a.k.a.: all the other things your staff are busy doing, while they should be driving revenue

Many businesses see staff ‘busy-ness’ as an indicator of the health of the business, sometimes without questioning why revenue may be down in the same period. The perception is that, if staff are busy, then there must be plenty of work going around, and that revenue will come as a result. However, this disconnect can often uncover a deeper, underlying question – what is your staff’s time actually being spent on?

Businesses who identify the disconnect between staff activity levels and revenue, often investigate by questioning the productivity and utilisation of employees – answering the ‘how’. But not the Why.

Why are your staff so busy?

When revenue is down, it can feel like you’re left with empty pockets.

When revenue is down, it can feel like you’re left with empty pockets.

It can be easy to blame employees for poor productivity, but there are a number of reasons why this can occur. Here are some key issues we’ve seen businesses struggle with often:

  • Staff have to transpose data from paper to computer manually;
  • Staff have to transfer data from separate systems manually;
  • Staff have to edit incorrect information in systems repeatedly;
  • Critical information is not timely communicated and entered into the relevant systems;
  • Staff don’t have critical information at their fingertips; and
  • Reporting requires staff to gather data from a number of separate systems.

What does this mean for the business

These inefficiencies can have a devastating impact on the business, which include:

  • Inaccurate data in systems can provide misleading reports. As discussed in last month’s blog, drawing insights from misleading report can have strong financial consequences on the business;
  • Key staff (often expensive resources) being bogged down in mundane tasks, instead of utilising their skills for high productivity = lost $$$; and
  • Inaccurate data and / or lack of timely data inputs can result in an increase of mistakes when ordering / delivering This usually results in an increase inventory cost and a drop in customer retention.
Gee, that’s a lot of lost $$$!

Gee, that’s a lot of lost $$$!

Since a lot of these issues are tied to employees spending a disproportionate amount of time on tasks that don’t generate revenue, a key step in solving this issue is finding an alternative, more efficient way of having these tasks completed – usually through system unification, integration, and automation.

Step 1: Evaluating your systems

To ensure that staff are busy with productive tasks that produce revenue, instead of mundane tasks, you should first evaluate your systems and the amount manual work they require. The following criteria are a good checklist to use when evaluating your systems:

  • Are there integrations in place to remove import / export inefficiencies and chances of error?
  • Is possible to centralise your data – to save employees’ time by eliminating manual processes?
  • Do you leverage automated warehouse management – to remove manual work and mitigate chance for error?
  • Do you have a source of reliable backup – to secure data security?
  • Does your system include automated stocktaking – to reduce the manual processes which not only take longer but increase the risk of error?

Step 2: Internal processes & procedures

Once you’ve put the right systems in place to minimise inefficiencies and increase productivity, you then need to put processes and procedures in place to ensure that the efficiencies of the system are leveraged. There’s no use having an automated stocktaking system if your staff prefer to do it by hand and then transfer it into the system.

So that’s how I bring in the $$$

So that’s how I bring in the $$$

How we can help

With solutions for integrated financials, warehouse management, e-business, customer relationship management, retail / POS, sales force management, business intelligence and service management. Micronet business software can be specifically configured to suit a combination of distribution, service, job costing and / or manufacturing companies. The system improves your revenue and staff utilisation by leveraging the following:

  • Integration between core systems – removing the need for manual exports and imports;
  • Centralise inter-company order fulfilment – source inventory across all locations with transfers between companies and branches;
  • Automated warehouse management – faster and more accurate stock movement from the receiving dock to your warehouse;
  • Online accessibility – allowing multi-location accessibility and providing a source of backup; and
  • Mobile stocktaking – an efficient and accurate process for managing stocktakes. Errors and costs in a mobile stocktake are greatly reduced, while speed and flexibility are significantly improved.

Are your staff busy – doing mundane tasks instead of tasks that increase revenue and boost the financial position of the business? Our experienced consultants can assist with this tricky situation. You can reach me on 02 9542 2000. I’m always happy to help.

Stuart Duncan is a Senior Sales Consultant at Micronet Systems and is focused on helping business leaders overcome inefficient processes regarding sales, inventory and accounting systems by leveraging cutting edge technology. If you want to gain better control of your key processes, then leverage Stuart’s 35 years of experience to help you drive real change in your business.