News & Events

The path to enhanced business efficiency


By Rich Berry

For businesses today, embracing efficiency is not just an option but a necessity. This shift requires a deep dive into the fundamentals of business operations, moving beyond the surface appeal of technology to the core processes that drive organizations.

I remember my first boss said, “You can do anything you want to, but you have to really want to.’’ The first step toward becoming more efficient is igniting a passion for improvement within your organization.

It also involves fostering a belief in the ability to effect immediate improvements. This mindset is critical to breaking away from the inertia of traditional practices and encouraging a proactive approach to process enhancement.

Unveiling opportunities with process mapping

Process mapping emerges as a critical tool in this journey. It offers a visual representation of how work flows within your organization, helping to identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and opportunities for automation. This clarity improves operational efficiency and enhances employee training and performance.

Recently, we sketched out a process map for a client, and our quick calculation was they were likely wasting between $400,000 to $500,000 a year. How? Because of the hundreds of hours spent on redundant data entry. It was time they could spend on more high-value tasks.

Rule of thumb: Only enter data once. Often, we hear someone say that it only takes a couple of minutes to update this spreadsheet or that information – hundreds of times, a couple of minutes equals a lot of minutes. If you can eliminate a couple of minutes here and there over and over and over again, the next thing you know is you're not working past 5 p.m. You're not working past 4 p.m. You might not even work on Fridays.

The first step to improving is understanding where your processes are today. Once you have a precise map, you can spot redundancies and see opportunities for automation.

Reinforcing the backbone: policies and procedures

Robust policies and procedures form the backbone of efficient operations. They provide clarity, establish standards, ensure compliance, and mitigate risks.

It doesn’t do any good if, after spending the time to map your organization’s processes, over time, various staff or departments start finding “shortcuts” or “better ways” to accomplish tasks that aren’t widely shared.

That’s why it’s crucial to regularly revisit and update policies to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.

At the same time, you want to nurture an environment where employees are motivated to share their success stories. If someone figures out a better way to do a task, they need to share it and, if it works, include it in the policies and procedures.

In an age where people often see technology as a panacea, it's vital to understand that its effective deployment rests on the bedrock of well-established processes and clean data. The true power of tools like dashboards and AI only work when they build on solid foundations.

Leveraging cloud technology for efficiency

The adoption of cloud technology represents a significant leap in operational efficiency. It offers scalability, reduces the burden of maintaining physical IT infrastructure, and facilitates better data management, streamlining business processes.

A continuous journey of improvement

Efficiency is not a destination but a continuous journey. Businesses must recognize that pursuing perfection is an ongoing process, necessitating constant evaluation and adaptation of their strategies and operations.

You can't do everything all at once. The truth is that you cannot create a vision and execute it right now in all areas. It must be part of an ongoing process that you're working towards – probably going on forever.

Business intelligence and AI represent the pinnacle of this journey towards efficiency. When effectively implemented on a foundation of solid processes and clean data, these technologies provide insights and automation capabilities that can significantly enhance decision-making and operational efficiency.

I have a client who has a dashboard showing the current status of his company. It’s about eight pages, and he thinks of it as his morning paper. Before the dashboard, however, came a process map that was six feet wide by four feet tall.

Moving forward

Yes, implementing technology is vital to remaining competitive. But the first step is ensuring a good foundation on which to build.

My company has partnered with Boyer & Ritter to establish Boyer & Ritter Operations and Technology Solutions to create an interdisciplinary group of professionals that can solve various business challenges.

If your business or nonprofit wants to use staff more efficiently, allow data to drive success, and streamline operational decision-making, please contact us and learn how we can help take you to the next level.


Jump to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Statement.