Marketing, Technology

How Operational Efficiency Can Negatively Impact Your Business Effectiveness

One major advantage of technological advancement as regards businesses today is its undisputed effect on operational efficiency. Businesses all over the world mop up every single strategy that will enhance their operational efficiency without giving a thorough thought to how this can negatively impact their effectiveness. 

The main reason they plunge headlong into anything that smells of operational efficiency is the mindset to cut costs hoping that will translate to a higher ROI. A major enabler of this approach to cost reduction has been business process automation

Apart from allowing businesses to cut a big expense by the way of their employees, business process automation is an enabler of efficiency, this is not a surprise by any means, machines simply outperform humans. Theoretically, this is so but in reality, we may have another angle to the whole stuff.

It’s rather unfortunate that a lot of organizations have people doubling up on work despite the fact that technological advancement has amplified the process of automation. In most cases, what you have on the ground is more errors, poorly taken and executed decisions leading to amazing reduction in the quality of service. 

Some organizations resort to outsourcing as a way of cutting costs but this also has not been very effective. The real scenario in marketing is that customers most often tend to avoid interaction with people they cannot understand.

In the bid to cut costs, you end up turning a blind eye to the difference between operational efficiency and effectiveness and the impact of one metric on the other. A study by Geneca reports that up to 75% of software projects will fail as a result of this oversight. 

If you have a good grasp of robotic process automation (RPA) and business process management (BPM), this will convince you that a major factor in the rise in IT failure rates is related to how you are going about the implementation of these two technologies. It’s possible that you have been over-hypping the fact that most of these RPA and BPM projects eventually deliver something useful while relegating to the background that what they often deliver is less than expected, cost more than what you initially anticipated, and take a longer time to deliver as compared to what was actually promised.

Your total indulgence in your cost reduction strategies has driven market dominance to almost the last rung of the ladder. You simply forget that effectiveness means the ability to do the right thing, at the right place, at the right time, and in the right way.

What you hear everybody tossing about is how they have been able to save businesses huge amounts of money, nobody bothers to tell you the flip side of these cost-cutting automation projects on operational effectiveness. What die-hard proponents of operational efficiency strategy against effectiveness should readily furnish us with answers and solutions are: 

Is your business operation in any way functioning better as a result of the cost-savings? Do you encounter fewer errors?

Have your problems with customer interactions by any means diminished or increased? And in the case of manufacturing companies, are you generating less waste?

Unless you are able to answer these questions affirmatively, using the requisite metrics, then you are on a roller-coaster, fully throttled, heading down the drain.

Any attempt to ignore the negative impact that your efficiency gains could have on business effectiveness is a roadmap to your business downturn and failure. You must realize that at no time can efficiency be as near important as effectiveness. 

Simply put, efficiency can never equate to effectiveness, absolutely no way. So, what is the operational context in a digitally connected marketplace, with the undeniable competition, how does everything fit together? 

How can you make the business improve every interaction with the customer, especially where they have an increasing number of choices? With the rigidity inherent in operational efficiency, how do you meet up with the so-called customer journey

Marketing in the past was more focused on efficient customer interaction. The competition wasn’t as stiff, so that was what was needed. 

The future, however, is tending into another ball game altogether. The focus has shifted to making the buying experience both easy and fun. 

You must be ready for it, you require the dynamism effectiveness brings onboard. How prepared are you to embark on this kind of shift? Do you have the necessary IT to support it? 

A whole lot of the competition out there is ready and if you belong to this group, you are sure-footed. You absolutely need to make customer interactions fun and easy and this can only happen if you are able to improve the value that IT solutions bring to your business. 

At all times, however, what should be uppermost in your mind is how to attain your real objective. Any IT solution you set out to incorporate must be geared towards making the business workflow with every step that is involved to deliver operational effectiveness. 

Work on translating this into improved quality, customer interaction, and product support. Your untainted marketplace growth depends on these in order to ensure your business is well placed on the path to market dominance. 

Photo Credit: NashvilleCorps Flickr via Compfight cc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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