In today's increasingly complex world, efficiency is important for companies to survive. Companies are in a difficult situation if they do not achieve the maximum effect with a limited number of people. This time, I would like to introduce an article about efficiency improvement.
What is business efficiency? Introducing the merits, methods, and examples of efforts to improve work efficiency
It is important that work is not just about doing what is decided, but how efficiently it is done. In this article, I will explain how to improve work efficiency, which is an indispensable idea for doing such work efficiently. We will explain what it means to improve work efficiency, its merits and specific examples of initiatives, so please refer to it.
Business efficiency, as the name implies, is to make business more efficient.
Specifically, we aim to waste costs and time by eliminating unreasonableness, waste, and unevenness in our daily work.
The following are examples of unreasonableness, waste, and unevenness.
A lot of work
Spend more time than necessary
Do business that is not originally needed
Off-season and busy season
Work that is burdensome only for specific people
Since the management resources such as funds and human resources of the company are limited, it is necessary to achieve high results with the limited resources. For that reason, improving work efficiency is indispensable.
Tools that can be used to improve work efficiency
Various methods and tools can be used to improve work efficiency.
For example, by introducing a system, it is possible to automate tasks such as "simple tasks that anyone can do, but must be done". It is also possible to systematize various types of management such as attendance management, sales management, and sales management.
Besides systematization, you can also use outsourcing. By outsourcing routine work and simple work, the burden on employees is lightened, so you can concentrate on the work that you should focus on.
Another option is to use Excel macros to automate routine tasks.
In any case, there are many tools that can be used to improve work efficiency, so please choose the one that suits your company.
Difference from productivity improvement
A word often used in conjunction with "improvement of work efficiency" is "improvement of productivity".
Some people may think of the two as similar, but strictly speaking they have different meanings.
While improving work efficiency aims to eliminate unreasonableness, waste, and unevenness in daily work and eliminate wasted time and costs, improving productivity is an effort to achieve great results with a small amount of resources. It can be said.
In other words, improving operational efficiency can be considered as one measure for improving productivity. It is a mechanism that productivity will improve as work efficiency improves.
From here, I will explain the merits of improving work efficiency. Some people may know that something is good, but they don't know exactly what to do, so let's check it.
- Leads to cost reduction
One of the major benefits of improving operational efficiency is cost reduction. For example, if you can do it in 5 hours by streamlining the work that took 10 hours, you will not have to pay the labor cost for 5 hours. Also, you will be able to reduce your electricity bill. The floating cost leads to the profit of the company.
- Leading to higher employee wages
Not only can you reduce costs by improving work efficiency, but you can also focus on the work that you should focus on by eliminating wasted time, which may increase the profits of the entire company and eventually increase the wages of employees. there is. In addition to wages, it may be possible to create an environment in which employees can work comfortably by benefiting from the enhancement of welfare programs and the improvement of the internal environment.
- Increase employee motivation
Employee motivation will increase if long working hours are reduced and treatment is improved by improving work efficiency. In addition, a company with such favorable conditions can prevent employee turnover and is more likely to apply for talented people.
- Increase employee engagement
Engagement is simply a condition in which an employee trusts or is willing to contribute to the company. Just as motivation increases, better treatment and reduced overtime will increase employee confidence in the company and make it more motivated to contribute to the company.
From here, I will explain the specific method for actually promoting operational efficiency.
- Identifying business and eliminating waste
In order to improve work efficiency, it is first necessary to identify what kind of work is being done in-house and what kind of work is wasteful, unreasonable, or uneven.
For example, one way is to ask employees about wasteful, unreasonable, and uneven work.
If there is a routine work that anyone can do, the format of the material is different for each department, or there are many meetings, waste, unreasonableness, or unevenness will be eliminated.
- Revision of personnel system and company regulations
Improving the work environment is important for improving work efficiency. For example, if you want to reduce overtime hours, the image is to review the evaluation system so that people with a lot of overtime hours will get worse evaluations.
- Maintenance and utilization of tools
Business efficiency can be improved not only by human hands but also by utilizing various tools such as IT products.
