Sales is the lifeblood of your company. Whatever it is you produce, it means nothing if you don’t sell it in high enough quantities to be profitable. Your sales team might be very good at what they do. Still, there is a good chance you are leaving money on the table, and quite a lot of it at that.
All companies have inefficiencies. As long as companies are powered by humans, that will always be the case. Some companies make the mistake of trying to eliminate all inefficiencies. To do that, one would also have to eradicate the humanity from the business. The true beauty and uniqueness of art can be found in its minor imperfections. That is one of the things that distinguishes it from something extruded from a machine.
Your business should never feel like it has lost its humanity. Customers will not reward you for that. There will always be a balancing act between being so mechanized that you lose the human touch, and being so sloppily human that you start losing money. Here are a handful of inefficiencies that start out small but can hit the bottom line big time:
If you deal in bulky, less-than-pallet-load, and non-conveyable items like crates and oversized inventory items, they have to be stored someplace. There is no 100% efficient process that keeps you fully stocked and moves that inventory from the warehouse, kits it together, and sends it to shipping. This is especially true if you need to assign two to three workers to handle bulky, non-conveyable goods like refrigerators, furniture, and basketball backboards.
The Guardian XO full-body exoskeleton suit, is designed to boost productivity, minimize the risk of workplace injury, and enable employees to lift and move heavier loads by themselves. Engineered for heavy lifting, the suit utilizes robotics, sensors, and software to help workers move goods up to 200 pounds (90 kg) in warehouses and distribution centers.
According to the manufacturer, these tools “combine human intelligence, instinct, and judgment with the power, endurance, and precision of machines.” They also say this about the product’s capabilities:
Set to transform the way work gets done, the Guardian XO industrial exoskeleton augments operator strength without restricting freedom of movement to boost productivity while dramatically reducing injuries. This is a great way to upgrade your warehouse operations.
If you are not running the best software to help grow your business and cut internal costs, you are losing money. If you are running your software locally, you also need fast hardware to take full advantage of it. Without that hardware, each operation takes longer than it has to.
You can read about real-world examples of how the right software can make a big difference, especially SaaS delivered via cloud computing. You would be surprised at how being able to automate little things like application completion can make a huge difference. There are secondary benefits beyond the initial speed. All sales teams are bad at paperwork. A certain amount of it has to come back for corrections. Sales can be lost in that process. When the paperwork is automated, it is less likely to have costly errors.
A lot of the IT budget is spent on training new employees on a system with which they are unfamiliar. After the onboarding, things continue to go downhill because of user errors. There is also inefficiency whenever a person is forced to use the unfamiliar. They will be more hesitant. In many cases, this cannot be helped because of proprietary software.
That said, if workers are given a choice of PC or Mac, they can use whatever system they know best. Suddenly, onboarding is reduced dramatically. A worker can get up to speed much faster. And there will be fewer calls to tech support. Make work computing feel more like home computing and you will reduce a major pain point and inefficiency in your company.
No system is perfect, there will always be inefficiencies to deal with. And not all of them will cost you a noticeable amount of money. But keep an eye out for inefficiencies in warehousing, software, and training. These can cost you a lot more money than you think.