Viewpoints heart Operational Efficiency

Align internal processes to improve operations.

Thoughtful changes can lead your team to improved productivity, significant cost savings and overall performance improvement.

Operational efficiency is about your inside process — creating a consistent, effective and highly efficient way of working in order to maximize your resources in a manner that will best serve your business goals and objectives. It involves people, process, workflow and technology — all used smartly.

The levers.

Often, a process (a series of tasks) is developed to achieve a specific outcome. Sometimes a process solves one problem but may create another. Or, perhaps the process may become handed down to staff over time as ‘the way we do this’. With small teams and lofty business goals, that’s simply not good enough. Processes should be reviewed and refined routinely to streamline actions and activities or identify options for automation, ensuring efficacy and efficiency throughout.


Closely tied to process is the supporting workflow of a given process. Workflow refers to the sequence of steps or tasks required to complete a specific process. Workflow is critical to efficiency as it encompasses the movement of information and resources from one step to another, often involving critical coordination between people and technology.


Strategic implementation and integration of the right technology solutions for your business allow you to significantly enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and streamline processes and workflows in the most advantageous ways to support your business. Ensure you use technology to your optimum advantage, supporting your people, process and workflow.

Benefits and outcomes.

The benefits of creating improved operational efficiencies are numerous. Improved efficiency is essential for businesses seeking to optimize performance, reduce costs and remain competitive in today's dynamic marketplace.

Create capacity without adding costs.

Often you can optimize limited resources by making all they do, streamlined. The right choices can make your business more efficient and more effective — reducing costs, waste and inefficiency. By optimizing process and workflow, along with adding smart technology and integrated systems where they make sense, you can significantly increase your capacity and output with the same team you started with.

Technology allows for data driven decision making.

Today's technology options and platforms provide a myriad of solutions with flexible options that you are able to customize for your specific business needs. You can collect information all along the way, using the data to make informed decisions faster than ever before, giving your business a competitive advantage. Smarter decisions, informed by data, enabled in real time.

Support scale, evolution and growth.

With the right construct for your operations, you can best support scale, evolution and growth of your business. Operational efficiency is a foundational element, allowing you to manage growth effectively, allocate resources efficiently and adapt to changing market dynamics. All while maintaining your focus on delivering value to your customers.

Where should you start? Here’s a roadmap.

Establish goals and objectives

  • Document.
    Outline your business goals and objectives and use this lens for your process review.

  • Make selections.
    Chronicle a specific set of operational processes in place today (take on one area at a time but be sure to incorporate all related touchpoints/processes from other areas of your operations — no silos).

  • Review.
    Pinpoint any apparent short-comings, bottlenecks and inefficiencies (these become ‘to solve for’ items).

  • Garner input.
    Be sure to seek feedback and insights from your team members who are performing the processes. They can easily identify pain-points, challenges and opportunities.

Complete your planning

  • Frame the work.
    Document all identified opportunities for refinement and streamlining with particular focus on people, workflow, technology (I.e. which category or categories could be affected?).

  • Leverage technology.
    Consider specific data and information which would be useful to have in real time. Also be sure to understand the population of technology and platforms that could be right for your needs, to use technology in place of manual efforts.

  • Do your homework.
    Research any benchmarks or industry information about specific processes, to learn about best practices or the success stories of others.

  • Prioritize efforts.
    Prioritize the list based on the potential impact each change may have, with respect to business improvement and supporting your goals and objectives at large. Consider a matrix with rankings for contribution, feasibility, complexity, time and costs required.

  • Create your plan.
    Develop the action plans and timelines for the changes you have agreed to take on. Be clear about who is responsible for what, and when.

Implement change

  • Implement.
    Once validated, implement the changes and again measure performance and efficacy of the intended improvements. Include any relevant metrics or expected outcomes including cost savings, productivity gains, improved cycle times and better reporting — data and information.

  • Document.
    Be sure to memorialize and share the new process(es) so your team is clear on ‘the new way’.

  • Test and iterate, as needed.
    Pilot proposed changes or improvements on a small scale to assess their efficacy and to identify any unforeseen challenges or unintended consequences.

Review, measure and optimize

  • Continuous improvement.
    Foster a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging ongoing feedback, idea generation and routine process refinement where it makes sense.

  • Regular review.
    Routinely revisit and reassess operational processes to identify new opportunities for optimization, innovation and efficiency.

The takeaway.

By following these steps, your team can effectively identify and address inefficiencies in your operational processes today. Thoughtful changes can lead your team to improved productivity, significant cost savings and overall performance improvement. Fix the inside process to help your business thrive in the market.

Better, faster, more — are you using your people, process, workflow and technology smartly? Lovely People can help. Let’s talk.