A streamlined operation is crucial to the success of any business.
After all, inefficient workflows can keep your business from operating and delivering your services smoothly, which seriously impacts the customer experience, service quality, and your company’s profitability.
What’s more, you’ll end up with low productivity while using up your resources — and that can be a lot of money down the drain.
The good news is, there are tried and tested strategies to streamline your operations and optimize your processes to reach your business goals. We will cover those business optimization hacks in this guide.
1. Utilize task management solutions
Some of the biggest roadblocks to streamlining business operations are mismanaged tasks and inefficient collaboration between team members.
This often leads to low productivity, and you can lose a lot of money if your team fails to meet deadlines.
Effective team project management tools offer a solution by helping everyone in your team streamline assigning, tracking, and managing jobs.
Project management software ClickUp for instance, has tools to help you assign tasks easily, monitor their progress, schedule events, add priority tags, and set reminders.
You’ll get a unique perspective on your tasks by visualizing them on a board, calendar, or list.
You can also see your tasks’ interconnectedness through a Gantt view or use the Box or Workload view to view the work distribution among your team members.
The software lets you create folders and add descriptions, comments, document links, and other details to each task, so assignees get everything they need to accomplish their assignments efficiently.
All these features make managing tasks and collaborating with team members more efficient, seamless, and in turn, speed up your workflows to increase business operations productivity.
Additionally, consider these tips to help you make the most of your task or project management tool.
- Assign who should post. Encourage team members to own their roles and jobs by letting task owners post or update a task. This helps with your team member’s accountability and managers can avoid the pitfalls of micromanagement, which impacts productivity and efficiency.
- Establish regular updating. Whether it’s daily or weekly, it’s critical that your team members update tasks to get accurate and timely information about the task’s or project’s progress.
- Leverage filtering. It’s not enough to give team members access to your project management software and see their tasks.
Eliminate the need to go through folders and jobs they don’t even need or work in by filtering tasks. You can even specify access to necessary folders and views to specific users so they won’t need to wade through everyone else’s to get to theirs.
- Explore and use all the available features and tools. Optimize your project management tool by learning and using all the tools it offers (as necessary).
It’s an excellent way to get your returns for investing in the software. It also helps centralize all your tasks so your team doesn’t end up using multiple tools when they can easily use your task management platform.
2. Use cloud-based tools
One of the biggest killers of efficiency and productivity in business operations is manual, paper-based processes.
For instance, rental equipment companies would need to conduct regular equipment inspections to ensure their fleet is always in optimum condition. This can also reduce the costs of unexpected equipment breakdowns due to improper maintenance.
However, performing paper-based inspections takes too much time, effort, and resources, especially for large fleets releasing around 50 pieces of equipment daily.
The solution? Cloud-based tools such as Record360.
Record360 provides a digital equipment inspection form users can quickly access through the mobile app using internet-connected and compatible mobile devices.
Since the form is online, users can easily fill out the inspection form within a few minutes anytime and anywhere before and after the equipment’s release and return.
The inspection records get stored in the cloud for managers and authorized users to access quickly.
This streamlines the equipment inspection process, eliminating laborious, manual processes and mountains of paperwork.
That said, cloud-based tools can reduce the complexities of your business processes while optimizing your workflows, saving you tons of time, energy, and money.
3. Employ scheduling apps
Well-scheduled employee shifts are critical to running smooth business operations.
After all, you need the right number of people with the required skills and expertise to ensure your business runs as it should throughout your daily operations.
However, manually scheduling employee shifts can be a huge time-suck since your managers must deal with countless spreadsheets, including inputting data and making changes individually.
It’s also fairly easy to input incorrect information that can lead to costly consequences.
To remedy this, automate your staff shift schedules by using online employee scheduling software.
For example, Buddy Punch lets you create staff schedules through an online platform.
The tool has a drag-and-drop feature to help you manage and assign shifts to employees easily and set up automated alerts to notify them of changes.
Your staff can view their shift assignments on the platform anytime, and you can send out the schedules to a person, team, or all your employees with a few clicks.
The app also includes a timesheets feature that streamlines logging and tracking employees’ worked hours. You can link the app to your payroll software to automate wage calculations and processing.
With these features, you can streamline staff scheduling while reducing manual work and the time and energy spent on inputting, reviewing, verifying, and processing employee timesheets.
4. Automate critical workflows
Repetitive tasks can eat up a chunk of you and your team’s precious productive hours.
Data even shows that employees can spend 28% of their work time sorting through and answering emails, eating into a chunk of their productivity.
To make your processes more efficient, automate critical workflows.
For example, Exceed.ai, a conversational marketing platform, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate your lead generation, nurturing, and qualifying processes.
The software provides a virtual assistant that supports your sales reps by handling customer conversations using human-like, personal conversations.
Image Source: exceed.ai.
Once customers are sales-ready, the virtual assistant turns them over to your human sales reps for closing.
It’s an excellent solution to automate crucial aspects of your lead generation to the closing process, saving your team a huge amount of time and energy. This allows them to focus on closing deals and other more critical tasks.
Automation is essential to streamlining your business operations. Automate where you can, including your email marketing and social media management tasks.
5. Leverage communication platforms
Seamless communication between team members is crucial for efficient workflows and productive business operations.
Ensure you communicate effectively with your team by using business communication tools such as Slack.
The app offers group messaging features to simplify your communication processes across your company.
Its features include private groups, direct messaging, open discussions — including advanced functionalities such as message archiving, file sharing, and deep contextual search.
Slack provides the tools that allow you to communicate with your teams faster and in more secure and organized ways.
All your communication is sorted into channels that are easy to build, search, and join. This eliminates the time-consuming process of sorting through emails and contacts to find conversation threads.
Image Source: slack.com.
Whether you are communicating deadlines or verifying facts for the blog post you want to publish, such as the difference between a summit and a conference, Slack offers the tools you need to streamline discussions and chats among your team members.
A centralized communication platform helps everyone across your company stay on the same page, accomplish tasks efficiently, make decisions faster, and in turn, speed up your operations.
6. Analyze your data
It can take a few tweaks or it can require adopting new strategies, overhauling your existing processes, and using nifty solutions to streamline your workflows and business operations.
One of the best ways to know which ones you need is to analyze data impacting your team’s and operations’ performance, productivity, and efficiency.
Track and gather your existing data to get reliable information you can analyze to spot bottlenecks and gaps in your processes and workflows.
Doing so helps you determine the tasks, activities, and processes your employees spend the most resources and time on but don’t yield your expected results.
This will also help you check for any leaks or inefficiencies in your workflows that drain your productive hours but don’t improve your bottomline.
Get valuable insights from your data and use it to address workflow and process gaps that keep your operations from running with optimum productivity and efficiency.
Speed up your business operations today
Streamlining your business operations requires investing in the right tools and implementing the right strategies.
Assess your existing workflows and identify bottlenecks and key areas and opportunities where you can improve to speed up your workflows, improve performance, and optimize your business operations.
Automate where it makes the most sense and reduce manual, time-consuming tasks that drain a lot of your resources.
Know what approaches and solutions work best for your business, starting with the tips in this guide.