In any business, one of the biggest problems is when there is a loss of some kind of valuable resource. The most valuable resource that you will ever have is time. If you fail to use time properly, after all, you cannot get it back. Whereas money, staffing, and concrete things like paper and computers, are all things that you can gain back again. Time is gone forever, so you need to ensure that you are utilizing it as well as possible. In particular, this means avoiding any extended period of downtime in your business, which is when you have nothing to do. Let’s take a look at what you can do about this.
One of the more common problems that cause downtime is when only a few people know how to do some of the most important tasks. When that happens, it means that you are going to have many times when some people are sitting around not being able to do anything, while one or two people are working frantically to keep things together. This is just wildly inefficient, and a sign of a chaotic workplace. You need to make sure that you are educating everyone as equally as possible about as many of the tasks as possible. That way, you will have much less time of people sitting on their hands.
Keep Your Equipment Updated
Whether you are talking about the manufacturing process in your business or the use of computers in the office, you need to make sure that all equipment is kept updated at all times. After all, a slow machine is going to mean slow work, and on the worst occasions, it even means someone sitting there trying to do their work but simply not being able to. You need to keep your equipment as updated as regularly as you can if you want it to really be useful for your staff, and if you want them to be able to use their time as effectively as you would hope.
Look After The Tech
More generally, you need to find ways to ensure that you are looking after your technology as fully as you can. If anything goes wrong with the technology, it means that you are almost certainly going to get some downtime while it has to be fixed. What is clearly far preferable is if you manage to look after the technology well enough in the first place that it doesn’t end up causing this trouble for you. In most cases, that will mean seeking the assistance of an IT Managed Services team, so that is what you should do. There is no reason not to make use of whatever technological help you can find if it means reducing the amount of downtime you have.
Very often, the breakdown in communication is the primary cause of you losing out on time. Workplaces in which people do not feel fully able to talk to one another are those which are going to experience the most downtime of all. There are plenty of things you might need to do to make sure that you can improve communication in your business. First of all, you need to set the example yourself, being willing to be open and honest and direct in your communication with everyone. Secondly, you need to be accepting of other people’s opinions, so that they are not made to feel stupid when they profer a suggestion. Finally, work to build as positive and encouraging a working atmosphere as you can. That will hopefully mean that your employees communication much more freely and honestly.
Use The Cloud
If you are not already making use of cloud technology, you will want to think about doing so as soon as possible. The beauty of the cloud is that you can immediately share data and information across the business safely and securely, and that means that you are not going to have any wasted time as a result of lost emails or having to walk across the floor to speak to someone. If you manage to use the cloud in the right way, it can even do away with the need for meetings – something that a lot of people would be very glad for, and which will make an enormous improvement in terms of how much time you end up wasting.
As you can see, there are a number of things you can do to reduce downtime in your business. Make sure that you focus on all of these if you need to.