For many businesses, 2022 was a year of challenges, change, and uncertainty.
Now 2023 has arrived, bringing brand-new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to optimise their operations and boost business efficiency. It’s a time to take charge and set yourself up for success.
More than ever before, this is the perfect time to step back from running your business as usual, reflect on what changes you needed to make in the past year, and take steps now that will lead you toward long-term success. You need to challenge yourself on what you will do differently this year.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve business efficiency and take control.
5 ways to improve business efficiency in the new year
When it comes to improving business efficiency, it’s important not to get caught up in all the noise. Here are a few steps to take.
1. Audit current processes and systems
From customer service inquiries to shipping processes, take a look at each area of your business that needs optimisation or improvement.
Perhaps you’ve already adopted digital processes across your business. But, have you asked yourself how efficient they are? Do they still require lots of manual oversight and management?
If you are looking to grow your business, you need to be ready for radical change. This means getting the right digital processes in place — efficient ones requiring minimal human intervention.
2. Prepare your team for growth
It’s important to remember that growth will require more than just technology. You need the right team in place, too. And everyone needs to be striving for the same goal.
You need to focus on two key areas in your business — your management style and facing the recruitment challenges in the current business landscape.
Employees need to work together in an environment that fosters creativity, open dialogue, and diversity of thought. They also need to be led and managed correctly. Truly understanding how to effectively succeed in both of these areas will set your team up for great success.
Did you know that 85% of businesses in the UK have been negatively affected by staff resignations? We are still in the midst of the Great Resignation, and skills shortages are a major problem for many companies.
You need to consider your company culture, how you creatively recruit new team members, and how you retain key staff members.
For ideas about bridging the UK manufacturing skills gap, read our blog post on the topic.
3. Know your competitors
In business, it’s not just about what you are doing but also what everyone else is doing. Knowing your competitors and understanding their strategies will give you the insight to stay ahead of the curve.
Take a look at how they manage their customers, market their products or services, respond to industry trends, and what possible gaps may exist.
Think about how you can incorporate some of their best strategies into your own workflows or how you can do things better.
4. Embrace new technology
In a world of fast-paced change, it’s important to be open to adopting new technologies and tools.
There are plenty of great tools out there that can help you streamline processes, automate mundane tasks, and work smarter. These include:
- IoT. Leverage the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to increase efficiency in areas like supply chain management, inventory tracking, and customer service.
- AR/VR. Consider using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to revolutionise customer experience and product design.
- Manufacturing customisation. Customise your products to meet your customers’ changing needs. Use tools like 3D printing or personalisation software to stay agile and remain competitive.
- RFID. Use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track products, automate delivery, and improve stock control.
5. Carefully monitor your supply chain
There were many supply chain disruptions that plagued 2022. Don’t be caught off-guard this year by not planning for unexpected challenges.
Here are a few things that can help:
- Nearshoring or reshoring. Consider returning production and manufacturing to your country to reduce supply chain risks, give you more control over delivery times, and keep costs down.
- Green technologies and energy. Invest in green technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable energy sources. These will make your business more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint and energy costs.
- Carefully track metrics. Implement tracking systems to measure and monitor your supply chain performance. This will help you identify inefficiencies, reduce costs, and boost productivity.
- Take advantage of a smart inventory management system. Smart inventory and order management software can help you keep track of your entire operations, from ordering and delivery to stocking and inventory.
Get ready to grow with Workhorse
At Workhorse, our team of passionate experts understand what it takes to improve business efficiency and stay ahead of the curve.