4 must-have operational efficiency applications for your business

What is operational efficiency?

Operational efficiency is the ability of an organization to deliver services to its customers in the most economic manner possible, while ensuring a high quality of services rendered. Operational efficiency is a vital metric that measures the efficiency of profit as a function of operating costs, and it’s directly proportional to the profitability and viability of the organization. In short, it’s a key to success.

Operational efficiency applications

Operational efficiency applications are software products that enable you to measure and control your organization’s operational efficiency. This technology allows you to monitor organizational processes and identify bottlenecks, the resolution of which can lead to a tangible increase of both the efficiency and, in turn, the productivity of your organization.

Let’s take a look at some must-have operational efficiency applications.

1. Expenditure tracking 

Capital is the lifeblood of your business—and unplanned and mismanaged expenditures can lead to massive losses, which can impact your organization’s ability to operate. You need to know where your money is going, and an application which tracks end-to-end expenditures in your organization can serve to greatly improve its financial efficiency. 

This application should possess:

i) A feature to track the expenses incurred for conducting day-to-day operations

 ii) A taxation feature to track the taxes, insurance, and related expenses incurred for your organization’s transactions

iii) A payroll feature to track salary disbursal

Essentially, these are features to track the CAPEX (capital expenditure) and OPEX (operational expenditure) of your organization. You can track the flow of money using these features, thus gaining insight into your financial efficiency. 

2. Employee management

People are the biggest asset of any organization. Employee time needs to be managed transparently and diligently, and a capable employee management application will work wonders for improving your operational efficiency.

To do that, this application ought to possess features such as:

i) Time and attendance management: This allows you to keep track of your employees’ attendance metrics. You can integrate this with your payroll system, so that employees are paid only for their billable hours, if there’s flexibility in their work hours. They can also be easily reimbursed for overtime, as this feature tracks their exact billable work hours.

ii) Employee self-service portal: This transfers the ability to manage employee details from the hands of the human resources department to the hands of the employees themselves. This saves your HR department from being burdened with tedious data entry tasks.

iii) Employee performance tracking: Key performance indicators can be assessed for each employee and their performance can be gauged using this feature.

3. Order management

Order management begins when an order is placed by a customer—and it’s a big part of your daily operations to manage the constant influx of orders. A capable order management application takes care of the tedious task of managing orders, allowing you to focus on what’s essential and helping you improve your operational efficiency.

Some must-have features in a robust order management application are:

i) Centralized order repository: You might have multiple sales channels for your products. If they’re all brought under a central repository, it’ll be easier to manage them.

ii) Notifications: This feature will instantly alert customers, retailers, and suppliers of the status of their orders via email or SMS. It provides an enhanced experience for all stakeholders, throughout the entire order management process.

iii) Integrations: Different systems of shipping providers, retailers, and suppliers need to be strung together for an effective flow of data within the organization, and this feature greatly aids this process.

iv) Shipment tracking: An integral feature to have for any organization that values the customer/partner experience, this lets you track the status of shipments from the placing of the order all the way to delivery.

4. Data analytics

In today’s digital age, with so many devices connected to the internet, data is abundant and ubiquitous. By utilizing the data generated from day-to-day operations, an analytics application can provide actionable insights for decision makers to strategize upon. This application augments the operational efficiency of your organization.

It provides visually appealing dashboards which present the raw data in a consumable format. These visualizations are in the form of pie charts, bar charts, graphs, and even in a kanban format, allowing the stakeholders to gain insights into what’s going on at the organization, which areas need improvement, which departments are functioning well, and more.

When compared to viewing endless rows of data in a spreadsheet, dashboards are a welcome replacement. The visualizations also filter out the noise in the data, which would otherwise obstruct a clear view of the useful details.

The optimal operational efficiency application

We’ve seen that a multitude of features are required in an operational efficiency application for the smooth, seamless functioning of your organization. It’s not possible for an off-the-shelf generic software solution to offer all these features out-of-the-box. Some variants of ERP software are an option, however they’re expensive and difficult to implement and maintain.

So what’s the solution? Build your own operational efficiency application.

But isn’t software development a difficult and an expensive endeavour? Not when the right platform is chosen.

An application development platform like Zoho Creator allows you to build your very own customizable operational efficiency application, no matter your level of coding expertise. You can also instantly publish your applications in one click to the web and mobile.

Harness Zoho Creator today, streamline your organization’s operations, and gain the efficiency needed to propel your business to new heights.

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  • Prasanna Venkatesh

    Prasanna Venkatesh is a Marketing Analyst at Zoho, for the low-code platform Creator. His work experience spans Marketing, Software Engineering, QA, and Customer Support.

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