While the role of operations management covers a vast range of functions and responsibilities necessary to effectively streamline business processes; one important function involves that of identifying areas of weakness within operational processes and seeking out solutions to improve efficiency. Through making simple operational changes or ‘tweaks’, it’s possible to boost efficiency enough to drastically improve productivity and team motivation simultaneously.
While there are many techniques to identifying operational shortfalls, and various ways of finding solutions to these problems; we have made a basic list of operational changes you can implement today, that can help boost operational efficiency.
Encourage team collaboration
Henry ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. It’s vital that individuals work together in achieving a common goal – people are the core of a business and it’s teams which drive operational success. Through encouraging collaboration, not only between employees, but with partners, suppliers and customers too; objectives will be made clearer, alliances and relationships will be strengthened and communication flow will be optimised. This will inadvertently help operations managers, later down the line, to identify areas within the system which need improvement.
A good operations manager will know where the strengths lie within his/her individual team members, and will use this to their advantage to streamline operations and achieve operational objectives. Delegating tasks according to the skills and strengths of individuals is a smart and strategic way of boosting efficiency, improving productivity, and at the same time enhancing employee motivation. Employees who feel confident in their ability to carry out certain tasks due to their experience, skills or even personality, will not only get the job done effectively and efficiently, but will reduce costs and minimise errors.
Not only is it important to define the key performance indicators (KPI’s) of employees to ensure the quality and timely completion of tasks; but to also set KPI’s for specific trackable operations. These operations will depend on the nature of the business and the processes within your team, however, some examples of trackable operations include: website clicks; new customers acquired, and per capita marketing spend. Through defining KPI’s for these metrics, operations managers will be able to devise a plan for implementing efficient practises based on these results; driving positive operational change in the long run.
Measure and analyse results
Wherever change has been implemented within the operational construct; it’s important to measure and analyse the results and outcomes that’ve transpired. To build an efficient team, process and operation; the operations manager, with help from the team; needs to identify what is working, what needs further refining, and what needs alternative solutions. Achieving an efficient, productive and motivated operational structure is a constant work in progress.