buying the latest and fastest machines. It’s all about how it’s achieved through the clever organizing of your workforce.
With high operational efficiency, your business will grow further than how you started it. You’ll reduce the load on your workforce, increasing their satisfaction and contentment. Because your business can produce high-quality work with less time and resources, you’ll save on money while satisfying customers.
Ultimately, operational efficiency grants businesses the ability to keep doing more, despite actually doing less. It’s not magic, however, as it’s achieved through clever business process decisions.
How to Achieve Peak Operational Efficiency
Achieving a high level of efficiency isn’t difficult, but neither is it easy. It’s a big balancing act, knowing where to put most of your efforts so that the effects will cascade to other areas. Below are some tips to help your business put this into effect.
Know Where Your Business Is
Take a long hard look at your current state of affairs. Where are the bottlenecks? Perhaps there’s too much red tape that affects the productivity of your employees? It’s easy to think that your initial plans and strategies will work seamlessly, but as evidenced by the desire to increase capacity, there is wastage somewhere in your current flow. Pinpoint where it is, study how to change it, and you’ll be better equipped to tackle the next step.
Establish an Action Plan and Address Priorities
Once you’ve assessed the current state of your business, next comes how you address this state. It involves looking at what you need and addressing that need. Does your business need a new piston filler from a reliable manufacturer to achieve a quota?
Then that’s your priority. Establish an action plan: perhaps it’s about buying said equipment and training your staff to utilize it. Creating an action plan is a critical step in increasing productivity as it will be the guide you will follow and base your metrics on.
Implement and Improve
Implementing your action plan follows next. As mentioned in the last point, you might have to train your staff or take the time to implement new technology. During the process of implementation, you will encounter some problems.
Some changes might not fit your business, or your employees might be taking time to adjust to the changes. Don’t be afraid to take it slow; improvement doesn’t come overnight. Always look at how your business reacts to the change and find areas to improve based on that.
Use the Latest Technology
We’ve mentioned new technology in the preceding points, and this is an area where you definitely should skimp on. Don’t be afraid to get your employees new computers or purchase a hydraulic press for your metal business. The latest technology will definitely differ from industry to industry, but the important factor is that you’re aware of the latest technology and are ready to take advantage of it.
Create Key Performance Indicators
Once you’ve created and implemented an action plan (along with any other purchases of efficiency-improving equipment), the next step is to create the key performance indicators (KPI) that will be used as a metric for improvement.
Your new KPIs will be contrasted against the former one, hopefully with a considerable increase in statistics. Your new KPI won’t come out right off the bat, as the adjustment period will often dictate what can be put in your new one. However, an easy metric to go by is:
- Quality of Work: Any improvements in the actual quality of the finished product counts towards this.
- Time Efficiency: Is the duration faster or slower? You also need to contrast time against the quality. If faster means a drop in efficiency, then it’s not much of an improvement.
- Effort Needed: If the new implementation requires more manpower or resources, go back to the drawing board and see where you can improve.
Once you’ve gathered all these metrics, you’re set to improving your business’s efficiency rates sky-high.