Causes and Solutions for Poor Operational Efficiency in Your Business

Getting to 100% operational efficiency is a near-impossible task for any business. 

However, low efficiency is much too common, and it stems from some fundamental flaws in business operations. 

Thankfully, there are many great solutions available that allow you to combat these flaws and drastically improve the efficiency of your operations. 

In this article, we’ll be discussing the causes and solutions for poor operational efficiency. 

Poor Planning and Scheduling 

Your first step should be to implement tracking and project management systems to improve the planning and scheduling of your employees.

After all, good time management is one of the most important soft skills in the workplace, so it stands to reason that it should be important on the company level as well.

Project management systems are critically important because they allow you to schedule shifts easily. 

When you can look into everybody’s shift on-the-go, you can schedule them quickly and efficiently and eliminate scheduling errors. 

Project management systems become even more important if you’re managing larger teams or multiple departments. 

You should use such systems to improve your scheduling process, so your time is spent optimally. 

Implementing tracking and project management systems helps you plan processes in advance. 

They allow you to plan tasks months in advance, as well as access and adjust them with ease in case changes occur. 

When you have your plans written down, you can track their progress and stay ahead of the challenges. This is why you shouldn’t ignore this solution. 

According to a study by PwC, 77% of high-performing companies use project management software.

Project management software increases performance because employees can access project plans in real-time. 

To achieve high performance, that kind of software is a must-have. 

Poor planning and scheduling are harmful to operational efficiency, so using management tools should become a part of your routine. 

Inefficient Workflows and Processes 

You have to review your workflows and processes. If they are inefficient, the entire operational efficiency of your business will suffer. 

You should eliminate redundancy and duplicated tasks. They have a negative impact on your workflow. 

Repeating duplicated tasks confuses employees and generates time costs, causing the process to be ineffective. 

You have to review the tasks you delegate to your employees and see if they can be organized so there are no redundant positions. 

Having clearly defined tasks and roles will increase the performance of your team and your operational efficiency as well. 

A thorough review is important for cutting down unnecessary procedures that drag down your processes. 

Reviewing them allows you to see what procedures should be updated or removed, so the workflow can be smooth and effective. 

Going through all of your procedures might feel hard and overwhelming, but it will improve your efficiency in the long run, which is why you shouldn’t skip it. 

A market research study by IDC has found that companies lose 20 to 30% in revenue every year due to inefficient processes. 

When workflows become clogged with redundant tasks and time-wasters, businesses spend more money simply to perform basic tasks. 

To save revenue, companies must improve inefficient workflows. 

Reviewing your workflows and processes is crucial if you want to improve the operational efficiency of your business. 

Too Many and Complicated Approval Processes 

Having too many approval processes causes unnecessary delays in your operations and hinders your efficiency.

You should reduce decision-making so that your task execution speeds up. 

When team leaders need to wait for approval from different departments or managers, they have to delay operations. 

This decreases their momentum, complicates decision-making and causes time waste. 

If you want to keep this from happening, you have to cut the time spent on decision-making in your organization to a minimum and improve communication.

When you make approval processes less complicated, you can create an effective, decentralized workflow. 

This way, you enable your departments to make operational decisions quickly and independently. 

The higher management can be freed up to focus on more important tasks and deliver more results. 

You can make approval processes less complicated by following these tips:

  • disclose which decisions need approval from the top management, and which don’t
  • reduce the number of steps for approval
  • introduce urgent approval requests for emergencies
  • use team management solutions to quickly send and receive approval requests
  • encourage department independence by giving them more control 

If you want to boost the operational efficiency of your business, you need to reduce the need for approval processes and make them less complicated. 

Poor Resource or Asset Distribution and Visibility 

Improving your asset distribution and the visibility of your resources is a must-do if you want to boost the operational efficiency of your business

Since your employees can’t do their jobs properly without the right tools and resources, you should implement asset tracking software. 

This will ensure that they can access key assets when they need them, without having to waste time waiting for other employees to finish using the gear. 

Implementing tool tracking software will provide your employees with key equipment and reduce delays. 

You should implement a tool tracking software solution so you can track the condition of your equipment and manage your inventory properly. 

If you are unaware of the condition of your tools, you risk seeing them break down mid-operations. 

This will cause additional delays and incur costs of buying new gear. Depending on the specifics of your business, you should choose tracking software that suits you and optimize how you distribute assets. 

For example, imagine running an operation where your employees rely on a large number of tools to complete their tasks. 

Having to go through your inventory to find missing gear would waste a lot of time. 

A tool tracking solution would enable them to find their tools in a matter of minutes and see if they are in working order. 

For your operations to be efficient, you need to improve resource and asset distribution, as well as the visibility of your gear. 


In this article, we’ve discussed the causes and solutions for poor operational efficiency. 

Identifying these problems in your business will feel like an undertaking at first, but facing them head-on is necessary if you want to supercharge your operations. 

Almost every flaw in your operations can be fixed with the adoption of new solutions and methods for achieving maximum efficiency.

[This post is written by Lisa Michaels, who is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.]