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There is a productivity conundrum in today’s business world: organizations that are already tapped out on resources and manpower need to meet higher customer demands. Unfortunately, a myriad of obstacles can stand in the way of this happening, including misunderstandings about where productivity problems start, why they exist, and how to effectively solve them without wasting more time, money, and resources.

Thankfully, there is a solution. But it all starts with an understanding of where a company is failing in productivity. The following are just some of the potential problems that organizations may need to address in their productivity enhancement plan:

  1. Human Error: Responsible for anywhere from 60% to 80% of all failures, accidents, and incidents in high-risk industries, human error costs companies more than fifty billion dollars each and every year.
  2. Organizational Issues: Time that could be better spent on other, more critical tasks is wasted on trying to recover, find, interpret, analyze, or coherently present data. Internal audit schedules are either slowed or not done at all. Shortcuts are taken to save time, increasing the risk for errors.
  3. Communication Issues: Emails, though effective, take a great deal of time to send, especially when the tasks or information being sent is repetitive or recurring. Some of these tedious time wasters include the emailing of gage calibration schedules, preventative and reactive maintenance work orders, corrective actions, and employee training systems.
  4. Excessive Workload: Data entry, document creation, and corrective actions—all of these tasks, as well as many others, do not have to be done manually, and any organization that does so is wasting time, money, and resources while putting excessive workload on their employees.
  5. Productivity Problems: Productivity problems can encompass everything from how a product is made within the organization to who their suppliers are.

Attacking Productivity Problems with a Plan

As mentioned earlier, productivity plans can be used to help organizations deal with their productivity problems. These plans, developed and designed to correct problematic areas within an organization, should be carried out over time and address the most crucial areas, rather than attempting to change everything all at once. It’s also important for companies to practice patience while implementing changes.

Here are a few other tips for improving the success of your productivity plan:  

  1. Create clear, defined goals. Determine where the company is now, and where it would like to be in six months, a year, five years, even ten years. This will help keep productivity planning on track.
  2. Assign specific individuals to the tasks of monitoring, collecting data, and reporting information. Check in with this person regularly and discuss potential or current barriers that may make it difficult for them to complete their job.
  3. Measure performance at pre-planned, regular intervals to ensure that gains are, in fact, happening. Access data for any shortcomings and adjust the plan accordingly.
  4. Hold regular meetings at pre-planned intervals. Discuss timelines and schedules and verify that they are being adhered to. Allow those responsible for implementing change a chance to voice concerns and obstacles.

Want to learn more about doing more with less? Check out this blog post where we show you how to boost productivity with real solutions. For other questions and assistance, click here to reach out to us.