January kicks off a new calendar year, but also a fresh fiscal year for many organizations. This means new budgets, updated plans for projects, and goals for the year.
As you review your budgets and plans for the coming months, consider the various business processes currently in place within your organization. Evaluate what needs to be improved and how you can upgrade it. Check out these five priorities for 2021 that can help you move your business forward.
1. Inventory Management
As your business grows, your inventory is likely to grow larger and more diverse. In 2021, it may be time to evaluate your existing systems to make sure you can manage your growing inventory to prevent overbuying or out of stock items.
“With better inventory management techniques comes better visibility of the products a company has on hand,” the team at SMB Compass writes. “This makes it easier for business owners to make informed decisions when reordering stocks.”
Digital inventory systems can send alerts when you’re running low on certain items so you can reorder before you run out. They can also highlight slow-moving inventory so you can better market products in order to move them out of your warehouse.
2. Cleaning Processes
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a global effect, the distribution of various vaccines has begun. This gives some companies hope that their staff members can return from permanent remote work and spend at least some time in the office.
However, there are lessons every company can learn from the pandemic, including the importance of cleanliness and the reduction of germs through better sanitation. Not sure how to update your cleaning processes?
The team at Servpro found that 63 percent of companies set their cleaning schedule to several times each day, while 34 percent of companies cleaned daily. Consider implementing a permanent process to maintain this level of cleanliness up for a healthier, safer workplace.
3. IT Management
Is your technology old and outdated? If so, you could be limiting employee productivity as team members fight against legacy systems. “Nothing has the potential to absolutely stop the workday quite like a tech issue or the WiFi connection going out,” Mara Calvello writes at G2 Track.
As you look for new IT management tools and processes, keep the end-user in mind, especially if your entire company will need to use these apps to report issues or access secure information. You’ll waste time and money if you onboard new processes that lack usability and frustrate employees. To check out how a system works, take time for usability testing with a select group of employees.
“Doing such tests helps learn how long it takes the user to complete a task, get context on what would be typical workflow in which a user may use the product, any other tools that would be part of this process, what their work space would be like, what constraints they would be dealing with etc.,” suggests experts at ZipBoard.
You want to invest in tools that will last for years, so make sure you opt for systems that your team loves.
4. Recruiting and Hiring
How does your hiring process stack up against your region and industry? The team at Glassdoor evaluated 84,000 interview reviews and found it takes an average of 23.8 days to hire an employee. Government organizations have the longest average hiring time of 53.8 days, while restaurants hire new team members the fastest in 10.2 days.
However, a long hiring time can hurt your company. Keeping desks empty reduces productivity as other workers have to pick up the slack. You also risk pulling from a smaller candidate pool as the most qualified candidates will get hired by other firms. Identify roadblocks in your hiring processes and see how you can remove them.
5. Benefits Management
If you offer healthcare benefits, retirement contributions, or other perks, you may want to consider how your team members access and learn about these services. According to a 2019 report by League and Harvard Business Review, 58 percent of employees don’t know what benefits they’re entitled to.
An improved employee-facing system can help team members access their benefits and get the most out of them. You can provide value to your team by demystifying health care and providing retirement plan education resources.
Evaluate How Each Process Change Can Help Your Business
As you determine which process you most want to change, add metrics and data points to highlight how improved systems will help your business. How can a faster hiring process increase productivity numbers? How can fewer internet outages improve your customer service analytics? Tying internal upgrades to targeted numbers can help you prove the value of your investments when you submit your end-of-year reports in December.