If you make improvements from a familiar place, you will be able to greatly improve the efficiency of your work. Even if the efficiency is small at the beginning, if you accumulate it, you can improve the efficiency and improve the productivity. This time, we will introduce an article on how to improve efficiency.
With the declining birthrate and aging population, the labor force population is declining, and companies are required to improve productivity and work efficiency in order to make up for labor shortages. However, even if you actually want to work on improving work efficiency, you cannot expect a high effect unless you select a method that suits the situation of the company and the work content. This time, we will introduce 5 typical methods for improving work efficiency and 18 concrete ideas that are relatively easy to incorporate.
- What is business efficiency?
"Improvement of work efficiency" is an effort to eliminate "muri, waste, and unevenness" so that work can be carried out more efficiently. The aim is to improve productivity and even improve the performance of the entire company by reducing time and economic costs.
In English, it is called "operational efficiency", and by expressing it as "improve the operational efficiency" or "make the operational efficiency", the nuance of "improving operational efficiency" can be expressed. With limited time and resources, companies must perform as well as possible and drive performance. To that end, it is necessary to speed up operations and process them at low cost.
- Relationship with productivity improvement
A term that is often confused with "business efficiency" is "productivity improvement." The relationship between "improvement of work efficiency" and "improvement of productivity" is, in a word, "means" and "purpose". To improve work efficiency, we aim to reduce the cost of work by eliminating "waste, waste, and unevenness", but productivity improvement is high with little effort by various measures including this "cost reduction". The purpose is to give performance.
-Difference from BPR
Another similar term is "BPR (Business Process Re-engineering)". BPR is a method that aims to achieve corporate goals by restructuring the process itself, not just partial improvement of operations. Unlike improving operational efficiency, it refers to breaking down the current operations, organizations, and strategies and rebuilding from the ground up.
We will introduce the specific methods for achieving operational efficiency in five parts.
1: System introduction
2: Utilization of outsourcing
3: Utilization of time-saving tech goods
5: Streamline workflow
Business efficiency method : System introduction
Building a method or system that can produce the same results no matter who does it is called "systemization." One of the important things to improve work efficiency is to standardize the work so that anyone can do it. Business efficiency can be expected to improve by systematizing operations such as attendance management, sales management, and sales management that occur daily.
Before introducing it, it is necessary to find a system that matches the purpose and business environment. Ready-made systems called "package systems" are sold by various companies, so it's a good idea to first look for one that you can use in-house. The package system cannot be flexibly adapted to the company's own management flow, but it has the advantage of reducing installation costs. Another point is that it can be put into operation in a short period of time.
On the other hand, there may be cases where "the business flow is complicated and you want to customize a part of the package system" or "you want to use a custom-made system that does not match with a ready-made system". In this case, a reasonable cost and lead time will be required, but it can be expected that business efficiency will be higher because a system that fits the company can be introduced.
Business efficiency method : Utilization of outsourcing
Many companies are worried about creating an environment where employees can concentrate on the tasks they should focus on, such as "sales staff are busy responding to inquiries from existing customers and cannot keep acquiring new customers." In such a case, let's also consider having external human resources and services on your side.
Idea ①: Outsource the business itself
"Outsourcing" is a method of cutting out a part of the work and having external human resources or specialized companies do the work. Also called "business consignment". This method is suitable for routine work such as monthly payroll, and work that is cheaper to outsource to a specialized contractor than in-house production such as operation of customer support service. By utilizing outsourcing, you can concentrate on the core business that you should focus on, so you can expect an improvement in business efficiency.
Idea ②: Get expert consulting
If you want to work on improving business efficiency but don't know what to start with, it is also effective to use a consulting service to support business improvement. Effective improvement can be achieved by having a consultant with specialized knowledge visualize the business flow and identify issues from a third-party perspective.
Method for improving work efficiency : Utilization of time-saving tech goods
Next, I will introduce 7 ways to use time-saving techniques and goods that can be used in daily computer operations. Even if each one is a small improvement, it will produce a big effect if gathered.
