How to Increase Business Efficiency through Workflow Improvements
You can tell a lot about a company by how it manages its workflow. At OFFIX, we’re all about efficiency, and a well-planned and well-managed workflow is one of the cornerstones of an efficient organization. Hopefully, as you look at how your business and staff handles workloads, you’ll notice rapid and accurate work being done; in worst-case scenarios, employees might simply standing around waiting to be told what to do next. So, how should you approach this type of issue, when you notice workflow bottlenecks? Here are some of the best methods for improving the workflow of your business.
You might have some of the most skilled employees in your industry, but when there is poor communication, your business won’t be as successful as it could be. Therefore, an important area of your company to focus on and strengthen is communication. Fortunately, you live in an age where technology has made this not only possible but also convenient. Using one app within your company helps communicate messages to your employees quickly and easily. To promote app usage, it is incredibly important to lead by example and use these tools constantly to inform your team about recent changes and additional tasks. You could also use them to share encouragement. At OFFIX, every location is equipped with at least one large-screen digital signage board, connected to a central software developed by Sharp; the software allows us to upload general messages as well as monitor- or location-specific messages that every employee can see as they walk by the digital signage. We also use Microsoft Teams, to ensure that sales representatives and technicians, who spend most of their day in the field, as well as any other OFFIX team member can be reached quickly and efficiently.
Something that almost all business leaders have gone through is having to eliminate waste, especially in the area of wasted time. One of the best and first things you should do is to set an example. Then, you must outline your expectations regarding the type of work you want and the time you want it delivered. Making your expectations clear allows your employees to breathe a sigh of relief because they know exactly what you want and they can get to work.
Audit Your Programs
Often, it is not the fault of the employees that workflow is being constantly interrupted. It’s usually just the way the program is laid out. One of the first things you should do is to audit your current workflow. Determine if areas of the process are obsolete or simply don’t make sense with new technology. The best way to quickly improve workflow is to adjust, refine and implement new strategies. A good first step is to ask your employees for suggestions. Since they are typically the ones who have to deal with most of the day-to-day business of the company, it is more likely that they understand the process and areas where it could use improvement. Employees can pick up on things that might not be obvious to leadership because of their proximity to the work.
Use Technology to Improve Work Processes
When it comes to using tools like copiers and multifunction printers, as well as table-top laser printers, speed will make the difference: if your staff prints 12,000 sheets a month and your workflows are not efficient, adding as little as 6 seconds to each sheet printed (due to a slow machine, longer walk time to the device or waiting at the device for other work to be printed) will add 20 hours a month of dead time to your payroll. Through the use of software like Papercut and uniFLOW, as well as by signing up for managed print services you can let technology learn your processes and adjust to them by developing workflows that will literally evaporate your wait time.
Taking some of these steps can be a little daunting. It might take longer than you expected to really begin to see any progress in the workflow of your company. However, it’s paramount to your company’s long-term success that proactive steps are taken as soon as possible.
For more tips on how to improve the workflow of your business, read on, here!