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How to mitigate against cost increases with tech

by uma

 

By Victoria Brocklesby, COO at Origin, the UK’s leading manufacturer of premium doors and windows, discusses how harnessing tech can reduce the impact of cost increases as inflation continues to rise. 

 According to research firm IDC, inefficiency costs businesses anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent of their revenue each year. At a time when inflation is rising at its fastest for 40 years, businesses can no longer afford to accept this. 

Data and technology are incredibly valuable to driving efficiency within a business. Embracing these advancements allows teams to quickly identify, log, and rectify issues within current operations to improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. This can have a significant impact on bottom lines by reducing mistakes, inefficiencies, and inaccurate data from manual tasks. 

On paper, this sounds great, but it’s an intense process to fully employ a data driven approach to a business. It takes time, effort, and money. Before committing financially, it’s best to conduct an efficiency audit to understand where to prioritise implementing tech, as it may not make business sense to do so in all departments all at once. The most inefficient areas of a business aren’t always obvious. So, without first carrying out research into the entire business, it’s easy to miss the most pressing issues in favour of making easier, simpler changes. Whilst any progress is still progress, only making marginal gains will not be enough to offset rising costs at the current rate of inflation. 

Cloud based systems are particularly effective, especially as businesses continue to embrace hybrid working. These software’s are low maintenance and help to consolidate the needs of a business. They can also adapt as companies change over time. Cloud computing helps employees be as productive as possible, whether working in an office space, factory, or at home. Ultimately, a business’s priority is maximising profit. A productive workforce is essential to achieving this and reducing wasted revenue.  

We also know that customers are becoming increasingly educated on what to expect, so preventing mistakes has never been more important. Having to redo orders or rectify errors is costly. Not just for efficiency, but also for reputation. 

At Origin, we use a combination of different pieces of software to drive the company forward. Our comprehensive reporting system tracks any, and all, mistakes, from material shortages and missing parts, to missed deliveries. This paints a detailed picture so we can identify problem areas. From this intel, we can adapt our processes to prevent future errors. All departments are part of this system. Without it, it would either be a guessing game or need to be tracked manually, which is a significant admin task and leaves room for human error. 

Robust automated systems also ensure that the materials we need to manufacture our products are reordered and stockpiled without human involvement. Making this switch means everything from sales and procurement to manufacturing and delivery is on one synchronised system. This means all our processes are in action with the click of just one button. 

It’s not just processes that can benefit from technology either. For those with physical products to deliver to customers, routing software, such as MaxOptra, can further drive efficiency. The system will automatically group deliveries to calculate the most efficient route for the fleet to take based on the number of miles. This reduces fuel costs, saves time, and improves a business’ environmental credentials. 

Improving efficiencies, no matter the business type, can save money. Tech isn’t here to replace humans, but it does empower them to do their job more fully. They can save time on admin tasks and instead focus on their main job. An example of this is timesheets. Although rarely used in today’s world, I’m sure everyone can remember when they were commonplace, and the wasted time taken to fill them in accurately. If only there was software to help us! 

The by-product of reducing costs through embracing tech to improve efficiencies is that businesses become more reliable. So, not only does it save costs, but it can improve a business’s position in the market as a reliable supplier. This can result in more sales because customers are confident the business will deliver, driving revenues and profits even further.

Critically, the most important thing is to never stop learning. It’s hard to predict how long costs will continue to rise, or if they’ll ever revert to pre-pandemic levels, so we must act as though they won’t. Therefore, important business decisions must be made, and it is impossible to do so without the clear direction that data can provide. The companies that best prepare for change will be the ones that remain profitable as money gets tighter.

For more information about Origin, please visit https://origin-global.com/.  

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