Idea ③: Use the shortcut function of the PC
"Shortcuts" are convenient functions that allow you to perform specific computer operations with simple operations, and speed up your computer work. There are various methods, but the first thing you should try is to use the "shortcut keys" that can be easily adopted. By pressing multiple keys on the keyboard in combination, you can easily perform various operations without using a mouse.
Shortcut key example
・ "Ctrl" + "C" → Copy the selected text, etc.
・ "Ctrl" + "V" → Paste the copied text etc.
・ "Alt" + "Tab" → Switch apps and windows
There are many other shortcut keys that can be used to call various actions, which is very useful to remember.
In addition, installing "shortcut icons" on the desktop that allow you to call frequently used apps and files with a single click, and "registering dictionaries" for difficult-to-convert proper nouns are also effective in improving work efficiency.
Idea ④: Use chat
"Chat" is a communication method that allows you to exchange messages with multiple people in real time through a computer or smartphone. If you want to make information sharing more timely, it is effective to introduce a chat-type information sharing tool. The feature is that you can communicate in a timely manner with short sentences, so you can reduce the trouble and stress of taking time to compose an email or making a call back many times because the timing does not match with the other party.
Select the one that suits your company from "in-house SNS" that can be used only within the company's organization and "business chat tool" that can communicate with the outside.
Idea ⑤: Utilize high-performance mouse / keyboard
It is also effective to replace the tools around the computer, such as the mouse and keyboard, with more sophisticated ones. Not only will the tools with good operability speed up your work, but you will also be relieved of the stress of not being able to operate as you wish.
Even if you are working on a smartphone or tablet, by incorporating a high-performance mouse, you can comfortably perform operations that were difficult to do with the touchpad, and work speed will increase dramatically. There are various types, such as compact ones and those that can be used wirelessly, so let's consider using them.
Idea ⑥: Utilize the timer
If you work for a long time, you may lose your concentration and work lazily, or you may start thinking about other tasks. In such a case, it is effective to use a "timer". By creating an environment where you have to be aware of time, you can concentrate on one task.
It is recommended that you use the browser extension or application to operate on the computer screen so that the sound and vibration do not interfere with the work of other employees. It is also recommended to use the alert function of the calendar.
Idea ⑦: Switching to laptop computer
With the increase in remote work and free address offices, it is no longer the norm to work in fixed seats within the company. In such a trend, it seems that many companies are switching from desktop type to notebook type with an emphasis on mobility of personal computers. Today's laptop computers have functions and operability that are comparable to those of desktop computers, so they should be able to handle all tasks that place a heavy load on the computer, such as video editing.
Idea ⑧: Utilize the to-do list
If you have a lot of tasks and it is difficult to understand the priority, or if you have problems such as business omissions, it is a good idea to make a habit of making a to-do list of your tasks. By visualizing what to do, it becomes easier to understand the overall volume and priority. Since you can proceed with your work calmly, it will be easier to notice any omissions.
In addition to the method of using notebooks, if you use a dedicated application or Web calendar, editing and sorting are easy, and it seems that you can operate without stress.
Idea ⑨: Color the file
It's a good idea to color-code the files used to manage your documents so that you can intuitively find what you need. If you use the same color for each purpose, such as "blue for customer files and yellow for product information files", it will be easier to find the desired file. It seems to be a small thing, but since it is a work that occurs frequently, you can expect a big time saving effect if you accumulate it.
Business efficiency method : Automation
Some of your daily work may be repeated every day. To reduce work time, automation of such "routine" work is also indispensable. Here are three ideas.
Idea ⑩: Use the macro function of Excel
If you are using Excel to perform routine work that has a fixed operation procedure or flow, you may be able to automate that work with "macro".
A macro records the process you want to automate and allows you to execute it with a single click. Although it is composed of a programming language called "VBA", Excel has a function that records the actual operation and automatically generates a macro, so even people who do not have programming knowledge can use it. I can do it.
In addition, spreadsheet tools other than Excel, such as Google Sheets, may have similar functions, so if you are using it for business, please make use of it.
