Today, we still hear the mantra of “do more with less” being echoed from the Great Recession. However, there is a twist. Now, it is due to a super competitive job market and an inability to hire enough qualified staff. A bit ironic but true. It is a fact that businesses with well-designed systems, that maximize their people, processes and technology platforms, weathered our Great Recession more easily than those, which did not. It is still true today. Businesses with well-trained staff, honed processes, and an agile technology are doing more with less and it shows on their bottom line. So how should one evaluate the productivity producing potential across the symmetry of technology, people and platforms?
Investments in technologies can be a mechanism to differentiate. In many cases, technology is a strong catalyst for improved performance. However, it is important to keep in mind that technology alone does not hold the key to business success. Technology alone will not offer creative insight into new service or product ideas, it will not seize opportunities for improved customer service, and it will not develop personal relationships with business partners. However, technology plays an important role as an enabler. It can substantially enhance connectivity and support organizational standards, which ultimately aid every enterprise’s most valuable assets, its employees.
When considering the impact of business technology on people, the focus should be on how employees, vendors, and customers connect. Improving the means and abilities of a company’s staff to easily communicate and collaborate internally with peers and across departments as well as externally with vendors, customers and prospects fuels a company’s income-producing capabilities. Access to the right information, at the right time, and by the right person, drives productivity.
Well defined, documented and adhered to standard operating procedures produce dependable results and where consistency resides there is an opportunity to measure, assess, and tweak procedures to extract further value. At some point, it can even make sense to automate these additional efficiency gains to lock in the new value. This is a common practice in many manufacturing facilities, which leverage robotics to generate consistent results on the plant floor. Did you know there are software robots too? They are capable of automating key processes across business applications, performing the same data workflows consistently without fatigue, without distraction, and without fail.
Achieving your business goals within the ever-growing complexity of daily operations, limited resources and growing competition is difficult, but any company with a flexible and dynamically engineered technology environment optimized around a properly trained staff, and thoughtfully designed processes will simply do more with less leading to more profitability.
To learn more about how to extract greater value from your people, processes, and technology investments, please contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.