Tak­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity to the next level

Ottawa Business Journal - - SPECIAL REPORT | SMALL BUSINESS WEEK -

The Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Bank of Canada of­fers these tips to help busi­ness own­ers boost their pro­duc­tiv­ity:

USE TECH­NOL­OGY

Web-based tech­nolo­gies en­able you to dra­mat­i­cally im­prove how you run your busi­ness. You’re a good can­di­date if you’re look­ing to in­crease mar­ket share, ag­gres­sively pur­sue cost re­duc­tion or greater ef­fi­ciency or pre­vent cus­tomer ser­vice prob­lems. Pro­duc­tion man­age­ment tools range from spread­sheets to off-the-shelf soft­ware so­lu­tions or busi­ness-spe­cific, cus­tomde­vel­oped ap­pli­ca­tions such as smart in­ven­tory con­trol sys­tems that can help you re­duce in­ven­tory lev­els, im­prove prof­itabil­ity and speed up cus­tomer re­sponse time.

It also helps to keep abreast of tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and en­sure that your busi­ness is tak­ing ad­van­tage of the lat­est in­no­va­tions to im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity. You can use the web or at­tend trade shows to stay on top of new tech­nol­ogy. You can also net­work with other or­ga­ni­za­tions in your in­dus­try that may have al­ready tried and tested new in­no­va­tions.

REVIEW YOUR EX­IST­ING SETUP

Look at your pro­cesses from the point of view of a po­ten­tial investor. Keep in mind the over­all ob­jec­tive and vi­sion of the busi­ness, and en­sure the pro­cesses meet those goals and add value. Draw an ac­cu­rate map of each process in your ma­te­rial and in­for­ma­tion flow. By do­ing this, you can bet­ter un­der­stand the links be­tween var­i­ous el­e­ments of your pro­duc­tion, and you will be bet­ter equipped to iden­tify and elim­i­nate waste through­out your com­pany.

CON­TIN­U­OUSLY TRY TO IM­PROVE

Im­prov­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity is an on­go­ing ac­tiv­ity. As­sess the com­pe­ti­tion and the best prac­tices in your in­dus­try and de­velop a plan that works for your com­pany. Get ex­ter­nal help to as­sess your busi­ness weak­nesses and strengths.

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