Idea ⑪: Incorporate RPA
"RPA (Robotic Process Automation)" is software for business automation using robots. Routine tasks that have clear criteria such as checking input values and collating accounting amounts can be automated, helping to reduce the burden on employees. Also, if the introduction is successful, there is an advantage that mistakes are less likely to occur than humans do. Costs and ease of adoption vary depending on the level of work required, so consider various requirements when considering introduction.
Idea ⑫: Introduce AI technology
"AI (Artificial Intelligence)" is a mechanism in which a computer makes its own judgment like a human brain. Also called "artificial intelligence", self-learning is based on the knowledge given in advance. With the development of AI technology, computers and robots are gradually becoming able to replace tasks that could only be done by humans. By combining RPA with AI technology, we will be able to make more flexible decisions and be entrusted with a wider range of tasks.
However, since it is a method that is difficult to handle unless you are an engineer with specialized knowledge, it is better to consult with a specialist company whether your company's work can be automated with AI while considering the introduction and operation costs. Let's do it.
Business efficiency method : Workflow efficiency
Due to the effects of the declining working population and work style reforms, new work styles and work styles that are not restricted by location or time are expanding. Here are five ideas for reviewing your workflow and making it more efficient.
Idea ⑬: Utilize remote work
"Remote work" is a coined word that combines "remote = remote" and "work = work", and is a work style that allows you to work with people in the company via the Internet from your home or work space outside the company. There is an advantage that human resources can be effectively utilized by reducing the burden of commuting time and expenses for those who are away from work or who want to work only for a short time. Let's operate after establishing an in-house system so that instructions and communication can be appropriately performed even remotely.
Idea ⑭: Paperless
"Paperless" by digitizing documents is a standard method for improving work efficiency. By working on paperless offices, not only can you cut costs for paper and ink, but you can also significantly reduce the time and effort required for management and updating.
In addition to documents used in-house such as meeting materials and business manuals, services such as contracts between companies can be concluded by exchanging on the cloud. In order to respond to the mandatory electronic application such as tax filing procedures and part of personnel and labor procedures, it is advisable to work on making it paperless.
Idea ⑮: Help desk bot
A management department that responds to inquiries from employees and a customer support department that responds to technical inquiries from customers. I think there are many people in charge who are busy responding to inquiries and have trouble with their normal work. As a solution to these problems, we would like to introduce "help desk bot conversion".
"Bot" is an abbreviation of "robot", and to make the help desk a bot, by setting the expected questions and answers on the inquiry page etc., the bot will respond automatically. Is to do. By adopting this mechanism, the person in charge can concentrate on other tasks without being repeatedly asked the same question.
Idea ⑯: Change the layout of the office
The placement of desks is also one of the factors that affect work efficiency. For example, if your desk is close to the doorway of your office, you may be worried about people coming and going and it will be difficult to concentrate. Also, if the flow line is narrow despite the large number of people passing by, you may hit people and objects around you and become stressed.
Recently, an increasing number of companies are adopting "free addresses" that do not have fixed seats. Since you can choose a seat according to your daily work content and work situation, there is an advantage that it is easy to participate in projects across departments. Always try to maintain a highly productive layout while flexibly adjusting to the increase and decrease of employees and changes in work.
(Reference: "What is a free address? Advantages and disadvantages that you want to know before introduction and tips for success ")
Idea ⑰: Shortening meeting time
Since the meeting is held by multiple employees, labor costs are higher than expected. I want to condense it in the shortest possible time and implement it effectively. By devising the following, you can have necessary discussions and information sharing in a short time.
Idea ⑱: WEB interview (online interview)
Speaking of recruitment interviews, it is common for job seekers to go to the company and conduct face-to-face interviews, but more and more companies are adopting "WEB interviews" as a place for casual interviews before full-scale selection. As the seller market continues, it has the advantage of lowering the hurdles for interviews and making it easier for candidates to apply, as well as reducing the administrative effort and costs required for acceptance as a company. You can also improve the accuracy of selection by using the recording function.