It can be hard to stay ahead in an industry as competitive as the food and beverage sector. As well as maintaining a steady income, you also need to make sure your production is running smoothly and is reaching maximum efficiency.
Achieving improved production efficiency, can often be easier said than done - especially if you’ve got in to “habits” that actually hinder you from completing your work. To help you get through this, we’ve come up with a quick checklist that includes some really useful strategies for improving your efficiency. Take a look:
1. STREAMLINE YOUR PROCESSES
Regardless of how productive your staff is and how hard they work, you cannot reach maximum efficiency if you have overly complicated processes. So, before anything else, you need to streamline your business processes first. Streamlining just means simplifying your entire workflow - from order taking to fulfilment - and eliminating any stages that are not necessary.
Here are some steps to guide you:
Step 1: Review your current business processes.
Step 2: Identify the flaws and the unnecessary stages in your processes.
Step 3: Eliminate these unnecessary stages or improve them. This may mean automating them or at the very least leveraging technology.
Step 4: Put your new and streamlined processes to work, and make tweaks as you go along.
2. BUILD AN EFFECTIVE TEAM
Your staff will help you keep your business running smoothly. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to finish the multiple tasks required to keep your doors open. That’s why it’s important that you provide them with a positive work environment and make sure they are engaged and well-motivated. Remember, happy employees are more likely to be more productive.
If you need some strategies on how you can motivate your staff and build an effective team, here are some winning ideas:
1. Ensure that they know and understand their responsibilities.
2. Let them take on other roles to maximise their full potential and help them step out of their comfort zone.
3. Set realistic goals and objectives that you want your employees to achieve.
4. Learn how to listen to their thoughts, feedback, and suggestions.
5. Bring in technology and tools that will help them complete more work.
6. Enhance their performance. You can do this by rewarding them, making sure they enjoy their work, and by spending quality time with them.
3. AUTOMATE YOUR ADMIN TASKS
Once you have streamlined your process and made sure your team is well-engaged, it’s time to get rid of the repetitive admin tasks and the paper-based ‘systems’ you have in place. These are among the many reasons why a business won't be able to achieve improved production efficiency.
Automation is the key here. When you automate your mundane admin tasks, you free up some of your valuable time, which can then be spent on more important matters. Here are some of the common tasks that you can think about automating:
1. Sending reminders
2. Taking customer orders
3. Creating and mailing invoices
4. Accepting payments
4. SET UP WINNING TECHNOLOGY
Let’s all agree - it's no longer possible to run a business smoothly without relying on technology. Technology actually makes your life easier and improves your productivity so you can always stay on top of your paperwork.
Through technology you can automate your admin tasks that require manual, extensive work, get a holistic view of what’s happening in your production process, and you can be in full control of your business through advanced reports, metrics, and generating accurate data.
5. UTILISE A GOOD INVENTORY SOFTWARE
Managing your inventory manually is no doubt a complicated and time-consuming task. So if there’s one way to make the most out of your workday, it’s breaking this old-school habit and putting a good online inventory process in place.
With inventory software, you no longer have to enter huge amounts of data into your system by hand, nor will you have to waste too much time manually monitoring your stock levels, and even better you'll experience less costly errors from manual data entry. Investing in this sort of tech tool will immediately streamline your entire inventory management process and automate all the repetitive stages in it.
6. INVEST IN AN ORDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Order management systems will also automate your most tedious admin tasks. This gives you more free time to focus on more important things and to do what you love. An OMS simplifies your order management process by taking care of the pesky paperwork - from accepting retail orders to generating invoices. It minimises the room for error and saves you precious time as it allows you to take customer orders anytime and anywhere.
7. LEVERAGE AN ACCOUNTING SYSTEM AND SWITCH TO ELECTRONIC INVOICING
Technology will drive a higher level of efficiency in your business. On top of your inventory software and order management system, it’s also helpful to invest in an accounting system. Online accounting systems streamline your accounting and bookkeeping processes. It’s like a virtual assistant that will manage your finances and work on your payroll, taxes, and other business transactions so you don’t have to spend an inordinate time worrying about them anymore.
Accounting systems also take care of one of the most time-consuming tasks of any food wholesale business: processing invoices. The tool moves your invoicing online and sends electronic invoices automatically for you.
Efficiency matters in your food and beverage business. Not only does it let you get more done in less time, it also helps you increase your profitability so you can effortlessly take you business to new heights.
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