Increasing Business Efficiency Through Technology
As businesses try to increase efficiency and improve profit,better technology is often an invaluable tool. Although most businesses use information systems and automation to varying extents, almost all enterprises benefit from capitalising on the possibilities of technology and its ability to maximise efficiency in their work environment.
Few people will be surprised to learn that technology can significantly increase efficiency. The speed at which computers function, and their ability to provide up-to-date information and hold data in a convenient and mutually accessible place, all make them invaluable and heavily relied upon in many work contexts.
For employers, there a significant benefits to technology playing an ever-greater role in the workplace, for example in reducing the number of staff required to perform repetitive tasks and thereby freeing people up to undertake tasks that have greater impact and value. For example, many organisations, including Government departments, successfully use online induction as part of the orientation of new staff members. Similarly, large and small organisations use online or technology-based learning management systems to guide and record the professional development of staff and feed this information into performance appraisals.
Specifically, technology can increase business efficiency through:
Technology has also greatly reduced the need for staff to perform many tasks manually. As a result, simple but essential tasks such as creating reports or proof-reading documents became unnecessarily time consuming processes.
Although employees generally still need to enter data and type important reports and documents, computers have revolutionised other processes through wizards, databases, spelling and grammar checks and the ability to electronically send and store all sorts of documents.
The processing of customer transactions is also much faster, thanks to advances in technology. The rapidity with which money can be transferred, thanks to the prevalence of credit card and EFTPOS facilities, and the ability of computers to provide a business with accurate records of its financial information, has markedly helped improve efficiency. Essentially, business processes are simplified and faster, and customers enjoy an enhanced service experience.
The amount and quality of information immediately available to employees is far superior today and makes it possible for staff to operate more efficiently and with more attention to the tasks that improve the business and increase profit.
When information is required or requested, electronic storage is invaluable, both in improving the customer’s experience and also benefitting managers charged with making important decisions.
Management and use of time
Business efficiency is hindered when staff spend numerous hours on tedious tasks. Effectiveness and efficiency increase when staff members and management have the time required to concentrate on major projects, such as those that offer strategic possibilities, business growth and more profit being generated.
Naturally, it is still necessary for some of the more mundane tasks to be carried out in spite of staff members using their time to perform higher-level activities. When technological systems comprehensively perform these functions, business owners and managers can feel confident that they will still be completed to a high standard.
Ultimately, if business efficiency is to be improved through the use of technology, a complete understanding of the business’s processes is required and a strategic plan developed. When such foresight and planning has occurred, a business is well positioned to raise its level of efficiency and thereby improve productivity and profitability.