Efficiency experts are considered both friend and foe. Efficiency experts can create ripples and offend and yet show a managment team opportunities for reducing labor costs by 50%.
An efficiency expert spends plenty of time in warehouses looking weird, staring at people moving boxes, watching a truck back up, open the door and take all these boxes out. Then they move them and pick them up and put the box into one part of a warehouse.
The efficiency expert times everything, makes diagrams, puts numbers into equations and will notice when workers are moving boxes way more than they need to. In some scenarios, they will figure out how to cut labor costs — in half.
Not surprisingly, people don't always like when an efficiency expert shows up. They don't like to be told they've been wasting time. They worry the expert might find that their whole job is unnecessary. Many find it degrading and humiliating to go through this process. Employees will say: “The experts” brought in don’t have any experience with our industry or our processes.”
Regardless of the potential discomfort such an expert might cause, for a business to thrive there must be constant improvement. Their value impacts morale, safety and teamwork. There are too many scenarios where 20% of the staff is responsible for 80% of the results. An analysis of the workplace and where time is spent can improve working conditions in a dramatic way. A smoother operation, less errors and happier customers means less mistakes. There should be more cheers for efficiency experts and less jeers.
Here are typical areas of focus and potential recommendations efficiency experts offer:
Trim the overhead
Look at all of your fixed costs with a critical eye. Business owners operating for more than a dozen years tend to get into a routine with their overhead expense budget. Just because you have spent $100 on a particular good or service does not mean that you should keep doing it,
Train your staff
Entrepreneurs often don't spend enough time training staff, says Jensen. Even when a small business hires a competent candidate with the best qualifications, if he or she doesn't spending enough time training, then the company isn't likely to get the most out of the new hire. Ensure motivation is optimized. Maintaining a positive workplace and maintaining staff morale is integral to a thriving, progressive business.
Technology has eliminated the need for many meetings. Often client meetings can happen over video conference to save money on travel expenses. Further, traditional meetings don't allow all types of thinkers to have an equal chance to respond. Workers who need time to read, think and digest before responding can be at a disadvantage amid the spontaneity of a meeting.
- Make a list and check it twice
- Use only one calendar.
- Get rid of any office supplies you haven't used in the past year.
- Create a routine - On your first day of work, start an organizational system.
- Organize yourself – use better time management and do the right things first
- Reduce your junk - Paperwork, books, manuals, pictures, junk, and who knows what else can pile up and invade your space like a termites on a toothpick.
- Keep important stuff visible - Efficient, smart work is all about shortcuts and quick steps.
Take Your Time In The Hiring Process to Choose The Best Candidate
The lasting effects of the current unstable economy are sure to linger for some time. Business owners are taking great care in finding cost saving measures, increasing production, and retaining customers. However, one area that business owners tend to overlook is their employees. An unqualified employee could be costing your company thousands of dollars each year and, very likely, precious customers as well.
Consider opportunities for outsourcing
Conduct a full appraisal of your resource allocation and be ruthless. If you feel you are on top of this already, cast your mind back to the last time you made a similar review and consider what has changed within your business in the interim. Perhaps due to staff changes and operational requirements there are parts of your business that you should be looking to outsource. Significant savings can be made if your utilization levels are low for back office administrative, customer service and other processes. Outsourcing affords you considerable savings when you can skirt the cost of investment in continually upgrading technologies and facilities, or if you require greater flexibility in staffing levels. Note: Outsourcing does not mean “out of country”.
Count the wasted steps
In every large workspace the distance spanned by walking can be the most time consuming activity of all. Accepting the status quo because it appears there are no other simple, low cost option has experts redesigning storage, improving processes and making large equipment purchases. The simplest and fastest method to eliminate wasted steps is to move from a stationary workstation to a rolling workstation with portable power.
Newcastle Systems continues to change the way business is done in warehouses, retail stores and manufacturing plants. Once business leaders let go of the old mind set and accept a new way of thinking, the stationary workstations are replaced by the powered workstation on wheels. The result is better efficiency, happier employees and a safer work environment.
If you are interested, we have just updated our Product Overview Guide. It details the mobile workstation options and how they can benefit almost any workplace. The latest model, the NB Series SLIM, is for workplaces where space is at a premium.
Here is where you can download the latest version of our product overview: