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Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. It happens when purposes for certain tasks change or are abandoned altogether. Whatever the reason, it’s costing your business. This month, we take a look at what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.


Employee Productivity

You want your business to be more productive? Join the club. Every business has revenue-costing inefficiencies that they need to address. Some overcome them, some don’t. If your business wants to confront its inefficiencies, it has to start at the beginning and define what "efficient" looks like. Since inefficiency can stem from any part of your business, it’s a decent idea to separate your search for inefficiencies into departments, or even specific workflows where you can define what efficient productivity looks like for that certain task. This definition is effectively your criteria for claiming inefficiency, and should only change if process or workflow changes.

Another determination is how much things change. Are you constantly tweaking your operational plan to try to draw as much out of each of your workers? Most changes that you make to workflows, no matter how small, are going to cause some initial inefficiency. Think about it: If someone has been doing something the same for a while and you ask him/her to do it differently to save time, it seems, unless you have evidence that it will work, that you are likely digging your own efficiency grave by changing a completely functional process to try to get more out of it. It’s true that most people work at the speed they need to be the most effective. If you think that you need someone who works faster, it’s not necessarily an employee-related problem, it’s likely a company-related problem.

In truth, most times, when a business thinks it is having a problem with their productivity, they mean that the people that work for them aren’t pulling their weight. The question becomes how do you quantify a productive workforce? Today, more and more companies are using Key Performance Indicators (KPI). These are measures that allow decision makers to evaluate strategic performance, as well as employee performance. Taking time to understand how your business, and your employees, can be most effective to help you meet your organizational goals is just as important as having the resources in place to do so.

One thing is for certain, making work harder on your employees is not going to result in better productivity. Your business is a second home to your employees, and the lion’s share of people show up regardless of what is going on in their lives. The happier they are to spend a quarter-to-a third of their lives working for you, the more you are going to get out of them. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be performance metrics, and that you shouldn’t do everything you can to track their performance, but if you are making their lives outside of work better by providing the wages, benefits, and working conditions conducive for productivity, you will get more out of them.

Automation

In the productivity end, efficiency is built from having a good plan on what needs to happen, and executing that plan. If the plan shifts after some time, it's fair to expect that efficiency will take some time to catch up. Unless, that is, that plan includes automating portions of the workflow. People like to act that automation is working against people’s interests, but nothing could be further from the truth. Automation builds efficiency, which allows for more productivity, which allows for more revenue, and higher profits, and if those profits are reinvested, more jobs.

Automation works to build efficiency. That’s its one benefit, and it will cost you. There are many ways that a business can leverage automation into profitability. One is by utilizing a tool that automates all the little things. A properly working business typically has many different facets, and no matter how few people there are working these facets, they’ll have to be maintained. So, while payroll, accounts receivable, customer/vendor support, human resources could all be headed up by one person, with a software that automates a lot of the legwork associated with these tasks, that one person can accomplish everything listed above at a substantial cost reduction to the company. That’s not to say there isn’t cost, but when you can get people working rather than managing protocol, it substantially increases productivity throughout an organization.

Outsourcing

Contracting work that you cannot efficiently do yourself is nothing new. People have been paying contract-workers for a long time. You may find that you could get similar benefits at a substantial cost reduction by outsourcing some elements of your organization’s operations to an outside company. Where this process gets costly is when contractors are brought in to complete core parts of the job.

It stands to reason that if you offer products or services that your organization would have market authority in that space. Say your organization makes toys, chances are the people running the show, and the employees you’ve hired to physically build toys are all better at it than any outsourced company could be. Outsourcing is most beneficial when it is brought in, to complete aspects of the job where you lack expertise. This could be human resources, marketing, benefits administration, and of course IT support.

The IT professionals at Machado Consulting know that technology is a major part of your business, and needs to function properly, and be protected. Our technicians have the experience and the knowledge to help you solve some of your most pressing operational inconsistencies. Call us today to learn more at (508) 453-4700.

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What does a Managed Service Provider Actually Manage?

What does a Managed Service Provider Actually Manage?

When your computer freezes or data suddenly disappears, who do you call? While some organizations have an in-house IT department to manage IT, many small businesses are limited due to location, budget and other variables. In the past, organizations would turn to break-fix IT management for all of their technology issues, but trends in IT maintenance have given rise to a more popular and more sustainable way for small businesses to get the technology maintenance and management they need.


Break-fix IT management was largely considered a waste of resources, as it would mean your organization was waiting until your technology was already failing before seeking assistance. This would result in downtime while waiting for someone to resolve the issue, further adding to the cost of the incident.

Preventative managed IT provided by a managed service provider, or MSP, is the better alternative, as it means you are effectively preventing IT issues from becoming problems in the first place. What this does is that it mitigates the possibility of downtime, along with all of its expenses. The problem is that this kind of IT isn’t possible unless you have a team dedicated to making sure that your technology is operating as intended.

Outsourcing this responsibility to a managed service provider is a great way make up for a deficit in your IT management. Some of the services offered by a managed service provider include, but are not limited to:

  • Server hosting
  • Cloud hosting and management
  • Data backup and disaster recovery
  • Email hosting
  • Network maintenance, monitoring, and management
  • Security monitoring and deployment

Simply put, an MSP manages all your technology needs. From implementing a new software or hardware solution or setting up an email account, an MSP will be able to provide assistance with your business’ technology issues and can help you prevent disaster, instead of recovering from it.  

Machado Consulting can be the managed service provider that is right for your business. To learn more about how we can save you time and money, reach out to us at (508) 453-4700.

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Are Consumers Really Going to Benefit from 5G in 2019?

Are Consumers Really Going to Benefit from 5G in 2019?

The fourth generation of wireless technology has lingered for a long time, but with the advent of fifth generation wireless technology, how do we separate actual benefits from marketing noise?

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4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

Scrutinize Your Security

Before you implement a new solution, be sure to consider your organization’s cybersecurity needs. Ask yourself if it’s something that you can implement without compromising your organization’s security. Cyberattacks can create a considerable financial burden for your business. After all, a business is still a business, no matter what kind of data it stores or how large its workforce or client base is. It might lessen the damage done, but it’s certainly not any consolation for still exposing data to threats--especially because the data stored by businesses tends to be sensitive in nature. You need to do everything you can to make sure that any solution you implement can be done so without your data being placed at risk.

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Tip of the Week: Where to Find Your Android Downloads

Tip of the Week: Where to Find Your Android Downloads

Our smartphones have become an indispensable part of our personal and professional lives. As such, we often download various media to them that we want to find again later… unfortunately, this isn’t always so easy. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over where to find those files that you have downloaded.

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