ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Saving Money While Increasing Productivity

When I look over the shoulders (metaphorically speaking) of the employees of my clients, I often see them doing unnecessary work and making things harder for themselves.

They hire someone to do a series of tasks, assuming that person will find the most effective and efficient manner in which to complete these tasks. All too often the process used is far too cumbersome for the task at hand.

In part it is because no one taught them the simplest most effective system to do their tasks – instead in the misuse of the concept of empowerment they were told to figure it out themselves. In my opinion that is management abrogating responsibility.

Another reason is because people invent these elaborate systems to prevent embezzlement or fraud – often the solution is far more costly than the real risk involved. Yes, we need checks and balances – but sometimes we go way too far. It’s a challenge for me to help these people realize that some of what they are doing isn’t worthwhile.

Work Smarter

Many of us in both our public and private lives are looking for ways to save money. For some, it means cutting out spending on things we want. These people talk about “tightening the belt.” But I find that people waste money doing work or using things that are unnecessary. By just working smarter they can save lots of money.

In some cases processes are redundant and time and money are wasted. Ask yourself these questions: 
  • Are you double tracking simple tasks that are already tracked in business applications?
  • Are you spending too many dollars to protect against the possibility of a one in a thousand problem?
  • Do you have more than one department working on the same tasks, not knowing what the other is doing?
  • Are you making it difficult for people to communicate with each other when they need to check in with each other frequently?
  • Are you providing your staff with bits and pieces of the information they need rather than giving them the whole information?
  • Do you have endless unnecessary meetings? Could some of these be eliminated? Shortened? Less people needed to attend?

We Don’t All Know All the Answers

Sometimes getting outside expertise to work WITH your team enables everyone to look at things differently and to find more effective and less-costly solutions to solving problems.

I don’t do my own taxes – because to do so would require extensive new learning annually for just me. It doesn’t pay. On the other hand, my accountant learns all the new laws because he or she is applying them to hundreds of cases.

I don’t service my own car. I don’t know how. I don’t want to know how. I use people I trust who are reliable and ethical.  They do a far better job than I ever could, even if I learned how.

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