Operational efficiency broadly refers to the ability of an organisation to deliver quality services with fewer resources. The more output an organisation can produce from a given amount of input, the more efficient those operations likely are. This is primarily a function of two variables, namely the quality of an entity’s operations and its operating expenses.

If an organisation can maintain high levels of operating efficiency, then it should be able to generate greater profit per project with the same resources. This way, operationally efficient businesses are often compared to well-oiled machines that can operate in new markets while still being profitable.

Refining processes to improve operational efficiency
Enhancing operational efficiency starts with process refinement. Processes are at the core of operations. Without diving deep into how work is organised and understanding what’s driving day-to-day operations, any improvements to the operational strategy will be pulled out of thin air and turn out ineffective shortly. As numerous studies show, the real culprit to operational efficiency in a services business is repeated non-billable work and lack of structure. Not only do they consume too much time that can’t be recovered, but they also stand in the way of successful project delivery.

Automating repeatable work
Besides being highly work-intensive, the professional services industry is bogged down by administrative duties that are repeated ad nauseum without producing any real value. This might come as a surprise, but in professional services, almost every core business process that’s repeatable can be automated, from quote to invoice, starting from project planning and proposal development to knowledge sharing and financial reporting, you name it.

Supporting people
Establishing methodologies that work for your case and eliminating administrative load will prevent you from losing out on valuable time. However, those processes will never work without supporting people – the biggest asset of professional services organisations. Managing your employee time wisely and transparently, together with facilitating cross-departmental collaboration will do wonders for improving your operational efficiency and company culture in general. Let’s take a closer look at what could be done to get this ball rolling.

Managing employee time wisely & transparently
When it comes to perfecting processes and procedures, it’s important that you get into the trenches with the team and understand the ins and outs of service or product delivery in your company. Being on the front and keeping communication lines open, you’ll get a better, granular understanding of what’s affecting your operations. Sometimes it would mean shadowing your employees as they work to discern what’s sapping value from your company and can be optimised. We’ve prepared a list of questions that you can ask yourself anytime to make sure things don’t go sideways.

Speak with a consultant

Bertle Fisher can assist by helping you design a fulfilment model that will then scale with your business needs.

Our experienced team are ready to help you and your business reach its full potential. Whether you’re looking at building on your in-house processes or needs some support to seamlessly move your fulfilment from an existing provider we are here to help.

Please get in touch!