You’ve probably heard the old adage that “nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.
We all say “time is money,” but too often we fail to recognize the different ways our companies are losing time (and thus money!). While employee engagement, solid leadership, and strongly discouraging Facebook and Netflix use on the clock are all positive steps toward saving time and optimizing your workday, we also need to consider the ways in which the systems we use are falling short.
Below, we discuss three common ways the systems and technology we choose to establish at work might be wasting your company’s time:
Failing to automate
Adobe’s CFO Mark Garrett has recently started the process of eliminating Excel from the hiring and financial planning process, asserting that he “[doesn’t] want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data” instead of focusing on “what the data is telling us.” And Garrett isn’t alone, with CFOs at companies like P.F Chang’s, ABM Industries, and Wintrust Financial Corp. making similar advances towards cutting out Excel from their financial planning, analysis, and reporting.
This change indicative of a larger problem — the reality and demands of the contemporary corporate workday are making manual and/or paper-based processes increasingly obsolete, and not just in finance. In order to avoid data silos and a significantly greater potential for human error, companies need to turn to automated, cloud-based processes. Those who don’t are perpetuating substantial and unnecessary administrative overheads.
Lack of data
If your data is siloed, otherwise difficult to access, riddled with errors, or not as comprehensive as necessary, there’s a variety of ways your company is susceptible to time loss.
Most generally, if your data isn’t up to par, then there’s a good chance that managers are either making poor decisions or taking too long to make decisions. Your data needs to be parsed, analyzed, edited, and presented quickly to leaders, managers, clients, and other stakeholders quickly and often so that the right decisions can be made in the right amount of time. If your data access isn’t conducive to today’s fast-paced corporate environment, then it’s likely your company is losing valuable time trying to find it and extract it.
Perpetuating legacy systems
Some time ago, you may have spent a substantial sum on a legacy system — but this doesn’t mean you have to continue financing something antiquated. The reality is that keeping a legacy system on life support can often incur substantial costs and require near-constant attention from your IT staff. While transitioning to new technology is no insignificant feat — and will also require money and time initially — the costs up front are well worth the smooth sailing and time saved down the road, provided you find the right fit for your company.
At the end of the day, the systems you use should promote Time Intelligence™ within your company, instead of creating additional inefficiencies.