Have you ever tried to implement changes in your organization to reduce risk without going over-budget? You probably know that the cost and potential risk of manual labor are high. With such high costs and great possibility for risk, employing full-time staff to perform manual tasks that could be streamlined, replaced with technology or outsourced simply no longer makes sense for many organizations. But when managers attempt to implement changes to reduce these risks and cut costs while working within the confines of their organizational structure, multiple problems can quickly arise. Eliminating tedious manual labor tasks from your operations is the easiest way to reduce organizational risks within budget, but where do you begin?
This article will explain the top tips to help mitigate risk by eliminating manual labor wherever and however you can, with operational efficiency and cost reduction in mind.
1. Streamline Process
Countless businesses suffer from a lack of efficiency. This definitely applies to businesses that rely on manual labor tasks to keep their operation up and running. To reduce inefficiencies in your operation, it is necessary to have established procedures in writing, so every employee knows the easiest, fastest and safest way to do their job. If you can’t eliminate manual labor from your established procedures altogether, try to find tools to make tasks more efficient. Something as simple as a conveyer belt to help employees assemble, approve and package items can make a huge difference.
2. Rely on Technology
Many tedious manual labor tasks can be simplified or even completely replaced by technology. A good way to start is to consider software programs that can be used to improve workflow and project management. Computers and high-tech equipment may also be used to automate many of your manual labor tasks, ultimately allowing your organization to reduce production times, cut costs and increase time-to-market.
3. Hire the Right People
If you can’t get rid of manual labor tasks altogether, you can eliminate risks by always hiring the right person for the right job rather than hiring someone because they’re willing to work for less or any other dubious reason. If you need a plumber, for example, hire someone who’s finished an apprenticeship and is licensed for the job. This will help you avoid the unnecessary labor costs that could potentially result from hiring someone ill prepared for the job.
4. Take Time to Train
Any manual labor tasks that can’t be eliminated or should be reserved for employees who have been well-trained on the proper ways to perform any task they’ve been assigned. Investing in education and training now will help you reduce organizational risks and keep costs down well into the future. One easy way to ensure employee buy-in is offering incentives for those willing to take courses or attend relevant conferences and seminars.
5. Outsource When Possible
Many companies of all sizes and types have greatly reduced their organizational risk by outsourcing or relying on part-time contractors to perform many tedious manual labor tasks. Some manual labor tasks may only be necessary during certain peak periods, for example, which could be handled by part-time contractors rather than full-time employees. Other tasks could be outsourced altogether. This will offer the added bonus of cutting costs while reducing your organization’s liability.
6. Hire a Consultant
If you are still fretting over how to reduce your organizational risk by eliminating manual labor tasks, and can’t figure out how to begin any of these preceding steps on your own, it may be time to consider hiring a business process optimization consultant. A consultancy that specializes in business process optimization will know how to create a strategic roadmap to achieve your goals, and have firsthand experience of what works and what doesn’t. Investing in a knowledgeable and reputable consulting firm can reduce the stress and ensure a higher likelihood of success when eliminating manual labor to reduce organizational risk.
However you decide to eliminate or reduce the need for tedious manual labor tasks in your organization, the most important tip we can offer is: develop a change management plan or roadmap. In addition to new processes, milestones and assessments of the plan’s ongoing success, your business process optimization roadmap should take change management methodology into consideration. If you aren’t familiar with this methodology that relies on research-based approaches to manage the people side of change, take time to research organizational change management best practices.
Using these tips and guidelines, you should be able to easily and effectively reduce or altogether eliminate tedious manual labor in your organization.