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  • Get your operations right

    Picture showing the importance of improvement, process and planning

    Get your operations right with an in-depth look at your processes, then focus on eliminating waste.

    Improving the efficiency of your operations means making things better, not just fighting fires or managing crises. It allows you to look at how you perform work and focus on eliminating waste - of money, people, materials, time and opportunities. The ideal outcome is that jobs can be done cheaper, quicker, easier and safer.

    Operational efficiency begins by encouraging people to ask a series of questions about the areas they are responsible for. For example, how do they know they are doing the right things? And how do they know that what they do actually delivers the outcomes it should?

    An operational efficiency audit is a proven approach that can immediately show you where you can increase competitiveness, reduce costs, implement new ideas, assign and reallocate resources and streamline operations. 

    An essential first step in getting started on improving the efficiency of operations is for the department head to make it a priority. The importance of operational efficiency must be communicated from the top. Leaders need to promote an environment in which an efficiency mentality can thrive.

    Diagram that shows the principles of an operational efficiency audit

    The five-step process of the audit will increase the team’s knowledge of the activities they are responsible for, broaden decision-making options, and enhance the likelihood of satisfactory long-term results. Instilling an operational efficiency mentality in a department can be difficult because it often requires some different ways of thinking than we are accustomed to.

    Carrying out an operational efficiency audit as set out in the operational efficiency audit guide will allow your team members to become ‘fire preventers,’ rather than ‘fire fighters.’ The focus will be on improving an activity’s efficiency over the long term, not just patching up procedures and work routines as problems occur.