Unfortunately, time, energy, and inefficiencies surround us each day. Some tasks might require more employees because they seem challenging, when you’ve never actually tried to lean things down. Or maybe you are doing double the amount of work because, “that’s how it’s always been done.” Whatever the case may be, simplifying the process is a key factor when looking to make lucrative growth within a business. And companies not looking to eliminate wasted resources will only fail if they don’t look to improve their process.
So how can you simplify your process? Begin by asking the right kinds of questions.
Where are the weak points? Just like automobile manufacturers looking to improve their safety rating, figuring out where your weak spots are across the company will help greatly. Maybe you have a fantastic product but can’t sell it because you’re not marketing it well. Or maybe you’re losing customers because you don’t have a reliable return system – or your customer service department is lacking.
The challenge is the weak points might not be that obvious at first. Sure, sales could be up, but there could be hidden speed bumps spread throughout your system. Simplifying the process may not seem so simple at first, but look for those hidden areas where your company can improve.
Are you overdoing it? No, I’m not talking about you being burned-out or drained at work. This relates more to the unnecessary steps, or employees that may be scattered throughout the process. If you manage people, figure out how many bodies it actually takes to complete a task. Do you need one, two, or three people? Regardless of the amount, figure out the bare minimum – so you can use those people where they are actually needed.
You want to be efficient as possible (this is way hiring is critical). The amount of work each employee can handle at a time will only increase their value within the company. While you think a “challenging” task might require two people, in reality you haven’t placed the right person on the job. Don’t be afraid to try new things with employee management.
Is there a “busy” mentality? Every year when the holiday’s roll around our customers tend to place less orders in the world of manufacturing. There are many reasons for this decision, but the important thing to take away is that we aren’t as busy. Or are we?
In the past I have made the mistake of spreading this unfortunate fact to some of the employees. However, I’ve learned that by saying something such as, “it’s a little slow this month” can drastically change employee attitude.
So this year management said something a little different – we let the employees know our customers were placing more orders at year end.
The result? We were able to fully stock our warehouse in preparation for the coming months – to be ready when orders do start picking up in the spring.
How you communicate to employees and the information you give them will always alter their attitude – which will impact production as a result. Watch what you say.