Can Cutting Seconds Cut Costs?

Latest posts by Heather Schuck (see all)

As the old saying goes, “Time is Money.”  Big retailers such as Gap, Limited Brands, Office Depot, Toys R Us, and the Meijer grocery chain are all jumping on this bandwagon as they try to squeeze as much profit as possible out of the upcoming weak holiday shopping season. (Read more here from the WSJ, https://tiny.cc/P1nuS ) While small businesses might not have the same budgets as these large retailers when it comes to launching operations and performance systems, there are still many opportunities for you to improve your bottom line on your own.   Instead of just relying on big changes that may be unrealistic or too expensive to enact, shoot for making several, small changes in your operations. 

Step 1: Make a detailed list documenting your production, processing, or shipping procedures
Step 2: Brainstorm ideas to shorten or simplify each one of those steps – without comprising quality or control of your final product
Step 3: Test your new procedures to ensure that they will indeed save time without causing any other unforeseen repercussions
Step 4: If the new procedure improves your operational efficiency, congratulations! If not, keep brainstorming.

Here are a couple examples of time-saving strategies to get you started:

  • Instead of shipping small items in boxes, use padded envelopes (save time by not having to set up the box and they’re cheaper to ship)
  • Re-organize your inventory so that the top-sellers are on the first rack for easy access (don’t just keep everything sorted alphabetically for the sake of neatness-instead focus on efficiency)
  • Don’t drive to the Post Office to ship packages, schedule a free pick-up
  • Set up instant messaging for employees to improve communication times (using the group feature will also allow group collaboration within seconds)
  • Eliminate “double-entry”, instead focus on creating systems that are fully integrated (re-entering data is a waste of time and increases the risk of errors)
  • Save time on accounting by using online banking to schedule automatic bill pays and request e-bills (some banks will even let you deposit checks via email/fax)
  • Limit interruptions, instead of always starting/stopping tasks because of calls, random emails, or an occasional door-to-door salesman, set a routine to keep you focused (for example, only check emails in the morning, return phone calls in the afternoon, and require all visitors to be scheduled)

I’d love to hear your ideas…what operational changes have you made to save time and money?  Please comment below or email me [email protected] .  Also follow me at www.twitter.com/glamajama  -thanks!

 

Total
0
Shares
Related Posts
employee retention
Read More

5 Tips to Hold on to High-Performing Employees

Even before the pandemic, employers complained of labor shortages. Now, they’re experiencing an even tougher time finding and retaining high performers. How challenging is the marketplace for businesses looking to fill seats with talented professionals?...
Read More

5 Ways Startups Can Get Started with AI

AI (artificial intelligence) has fast become one of the best tools for growing a business — and in some cases, has even been the launchpad for new businesses in and of itself. As companies look...
innovative
Read More

The 4 Elements Necessary for Building Innovative Teams

In order to gain traction, earn revenue and turn a brand into a sustainable business, entrepreneurs must innovate. And in order to understand how to build innovative teams, it is important to first understand what...
employee-benefits-jpg
Read More

An Introduction to Employee Benefits

Michael Spath of Kapnick Insurance discusses employee benefits with expert Ian Burt. Here are highlights from that conversation.     Michael: I am Michael Spath. This is Startup Nation Radio, Ask the Expert. I'm filling...