Top 10 Ways to Improve Business OperationsDecember 17, 2021
If businesses were machines, they would be something like a luxury watch, with hundreds of tiny gears and cogs working together to achieve a purpose. It’s no secret that a successful company requires a staggering amount of logistics and planning just to maintain its accomplishments. However, the goal of a business isn’t to “maintain” its success but rather to improve the business to maximize the value and profit of its hard work.
To achieve the goal of constant improvement, most businesses turn to the long-standing concept of “business operations.” Though it might sound like just another snippet of corporate jargon, “business operations” is a phrase that refers to anything and everything that goes into keeping a company running and earning money. The term casts a wide net over everything that goes on at a company to make all of the moving parts a little bit easier to manage.
Naturally, every company will have different operations that require attention. While a physical store might want to pay more attention to optimizing its in-store stock, an eCommerce business would focus more on shipping efficiency or improving its official website. Across all industries, however, there are a few common categories of operations worth considering.
This article will dive into each of these five categories to give a taste of what companies can be doing to improve themselves! From improving the organization of your workplace to updating your technology and hiring practices, these are ten of the most effective ways to improve your business operations.
Our first business operation category is Methodology, which refers to the processes and strategies your business employs to get the job done day in and day out.
Record Every Process
Business processes are simply the tasks and sets of steps your employees follow to create your business’s product. For instance, if your company is a restaurant, an example of a process could be the steps necessary for a waiter to take someone’s order. In theory, these processes are taught in employee training, and employees should know the processes that apply to them.
However, to improve the efficiency of these processes, and to make training easier in the future, ensure that every process is entirely written out and available to all employees at all times.
Upgrade For Efficiency
Once you have every process written out, you can follow our next tip: examine each process and see if you can remove any unnecessary steps. For example, if your company deals with a high volume of contracts and paperwork, consider the efficiency of switching to digital paperwork. Digitizing physical paperwork can drastically improve the organization and speed at which the paperwork is processed, which in turn helps your business work more efficiently.
Another critical aspect of constantly improving your business is keeping up to date with all of the latest news in your industry.
Stay On Top Of Trends
Whether you’re the head of an international service company or one of the three founding members in your small business, there will always be other companies in your industry that you can keep an eye on. By observing other companies and learning about the way they handle their goods and services, you can keep a finger on the pulse of your industry, ensuring that you’re never the last company to hop on a trend.
An excellent example of this can be seen in the previous year and a half within the digital communications industry, as the video chat company Zoom saw a trend and capitalized on it, while an already developed video chat company like Skype faltered.
Sometimes, to improve your workflows or increase the rate of your production services, you need to “audit” your own company. To do so effectively, you should have an unbiased employee, preferably within the human resources department, to examine the financial data, workspace productivity, and other aspects of your company’s business operations.
The audit should give you a full rundown of your business and show you the areas that might need improvement. A self-audit is particularly useful for finding the tiny mistakes that can slow a company down without anybody noticing!
The employees of a company will always be the most essential resource for your business, so helping your team members is the perfect strategy to improve your company.
Revisit the Schedule
An inefficient schedule can cause a chain reaction of problems, slowing down your entire workplace. To improve this aspect of your operations, you can determine what combinations of team members work best with one another and the busiest and slowest hours of the week. You should consider adding an additional shift to lighten the load during the most active hours, taking the hours from when work is lightest.
Listen To Your Company
One of the greatest mistakes any boss can make is not listening to their employees. Like we said, your employees are your most valuable resource, so if they come to you with ideas, requests, or complaints, those suggestions should be taken very seriously! If you have your employees’ input to inform your business plans, there’s a good chance your employees will be more motivated and excited to work.
The pandemic of the last two years has led to a dramatic restructuring of the workforce in the United States. An area that has changed the most; office spaces.
Optimize The Workspace
If your company is still operating in a physical office space, take the time to make that space as work-friendly as possible. Ensure the area is always clean and sanitized and that everyone working there is comfortable with in-office expectations. Be careful, however, not to add unnecessary “perks” to the office, thinking it will help. A ping pong table and bean bags in the lounge might be good for raising morale slightly, but most employees simply want a clean, respectful workspace.
Get a Change of Scenery
Alternatively, if in-office productivity is down dramatically, consider allowing employees to work remotely. Though many CEOs of the past looked down on remote work, studies have shown it to be just as productive, if not more productive, than traditional office models. If your employees can still conduct the full service of your company from home, there’s no reason not to try it.
(It’s not a bad way to cut down on labor costs either!)
Finally, looking at the technology your company employs can shed some light on areas of improvement.
Embrace New Technology
We are in an era of unprecedented technological growth, and seemingly every month, new inventions and technologies aim to improve a specific industry. This is especially true in the manufacturing industry, as every type of production company needs the most efficient way to transform raw materials into finished goods. That isn’t to say you need technology for technology’s sake, but if there is production equipment that is safer, faster, or most efficient, then you should look into making the switch. Even taking extra time to service equipment that you already own can help to speed up production.
Provide The Best Resources
Our final recommendation is simple; give your employees the best resources possible to give them the best chance at success. Successful business operations management is all about improving your company, and there’s no easier way to achieve this than by focusing on providing the best workspace, materials, and resources for your employees. Quality should always be over quantity, and that idea is perfectly reflected here.
Your Company, LACOSTA’s Business
Even after instilling these changes in your company, you can still do more to boost productivity. One of the simplest ways to do so is by investing in a managed labor partnership with LACOSTA. Thanks to our unique style of labor management, and an extensive track record of success over 30 years, we are confident that LACOSTA can provide the extra people and resources your company needs.