For example, digitizing document management will speed up the sharing of materials and approval, and the introduction of chat tools will facilitate internal communication.
In addition, by utilizing a software-type robot called RPA, it is possible to perform office work in the company on behalf of humans. Since it is a robot, it will carry out work at a constant speed without mistakes, so the burden on employees will be lightened.
In addition, there are many useful tools such as sales support tools, customer management systems, business card management tools, and web conferencing systems, so please choose the one that suits your company.
- Use of outsourcing services
As I mentioned earlier, the use of outsourcing is also an option for improving operational efficiency. Outsourcing is simply having someone outside the company do the work or work.
There are companies and individuals who have received orders for outsourcing with their strengths in specific fields, so by utilizing such people, we can do highly specialized work without having to hire people with specialized knowledge. can do.
- Education and training on operational efficiency
Even if the company tries to improve work efficiency, it is indispensable to improve the skills of each employee because it is the employees who actually carry out the work.
Education and training inside and outside the company is effective for that purpose. You may be able to improve work efficiency by having them learn about specific skills.
There are several points to be aware of when promoting operational efficiency. Next, I will explain specific points to note.
- Introduce measures that are not suitable for your company
It is a mistake to try to introduce anything just because it is effective for improving business efficiency. For example, introducing communication tools even though the number of employees is small and easy to communicate, or introducing RPA for non-routine work may create new waste.
- Not simulating measures before introduction
When introducing new tools to improve work efficiency, it is important to always simulate. Let's actually simulate the measures such as what kind of benefits can be obtained by introducing this tool and how much it will cost, and identify possible issues. In some cases, we may give up on the tool.
Finally, I would like to introduce four specific examples of efforts to improve work efficiency.
Examples of initiatives  Improving work efficiency by automating work
In this company, it used to take about 30 to 40 minutes to change the customer status on the in-house system.
In addition, it took time to receive inquiries from customers and derive appropriate customer status, and in the process, many mistakes were made. Staff training can be time consuming, and the company has always been understaffed.
Therefore, the company used RPA to change customer status so that it could work automatically. With the introduction of RPA, the procedure for changing the status can be greatly cut, and it has succeeded in eliminating a large amount of waste such as the time required for possession of each case is about 1 minute.
In addition, what used to work with 10 veteran staff can now be handled by a new staff.
Example of Initiatives  Improving Business Efficiency by Utilizing Personnel Evaluation System
Some companies have improved their operational efficiency by reviewing their personnel system. This company has introduced a pre-application system for overtime work to thoroughly manage the amount of work and working hours.
As a result, employees began to think about "how long it would take" for each job, and it seems that their awareness of working on the job changed.
In addition, an item related to overtime hours of subordinates has been added to the personnel evaluation of managers who manage employees, and the overtime hours of subordinates have a great influence on the personnel evaluation of managers. As a result, managers have begun to take measures to reduce the overtime hours of their subordinates, and as a result, the company as a whole has begun to improve operational efficiency.
Example of Initiatives  Improving Business Efficiency by Utilizing Outsourcing Services
This company, which is an equipment manufacturer, does not have its own factory, outsources the manufacture of products, and sells only directly.
Outsourcing manufacturing allows employees to focus more on product planning and sales. In addition, direct sales make it easier for sales staff to understand customer issues, and it is also possible to reflect those issues in product development.
In this way, there are cases where work efficiency is improved by creating an environment that focuses only on core work.
Example of Initiatives  Improving work efficiency using education and training
In some cases, we have improved work efficiency by conducting education and training. This is an example of a company that develops a donut chain.
The problem with this company was that the leadership and training results varied from store to store. Therefore, we introduced a video sharing service and established a system to receive the same education at all stores.
In this video, you can learn all the tasks required at the store, such as customer service skills, donut making skills, and coffee brewing skills. This has succeeded in standardizing services by eliminating variations from store to store.
This time, I explained about the improvement of work efficiency from the outline, the concrete method, precautions when doing it, examples and so on. Nowadays, work style reforms are being called for, and improving operational efficiency is a very important issue for each company. Start by identifying your daily work, and try to eliminate waste, unreasonableness, and unevenness.