Business Optimization

How to optimize your business to work smarter, and to save you money along the way.

Our last series was on Business Automation (found here & here), but now we’re moving into Business Optimization within your company. So the real question is how to take an inefficient part of your operation and make it efficient.

We take our clients through several phases to help them optimize their operation. The first is looking at existing systems to see where the there could be wasted time, energy, or money.

Wasted Time, Energy, or Money

Time Wasters

Duplication of effort. For instance, entering data into one program and then entering in the same data into a different program. A simple solution is creating an API to join the two applications together. When one application gets data it automatically updated the other application without a human being involved.

Another time waster is requesting or looking for information. For instance, one medical client of Switchbox’s was constantly having doctors call the internal lab to request patient lab results. The lab would then pull the results and email the physician. The simple solution was to pull all the lab results into a secure application and let the doctor look up the information when needed without wasting time on the phone or digging through email.

Energy Wasters

This one can be a bit tricky to find but there are many examples in businesses.

A company rented medical equipment to their customers. They were required to service the equipment after a certain number of hours the equipment was used for the safety of the equipment and customers. They didn’t have a way of knowing when the equipment was due for a service so they simply required clients to mail the equipment back every 3 months. This resulted in equipment being packed, mailed, and serviced well before it needed to be. There was an extremely simple solution that we helped them with. We created a portal that emailed customers every month and simply asked them to submit the “tachometer” for each device so the company can see when the device was ready to be serviced. The result was a 60% reduction in shipping and the labor associated with servicing devices.

Money Wasters

Everyone wants to save money in their business. But, often the problem is that they don’t understand how a simple application of technology can do that.

Example 1: A client of ours manages utility bills for large apartment complexes. Their clients pay for all water used and their renters pay for only the water they use. The problem is that any leak in a pipe results in the apartment paying for the water but the resident doesn’t.  Without getting into the details a simple report allows apartment owners to see the different in between where water is used vs. how much is being billed which let them quickly identify likely leaks.  The results is thousands of gallons of water being saved each month.

Example 2: A large parts reseller was shipping all their packages with UPS because they generally got a better shipping price from the company.  We implemented a quick change in their software that checked UPS, USPS and FedEx in real time the second before the shipping label was produced.  The solution was to have a label printer print the label for the cheapest shipping provider. There was zero change in printer hardware, zero change in training their shipping personnel, zero changes to the loading dock. All that was needed was a quick look that computers can do in less than a second.  While the daily result was saving a few pennies on shipping thousands of boxes each day, the larger results was several thousands of dollars saved to their bottom line each month.

So the question really becomes how can you optimize your business using technology? Switchbox can help you find areas that can be better optimized, contact us to chat about it!