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How to tell if your business is inefficient

Inefficiency is a problem that holds back businesses of all sizes. Even if your business is the market leader in the goods or services it provides, with demonstrable technical skill, it can still be held back by systemic problems in the way things are done which can dent profits or strangle growth. In this blog, we at ASL Group take a look at some common reasons for inefficiency, and how you can turn that inefficiency into efficiency.

You manage data poorly

business efficiency

Data can be anything, from where a customer lives to the price of wheat in Bangladesh, and your company probably stores gigabytes of the stuff. Whether it’s digitally contained in spreadsheets or hard drives, or it’s tucked away in filing cabinets, you paid somebody, sometime to collect that data – and you paid for the space it’s taking up. In fact, you’re still paying for it – whether it’s the floor space of your office or the kilobytes on your Cloud solution. So what are you doing with it?

A good business knows where their data is, what it’s for, and why they have it. It might be for marketing, for trend analysis, sales or customer profiling – it’s all there for a reason, and it’s easily accessible. An inefficient business can’t say the same. You can do simple things to change that, however. By conducting a data audit, you can go through everything you store and decide whether it’s useful or not. Old, out of date or incorrect information can be deleted, and relevant information can be stored. What’s important is that you have a concrete strategy for how and why data is collected, where it goes, how it is named, and how often it is cleared out. That way, what you have is useful, reachable and ultimately erasable.

Low agility

business efficiency
Agility is everything in the world of business, and being unable to pivot quickly to match current trends can be a death sentence when technology moves so quickly. An efficient business can quickly identify what needs to happen to match a new trend, while an inefficient business can’t – and that can mean the difference between turning a profit and not.

It’s often said in companies of all sizes that things can’t change because they’ve ‘always been done that way’, and if you’ve heard that said, you’re probably in an inefficient business. But an efficient business makes that a thing of the past. By identifying the potential bottlenecks, pressure points and growth areas ahead of time, the pain caused by having to address or change these areas is much less. It’s hard work now, but in the long run it will make it much easier to ditch the old way and accept the new way, without all the arguing and fuss that slows down change.

Lack of control

business efficiency
Even a profitable and well-run business can get into trouble if they don’t have control of their costs. Projects spiralling over budget, unchecked usage running wild – if you don’t have a handle on it, you can soon lose track, even with relatively simple things like your printing costs. Using systems like ASL Group’s Managed Print Services, you can ensure that you know exactly what you’re spending on printing, and use that information to make informed decisions about your budgeting in future.

Thanks to the 5-phase solution that ASL Group implements, you’ll start by analysing your current usage, and gradually find a way to cut it down as much as possible. Then, you can use the system to optimise the usage on an ongoing basis, to make sure it always falls within acceptable levels. Whether it’s a problem of where you store information, the cost of printing it or the cost of materials, using the 5-phase solution can end up with cost savings as high as 30%, and carbon emission savings as high as 60%.

There are many ways to go about implementing the system, and ASL Group can tailor your programme to your exact needs, whether that’s increased control over what staff can print, increased security in where they can send or store files, or reducing the amount of physical paper documents that end up in storage; there’s the perfect solution that fits your requirements.

To find out more about managed print services, or any of our business services, get in touch at www.asl-group.co.uk/contact or call 0845 207 7000.

Andrew HoyleHow to tell if your business is inefficient