There appears to be a malaise across British business. When it comes to productivity, output per British worker lagged every G7 country except Japan and in 2016 the gap with the US stood at a massive 27.3 per cent.
An often-used anecdote goes something along the lines of a French or German worker could knock off on a Thursday having churned out as much as his or her UK counterpart would manage to produce in a full working week.
A large school of thought exists that considers the UK problem with productivity is down to management skills; there’s too much ‘I know what I’m doing so don’t need to learn new skills’ from a lot of managers.
Productivity improvements come through continual improvement but many managers don’t know or understand their base line starting positions in terms of actual performance numbers. Worryingly, even if the numbers are known, there appears to be a reluctance to share the numbers and their implications with the workforce.
What about the link between productivity and technology? Well, it seems that productivity is stagnating despite the rapid evolution of technology. Why, because any old IT won’t cut it. It is clear that up-to-date, fast and performing technology is required to make the difference between enhanced productivity and inefficiency.
However, there is some good news in the form of analyst firm IDC reporting the drivers for business Digital Transformations (DX) are shifting towards prioritising employee efficiency which is clearly putting some impetus behind improving productivity.
IDC find that the top three barriers to DX are cost, end user skills and consumer workaround being used instead. However, with Inclarity’s Hosted Telephony platform and next generation mobile UCaaS applications, these barriers can be broken down.
Firstly, with these applications being delivered as a service via the cloud, costs are modest, pay-as-you-go and predictable when compared to legacy on-premise solutions.
Secondly, these are always up-to-date, fast and performing applications which can provide the base line points from which to drive productivity and engage the workforce.
For example, a well-informed mobile workforce with access to company information, resources and data can respond far quicker to customer enquiries and solve problems faster. Also knowing how many and which calls the company has failed to answer, provides a start point from which to measure lost business, win it back and take steps to eliminate the problem.
Putting all that information in front of a workforce automatically, say by a live, real time wallboard, will motivate the workforce to achieve continual improvement.
Technology continues to evolve each day, while businesses find new and creative ways to leverage technological innovations to improve their efficiency.
Nowadays, every business is highly dependable on technology. The main reason is that it allows companies to improve their overall performance and produce much more output than they would without it. Put another way, it can enable competitive advantage.
Inclarity and its partners can help business to realise these opportunities.