Inefficiencies are costly, both in terms of managing such a clunky operation and in regards to customer satisfaction. By streamlining your business you can improve, lower your overhead costs, and have money left over to reinvest into the critical infrastructure of your business for the future.
Some industries have no problem doing this, others, however, run on a very narrow profit margin, making reinvestment possibilities almost a pipe dream. Take the healthcare industry, for example. Around the world this industry is facing a huge overhaul in order to keep up with the times, and yet progress is still slow moving. The ironic problem here, however, is that healthcare faces fewer inefficiencies and admin times when it is paid for and operated by the government, rather than a private facility.
One of the reasons for this inefficiency in private hospitals and practices is simple patient management and billing. These two factors are imperative for a private facility’s success, and yet it can take a multitude of hours to get through simply due to how complicated the system can be.
On the other hand, public facilities find it difficult to lower costs and still provide quality care.
The answer to both the woes of these facilities is to undergo the same steps that would benefit any business. They must analyze, strategize, implement, and audit so that they can be efficient and automated.
Importance of Streamlining Your Business
Streamlining your business is key to get it up and running smoothly and without any hiccups. If you operate with a very delicate supply chain, whether that supply chain is within the healthcare industry or in retail, you will know exactly how important it is that everything gets to where it needs to be on time. Keeping inventory is an obvious step forward, but imagine how much time and money can be saved if a computer, keeping track of this inventory, could send out automated requests to refill your stock before you run out? Your medical practice would never be without sterilized needles. Your retail business would never run out of your best seller.
Benefits of Streamlining a Business
Some key benefits to streamline your business include:
Improved Use of Resources
When you streamline your business, you should be able to make better use of resources. Along the supply chain there is plenty of waste, but waste is inherently a design flaw. It is material you have paid for and yet are throwing away because it is inconvenient. By instead changing your supply chain to either recycle this waste or reuse it you can reduce cost and production of raw materials.
Reduced costs is one of the main drives of a more efficient system. Admin processes take up a lot of time that can be better spent, and with today’s technology it is possible to automate so much that before would take days if not weeks to accomplish. You can get HR management software, for example, and have employees update their own profiles so that the payroll process can be done in a snap.
In healthcare it is believed that patients should have better access to their own records. With the right system patients will be able to access these files safely and securely, and therefore be able to provide better access to their health than before.
Automated tasks speed everything up because a computer can send them out instantaneously, speeding up the process along the entire supply chain from production to customer service. This automation can also be key to reduce wasted time. For example, automatic reminders have been proven to reduce the amount of no-shows.
Increased Customer Service
The customer experience is imperative, even for the healthcare industry. So, if customer (or in that example, patient care) is so important in an industry that is vital, imagine how critical it is for any other type of business. With automation and the right systems, you can provide improved service, personalization, and automated reporting so that your customers or clients know exactly what is going on and can stay on track with your progress.
How to Streamline Your Company
Now that you are fully aware of the benefits, you know what you need to work towards. Though every company is different – streamlining a medical facility will be different to streamlining a marketing agency – there are a few steps that remain the same:
· Install the Right Programs
One of the best ways to streamline your company is to simply install the right software. Even in industry-specific software there are variations. For the healthcare industry, for example, there are different programs ideal for small generic practices and hospitals, and choosing the right one from MedicalDirector is key to your success.
· Create a Metadata Format
When it comes to inputting information into said program, you will need to either follow the recommended metadata formats or create one of your own. This way you can organize your data in a way that can be easily accessed by everyone now and into the future.
· Set up Automated Tasks
Automated tasks are easy to set up with the right management program. With the aforementioned healthcare software, for example, you would be able to set up automated appointment reminders.
· Audit Your Company on a Regular Basis
Go through and audit your business, starting first by asking your employees what is taking them too long and how they believe it can be improved. They’re on the front lines and will often know best.
When it comes to streamlining your business, it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day. It will take time to root out your business’s issues successfully and to implement the right structures and programs you need to improve automation, personalization, and communication.
Technology can help every industry improve their time and customer management skills, but going through and restructuring is no easy task. Hunker down, commit to a realistic schedule, and watch the cost savings rise.