3 Hacks For Improved Productivity

productivityStreamlining our productivity in business is critical. Quite simply, the longer something takes (whether that is service delivery or product creation) the more it costs. By shortening the timeline for producing an offering, there are cost savings in the labour component and other overheads. This is especially important for what is viewed as commodity type products or services.

Most businesses experience daily hold-ups, delays, rework and other time devouring frustrations. The following three simple steps can deliver up greater productivity and bottom line improvements over time.

Identify Delay Points

Ideally, you would have your most critical processes documented. If not, this is an opportune time to start. Nothing fancy, just jots down the steps and people involved in the process and the resources needed. It can be done with a pencil and paper, to begin with.
Look for ways to reduce friction/bottlenecks within your processes as much as possible. Start by identifying every possible delay within your process. Delays can be caused by many things such as:
  • The need for a review by a manager
  • The requirement for an authorization before progress can be made
  • Having to wait for tools/materials
  • Having to wait for key expertise to complete a stage
  • Hand off to another resource

Take that last bullet point.  Steps within a process where someone has to hand off a task to another resource can cause downtime while the next person gets used to, and focuses on the task at hand. This can cost up to 20% of the overall task time…every time.

Measure The Process

Run product or deliver a service through your process and measure the time taken. Measure the duration of each section of steps up to the delays, the length of the delays and, if possible, what is causing them. Do this for a week. At the end of the week, you will have a good idea of how long it takes, on average, to perform the process.

Now that you have measured the process you can begin to improve it by setting targets for a reduction in the length of delays and, perhaps, more efficient ways of doing things in general.

Reduce Rework

Now we all like to think that we do everything perfectly, but in reality…this is not so. Producing a faulty product or delivering a service that is not as expected can cost you up to 30% of your overheads in rework. This does not take into account the loss of opportunity to handle more business or the impact to your customer experience numbers.

If you find you are regularly having to fix up unsatisfactory service or product offerings, this is a wake-up call. Rework is a huge undiagnosed cause of many businesses low profitability. Become aware of any areas in your business that suffer from this issue.

If you could do something in less time it means is less labour cost involved and in most cases a better customer experience because of reductions in delivery times. Just a 10% improvement in productivity for your business that has ten employees can amount to significant improvement to your bottom line profits.

It does not stop there, though. You also increase your competitive advantage by reducing service delivery times or being able to price your product better. Now you might be thinking, “I’m too busy to do all this productivity stuff”. I get it. But that may be the very reason you are busy, because of the way you are doing things, such as having to re-work things over and over.

Sometimes you can benefit from an unbiased third party looking at your business and identifying productivity issues. At Profitkoach we love discovering ways to help you boost your productivity and deliver real results.

So, click on the link and arrange your Free Strategy Session today and we can show you how to increase your productivity, profits and time freedom.

About the Author Brian

Brian helps small business owners win back their time, passion and performance utilizing a proven step by step blueprint for success. A coach and consultant for over 10 years specializing in business growth strategies.