Achieve Operational Efficiency When Working from Home

Introduction: 

In response to Coronavirus stay-at-home directives, businesses worldwide have sent their employees home and scrambled to shift to remote work. Collaborating with and managing teams remotely is now the top priority of many firms as they work to maintain operational efficiency in this new, decentralized environment. 

Within a matter of weeks, these dramatic changes as a result of COVID-19 have changed the way that we do business. Marketing teams and professional services firms are now grappling with a new commercial landscape that requires innovative techniques. They’ll also need to employ different, more effective marketing strategies to advertise their products and services inside of new and evolving relationships with their clients. 

The rapid transition to remote work has resulted in a steep learning curve. In essence, newly remote teams must learn to navigate new technologies and maintain efficient practices to remain productive. As they adjust to working at home, it’s even more critical that these teams communicate efficiently. They must consistently be on the same page—independent of any delays that may be caused by individual members.

Project Management suites with team collaboration tools like Vabotu can help to flatten that learning curve to maintain productivity and, more importantly, achieve operational efficiency while we work at home. Centralized team messaging and task management tools keep everyone informed of important updates and tasks-in-progress so that you never lose valuable time or exert unnecessary effort. Using Vabotu right now to simplify your workflows and keep everyone moving forward in alignment can help you successfully navigate through and emerge from this crisis ahead of the game and prepared for the future.

What is operational efficiency?

Operational efficiency is a useful metric that compares your total operating costs—overall or for a specific project, like a targeted marketing campaign—against the profits you realize. It’s a helpful way to understand productivity by comparing your inputs, which usually include some combination of money, people, time, and work, against your outputs.

To evaluate the operational efficiency of a marketing campaign, for example, you’d consider your inputs, including money, software, advertising costs, personnel time, and whatever else was required for a successful launch. Comparing the ratio of those costs against the results of the campaign (profit-generated, for example) will allow you to see how efficiently you work. 

Consistently measuring operational efficiency will help you to evaluate what does and does not work, and ultimately decide which inputs generate the highest output so that you can maximize your efforts. In short, it’ll help you see how to get the most bang for your buck. 

How do you achieve operational efficiency?

There are several ways that you can approach tweaking your strategy when it comes to maximizing operational efficiency. We’ll continue with the marketing campaign analogy to explore the concept. You can choose to: 

  • Reduce your inputs and increase the output. Different forms of advertising have varying costs, for example. Determine which medium is more effective and concentrate your efforts there.
  • Spend the same amount on your inputs and increase your outputs. Consider additional ways to better define and reach your target audience without extra spending.  
  • Increase spending on high-value tasks and minimize spending on low-value tasks. You often get what you pay for. Here, if costlier strategies work well, concentrate your efforts there for better returns. 
  • Spend more on inputs for greater outputs. Spending more money on more effective inputs may be required to launch a successful campaign. You can’t get blood from a turnip—and you can’t reach an audience without spending enough to get your message out there.

Regardless of the way you proceed, the goal here continues to be to make sure that your objectives line up with your inputs. As you evaluate your operational efficiency, critically review your process from start to finish. Keep what works and eliminate what doesn’t. 

If the ROI from your campaigns fall short, you should perform a gap analysis. This allows you to compare the results of an executed campaign to the performance that you had hoped to achieve. Through this gap analysis, identify any strategies, structures, technologies, or processes that weren’t effective. Then consider how to replace or enhance them to better suit your goals.

This might mean that you decide to increase or decrease your budget or decide to restructure your team to improve low-ROI campaigns. The gap analysis will help determine the next steps that you need to take to maximize operational efficiency.

How do you maximize operational efficiency?

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  • Assess your current level of operational efficiency. Ask for feedback from your teammates and employees. Discuss what worked or didn’t work for them by reviewing the entire process. Use any historical data that you have to determine which campaigns required more inputs, namely time, money, and human resources, and compare those to their outputs.
  • Prioritize clear communication: This is the key to successful remote operations, and one of the ways that Vabotu can help your business thrive. Central, up-to-date communication keeps the team on-task and on-target, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Set clear guidelines and quantifiable objectives. Set SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound—for your team to keep everyone focused and aligned.
  • Establish expectations and implement quality checks. By laying these out in advance, you can save the team valuable time by making sure that everyone is aware of what needs to be accomplished and how it should be accomplished. Routine quality checks help to catch mistakes before they become costly for your team, saving time and money.
  • Pick the right person for the job. If necessary, restructure the team for better performance. Based on your findings from the initial operational efficiency assessment, you can re-assign tasks to individuals who are better suited for them. As teams work remotely, adjust roles to cater to individual strengths, and adequately compensate for any weaknesses that you discover.  

Conclusion

Remote working is likely to increase as people realize its usefulness during the Coronavirus shutdown.  By taking the time to examine and clarify the ways that your team is most productive, you can maximize operational efficiency to successfully weather this crisis and prepare for the future. Vabotu can help you get there.