2013 will be here soon, and one way or another it’s going to be a memorable year. It probably won’t be an easy one. Organizations in most sectors face many uncertainties as they plan for the coming year. Here are three compelling reasons why you should be thinking now about ways to improve operating efficiency.
Reason #1: The Economy
In the US our leaders are seeking strategies that will help save our economy from going over the ominously-named “fiscal cliff.” Around the world other countries are struggling with equally troubling economic realities. The uncertain economy is the most compelling reason for you to look for ways to improve your operating efficiency in 2013.
Prepare for the coming year by developing new strategies to make your processes more streamlined and effective. Take a critical look at everything-- there’s always room for improvement. And remember that the goal is to make improvements, not just find ways to cut costs. Think “better” rather than “cheaper.”
Reason #2: The changing workforce
During 2012 two thirds of organizations worldwide were affected by the retirement of the baby boom generation. This trend will grow through 2013 and beyond. If your organization’s workforce is affected, you need to take immediate steps to minimize the operational impact of the boomers’ departure.
Now is the time to make your processes for knowledge capture as robust and efficient as possible, so mission-critical information doesn’t walk out the door when employees leave. You’ll also want to find ways to improve the on boarding and training of new hires, many of whom won’t have the skills and experience of the employees they’re replacing.
Reason #3: Globalization
Over the past year organizations operating globally were challenged by increases in costs, competition and regulatory oversight. Local and regional enterprises within the US weren’t immune from the effects of globalization, either. They saw foreign-based competitors claim increasing market share. Their costs increased, passed along by suppliers whose expenses rose due to changing conditions abroad. One way or another, the realities of the interconnected global economy will continue to impact nearly everyone in 2013.
If you’re operating globally, improving compliance with the many and varied regulations that affect your business can help you contain costs and gain competitive advantage. Supply chain management and workforce development are also areas in which you can improve efficiency in the coming year.
These are just three of the many reasons why you should be thinking about improving operating efficiency in the coming year. Have you identified the most pressing issues for your organization as 2013 approaches? What are they?