7 Roads to Increase Business Efficiency

7 Roads to Increase Business Efficiency
Written by: Marco DErcole
Published: September 15, 2009



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    No matter the prevailing economic environment—swell or depleted—the time is always right to explore ideas for making your business more efficient. Setting about to optimize your operational efficiency improves productivity, reduces costs, betters customer satisfaction, increases profitability and generally makes you look like you know what you’re doing.

    1) Employ technology at every turn.

    Everything from purchasing to bookkeeping to environmental stewardship at a company can find betterment through automation—and it ain’t bad for the environment, either. If it’s possible to perform a task smarter and faster by computerizing it, go for it. Microsoft Office, Outlook, Sharepoint and Exchange Server 2007 are just some of the tools poised to deliver your business into a place of efficiency and productivity it’s never known before.

    2) Hand over the reins.

    From consulting service to complete installation of your IT infrastructure, consider outsourcing partial or complete management of your IT functions to those with a handle on the stuff. Outside experts can deliver solid, practical, cost-effective solutions in all areas of technology, including hardware installation, software implementation and physical maintenance of equipment—and free up your staffers for the business at hand.

    3) Pay attention to your network.

    A well-tended, high-performance network based on intelligent routers and switches can play a vital role in improving your corporate efficiency by ensuring that customers, employees and suppliers get secure access to the core business intelligence that will keep things hopping. Slow or dysfunctional networks will hamper employees’ nimbleness, and could cost you opportunities and revenues. Stay alive to your network needs, and expand or upgrade as required.

    4) Streamline customer interface.

    If you’re a lively and constant presence for your customers, then you’re doing something right. By tying your network phone system to a clever CRM solution, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you enhance the efficiency of this relationship that much more. And, while you’re at it, stay current: analog, digital and key phone office systems are jalopies from days gone by. Jump aboard the speeding train of voice and data networks, and haul your business into the present with the most current telephone technology out.

    5) Develop a long-range technology plan.

    Just as you have short- and long-term business objectives, so too should you have short- and long-term strategies for adapting your technology to accommodate them. Stagger your revitalizing efforts, so your obsolete hardware overhaul doesn’t disrupt your operations wholesale.

    6) Standardize documents and procedures.

    Altogether too much time gets wasted duplicating processes and designing forms the guy down the hall designed two months ago. If you’ve got a store of templated materials that everyone can access electronically, it saves headaches and time in equal measure. And the consistent use of documentation will demonstrate your professionalism to those with an eye on the scene.

    7) Adopt a business management solution.

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a complete ERP plan that’s fast to implement, straightforward to configure and easy to use. With it, businesses can enjoy instant access to accurate, up-to-the-minute financial information; tools to plan, manage and execute a world-class manufacturing operation; and the ability to tailor their sales, purchasing and pick/pack/ship cycle processes to meet specific needs and keep pace with competitive markets and low margins.

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