Running a business involves a great deal of complexity and the larger the firm, the greater the scope for confusion and inefficiency. Put simply, unless you know everyone else’s job inside out, you can’t know if they are working in the most efficient manner possible.
Computer software is meant to make us more efficient and for the most part, that’s certainly the case. However, there are degrees of efficiency and in a competitive market or during an economic downturn, seemingly insignificant inefficiencies can actually mean the difference between your business surviving and folding. The old adage ‘time is money’ is entirely true in that people are paid for their time. If they achieve less in that time than they might, your company stands to lose out.
Getting the most from employees isn’t a matter of shouting at them and telling them to work harder. This will alienate staff and also lead to poor working practices. It encourages a working culture where it is more important to be seen to be doing something than to actually be working in the most effective way. Sometimes someone needs to stop and think.
Software is great, but it can be used incorrectly, particularly where people don’t fully understand what it is doing. The right software will keep track of all sorts of different elements the usefulness of which may only become apparent at a later date. In contrast, resort to spreadsheets or more seemingly straightforward methods of recording data and you will only have what you enter yourself. Furthermore, this increases the potential for human error.
Human error comes in many forms. It might mean entering the wrong figure, the right figure in the wrong cell or it might even mean doing the right thing at the wrong time. If two people are working off the same spreadsheet, entering a piece of data late can throw everything into confusion. In contrast, where both parties are working using the same software, there should be safeguards to prevent this.
Even if errors aren’t made, good software should reduce the amount of time it takes to complete tasks. This is why we have computers and to not make use of their full potential is foolish and self-defeating. Remember, if you aren’t using the right software in the right way, your competitors almost certainly will be, putting you at a distinct disadvantage. Look into getting the right programs and you will become a more efficient business.
[author ]David Lamb will be making use of perficio.org and the software that they provide.[/author]