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As a business owner, you know that in order to increase profit in your business, this is attained either by increasing revenues or decreasing costs, or a combination of both. In a high-volume business, saving as little as a few cents in variable or direct costs at a per unit level, can have a significant impact on bottom line. It is for this, as well as many other reasons, that your operations management individual or team will feature strongly in your business’ survival through hardships imposed by Covid-19 and the economic lockdown. You will need to rely on your operations management function to unlock efficiencies and cost savings to ensure overall business profitability.
Operations Management Trends
These seven trends are currently featuring strongly in global operations efficiency discussions as areas of potentially “low hanging fruit” for unlocking cost savings:
  1. Streamline Internal Communications
    Ensure that your business embraces communication protocols that reach all employees in your business, not only those with access to a desktop computer. This will ensure that breakdowns in internal communication are all but eliminated in your business. Modern communications technologies will facilitate communication reaching your entire team helping to improve performance by eliminating wasted time on less important tasks, making mistakes, as well as identifying and resolving issues that have arisen due to miscommunication.
  2. Embrace Mobile
    Digitally enabling your frontline workers remains the most profound investment to improve productivity, enhance workplace safety and eliminate costs in the current economic climate. If your internal communications do not deliver to mobile devices, you risk alienating your frontline workers. From mobile awareness for mobile search to mobile for social media – this is what your customer has come to expect and is what your employees will equally expect from you. Think mobile apps that promote access for your entire team to ensure your full workforce, whether office bound, mobile or frontline are reading the same communication.
  3. Automate
    Research from McKinsey already confirms that as much as 50% of all work performed in 2020 can be automated. Advancements in Cloud Accounting, AI and machine learning are all driving efficiencies due to increased automation and this trend will continue. By reducing dependence on human effort, associated costs are eliminated from your business.
  4. Training
    Operations Managers frequently identify backlogs arising from poorly trained frontline workers, as being one of their biggest headaches. By deploying digitally accessible training videos, you will shorten the time taken for new hires to become effective, saving expensive management time spent in resolving consequent backlogs.
  5. Health and Safety
    The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a plethora of workplace safety regulations, and non-compliance with these measures is directly associated with higher levels of sick leave and lost productivity. Operations managers will need to ensure that staff are aware of their immediate health and safety obligations and assume responsibility for their own safety in the workplace.
  6. Absolute mastery in demand forecasting
    Consumer spending habits are changing almost overnight, described by some as “fickle”. The on-demand nature of our lives has dictated that consumers expect the same in their shopping behaviour, placing businesses at risk of obsolete inventory apart from potentially not satisfying the customer’s immediate shopping need. To face this growing trend, operations managers will need to invest in their demand forecasting capabilities and simultaneously reduce supply chain lead times.
  7. Nurture customer relationships
    Solid relationships built on true human empathy and compassion will prevail over the business setbacks caused by Covid-19. By being more customer-centric, the operations manager plays a key role in insulating the business against loss of key customers. Customer service will go a long way to tying your customers to your business in the long run.

If your business is experiencing difficulty in operationally recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, our Management Consulting team has the expertise and experience to assist in carving the next chapter in your business’ future. Reach out to our team for innovating thinking to drive your business forward.