Financial analysts predict that the current economic downturn will be deeper and longer lasting than the recessions of recent decades. Our financial crisis will continue to be particularly harsh on the banking, mortgage and building industries, as well as other sectors that rely heavily on a steady flow of outside funding.
But these economic shifts will affect the playing field for all of us in the coming years. For many industries:
Revenues will be down.
Workforces will be trimmed.
Yet their B2B customers will be more demanding than ever since they too will be under financial pressure to perform.
So what should we do?
Let’s start by assuming we want to avoid lowering the value of the products and services we provide to our customers. But then if our customers’ demands rise while we have a trimmed workforce, we only have two options:
And/or work smarter.
Working harder is our initial and instinctive reaction. Once employees feel the managerial pressure and are aware of the seriousness of the situation, most will step up to the plate and work harder. Their survival instincts will kick into gear. However, this "work harder" mode is difficult to maintain. People burn out. They can’t sprint forever.
A more permanent solution is to improve productivity as quickly as possible. The key is to get more work done per person by giving them the tools they need to improve their daily output. Most businesses use a combination of email and spreadsheets as their task management systems. There is a better way. Tasks can be centralized into a common database and shared in an organized, collaborative web application. In this manner:
Collaboration and teamwork are enhanced.
Less time is wasted trying to track down the status and details of your workload.
Things don’t slip through the cracks.
Because each task is clearly assigned to just one person, accountability increases.
You improve your control over your operations.
Things get done and on time.
And the bottom line is that your productivity improves.