How Efficient is Your Company? Take this Test
Most managers and business owners want their companies to run smoothly and efficiently. Many even set up processes and procedures to aid efficiency. But, despite the desire for efficiency, and the processes and procedures designed to aid efficiency, the sad truth is that companies across the globe lose millions every year to inefficient practices. How can this be?
Growth and Success Contribute to Inefficiency
Managing a business of any size is hard work. When you're just starting out with a handful of employees, it seems very manageable. The processes and procedures you've put into place work. But as you grow, things can quickly get hectic. That's because as a company grows, the original processes no longer work in a larger environment. People start to alter the processes, frequently with little or no documentation. Tasks may still get done, but the processes aren't scalable, efficient or easily transferred from one employee to another. Systems bog down!
The more employees you add to your company, the less visibility you have into day-to-day operations. The hands-on approach goes by the wayside. And if you're not careful, things can quickly spiral out of control as each employee decides to do whatever he or she feels is best. This brings us to the questions in our test:
- Do you know what's going on in your company?
You probably said yes. And, you probably do know, in a general sense. But, put this question in the context of an overall audit, and a specific bit of information you need, such as, when was an invoice from 3 years ago paid? and your answer most likely is that you don't know. Not knowing is OK, if you're able to find and access the information within minutes, if not seconds. How long does it take you to find out?
- Are there checks and balances in place to ensure that employees perform key services?
Most companies have some checks and balances, so you probably answered a qualified yes. How much does that qualified yes cost you in wasted time or money? For instance, just searching for poorly titled or misplaced documents costs organizations an average of $3,900 per employee, per year. And that's just one small activity within a business. If something so small can add up to so much, imagine how much larger-scale inefficiencies must cost. How much money could a paperless office and automated fool-proof checks and balances save you?
- Are tasks prioritized and handled in priority order?
If you have more than three employees, and you answered honestly, the truth is that you probably don't know for sure. You think so; you hope so. But short of watching every employee all the time, every day, how could you? (And that would be creepy!) But, if digital documents were automatically forwarded where they need to be, when they need to be there, and you were automatically alerted if the process was held up, you would know for sure! (In a helpful, non-creepy way.) How easy would it be to set up an automated prioritizing system?
- Does each employee follow documented procedures?
We're betting this is another one that you don't really know for sure. In the situations where documentation exists, you hope it's being followed. But, there may be some processes and procedures that totally lack documentation. Word of mouth instructions have been conveyed, and you think it's working out -- until it doesn't and you're forced to react to a customer complaint or a vendor problem. Could automated workflows enhance your employees' efficiency and your customers' experience?
- Do your customers complain that service is slow or that their requests get lost?
When you know what's going on in your company; when there are checks and balances in place; when tasks are prioritized and workflows are automated, customers rarely complain about slow service or lost requests. It's no coincidence that the same automated workflows that enhance your employees' efficiency also enhance your customers' experience. What's stopping you from doing better?
Digital Transformation Brings Efficiency Improvements & ROI
Digital Transformation, starting with Electronic Content Management and automated workflows can increase efficiency by as much as 20% - 30%. What's stopping you? Our latest white paper talks about the latest technologies to help you improve your efficiency score (and save money!).
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April, 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.