NEWS AND VIEWS

What are your plans for the New Year?
Start of fireworks finale more in my gallery

When it comes to new year’s resolutions, you might want to shake off the previous few years by completely reinvigorating your business as best as you can – a great way to do this is through an end of year business process review. This is a chance to plan an effective strategy moving forward, so you can re-evaluate your company and prepare to meet any future goals.

There are several key pillars for this and taking an objective standpoint may be critical if you are aiming for growth. Along the way, there are sure to be successes and failures to consider, learnings which you can use for the overall betterment of your business.

1. Performance

How well did your operations do this year – did you meet the sales anticipated? Did you exceed your expectations in some areas, or fall short in others? With the way businesses operate changing so much, how are you and your teams coping with adjustment to new demands? Was there a growth in e-commerce or did a series of special offers bring in new customers?

If some products performed significantly better than others, it might be worth investigating to see if narrowing down your product lines could give you better results. Of course, you would not want to waste valuable resources on products or services that are not required – plan to move forward with a clearer focusing of your efforts or try something new.

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2. Efficiency

Meeting demands can be challenging, which is why regularly reviewing your supply chains for efficiency is key. Assessing whether your suppliers are giving the best service, if you could refine your process and are you continuing to gain value for money? If rates have changed, can you afford them long term? It’s also worth monitoring what your competitors are focused on, are you still holding value?

Understanding what stock you have, reviewing the risks of when and where you may hit supply shortages or quality issues and forward planning based on your demands are all important to long-term efficiency. Your financial planning will feed into this review process, whether it’s feasible to bulk buy or change suppliers. Alongside these critical areas sits your operational efficiency, namely those within your manufacturing stages. Questions to be asked include, is every stage completed within and on time? Are additional resources or finances required to maximise production efficiency?

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3. Health

Creating your products and services requires tools and equipment. Do you have enough capacity and are the tools working as they should be, or at the best possible standards? If your equipment is due to be serviced now is the time to plan for this, or should the question be: is it time for an upgrade? It’s always worth exploring if there is an opportunity to invest in newer equipment models or technology if there is potential for you to boost output.

Changing the layout of your machine shop, warehouse or customer access points could help to streamline the way you navigate the spaces you own, encouraging teams to flow differently and with health, as well as safety, front of mind.

A centralised Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP system can help you manage your business from one integrated platform. Speeding up the generation of reports, to provide you with performance data on all of the areas that matter most, and ultimately pulling data from one end-to-end business management system.

 Keeping your future goals in mind at all times and plan how to achieve them now, so you can start the new year with a bang!

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