In business, time truly is money. So finding new and innovative ways to save time by introducing workplace efficiencies that make workers more productive only benefits the bottom line.
In recent decades, major improvements have been implemented to efficiency and productivity through the use of automation and powerful data processing. The result is that companies can be more productive, less wasteful, and more profitable while employing fewer paid employees – or at least by reconfiguring their work force so that it better serves the organization’s overall objectives.
This has spawned a cottage industry of human resource analysts, efficiency experts and others who specialize in improving operations and reducing or eliminating inefficiencies. Generally, the cost of utilizing these companies and experts is more than compensated by the elimination of waste within an organization and improvements to operations, productivity and profits.
Time and Project Tracking
Any project can be accomplished more efficiently if adequate resources are dedicated to it during the planning phase. It’s usually easier and cheaper to anticipate and plan for projected problems than trying to fix them in the midst of an operational project. Careful planning and project mapping can save companies not just the frustration of having to deal with obstacles, but real dollars in lost productivity, delays, setbacks and failure to achieve expectations.
When business planners have the time and luxury of being able to create systems from the ground up –rather than fixing them from within – the outcomes are more predictable and reliable. For example, basic business processes such as time and attendance recording are often the source of some of the biggest frustrations among managers. This is especially true when the underlying system has never truly been defined, or an older generation system has been the subject of multiple fixes and tweaks in order to make it fit better into existing operations.
With proper planning, business designers can implement better basic systems – such as, in this case, an automated time and attendance tracking system based on auditable data like facial recognition software or RFID tags embedded into employee ID badges – that not only can remove day-to-day hassles and frustrations for managers and streamline efficiency, but also anticipate future growth within the organization.
And when these well-planned systems are implemented and proven to be efficient, they then can be replicated at new branches or stores, or scaled up to fit future expansion.
Identifying the Best Tools
One of the fastest and easiest ways to identify systems and processes that are slowing down your business is to look for anything that is still being done manually. In the 21st century, there’s very little reason for anything to be written down using a pen or pencil and pad of paper.
Conduct a system-wide audit of the organization’s entire operations to discover wherever this type of inefficiency is still being employed. Typically, it can often be found in time tracking the approval of time sheets.
These systems then need to be replaced with automated systems – preferably ones that are web-based to allow for remote auditing and tracking – that provide empirical data that can be analyzed and acted upon. Paperwork is one of the biggest enemies to efficiencies.
What to Do with All that Data
Gathering data is the easy part. Analyzing it and compiling it into a form that both makes sense and can show you where inefficiencies exist and how to get rid of them can be more challenging.
Fortunately, there are many high-quality tools available to human resources and other departments to manage employee data such as time and attendance records. These tools can simplify the process and provide insights that can directly influence decision making regarding productivity and profitability.
Instead of being satisfied with the status quo, a better plan is to challenge existing processes and procedures so you can implement a workforce management solution that will enhance the overall performance of both your individual employees and your organization as a whole.
The workforce productivity solutions available today have the ability to provide project status updates in real time. This allows decision makers to anticipate problems before they occur and to make corrections and strategic decisions to optimize work flow.
These types of solutions can be used effectively by large and small companies alike to monitor and direct workers to enhance performance and reduce wasted time and inefficiencies. When the best tools are being used to keep track of such things as project status reports, worker time and attendance, and other high value information, it gives management more and better data that can be used to make better decisions for the enterprise.
In today’s business environment, delays and setbacks can be costly – even fatal – to some companies. So it’s critical that systems that empower both management and line-level workers to do their jobs more efficiently are adopted.