Driven by the development and sophistication of business technology in recent years, “digital transformation” has become one of those ideas you hear everywhere. From boardrooms to break rooms, technology is transforming the way we work. It’s certainly true for employee productivity.
Now we have the tools and technology to solve just about any business problem. Not surprisingly, cost savings are a big focus for firms undergoing digital transformations in 2023.
Gathering and analyzing productivity data is helping cost-conscious businesses to pinpoint the operations, processes and team structures harboring cost-saving opportunities.
Where can productivity data help companies cut costs?
Should your company trim headcount or invest in R&D? Are overtime hours, SaaS subscriptions or burdensome administrative processes the cause of budget blowouts? Are you losing clients because of missed deadlines? In an era of increasing competition and lean margins, these big questions keep business leaders up at night.
Improving productivity is one of the most intelligent ways to reduce costs. Rather than instituting topline budget cuts and forcing people to work harder, companies on the leading edge of innovation are finding ways to streamline costs by working smarter. How are they finding these opportunities? By analyzing workday insights.
5 ways productivity analytics enables intelligent cost-cutting
1. Improving employee efficiency
One of the main reasons companies invest in productivity analytics is to identify areas where employees are spending too much time on tasks. Continuous access to organizational data enables managers to foster a culture of continuous improvement, provide training on how to work more efficiently, and have constructive conversations with unproductive employees.
2. Identifying and eliminating wasteful spending
By analyzing workday data, managers can monitor trends and identify areas where money is being wasted. That could mean canceling unused SaaS subscriptions, monitoring overtime hours, identifying process bottlenecks or spotting time-wasting behavior among employees. Trimming costs – and keeping them down – without compromising output quality is only possible with granular access to organizational data.
3. Measuring the impact of new initiatives
Before investing in new software or staff training, businesses should establish a baseline and identify KPIs that indicate the initiative is working. With so much data available to every organization nowadays, it’s easier than ever to measure the progress of cost-saving initiatives and adjust course if necessary.
4. Optimizing resource allocation
Allocating time, people and budget more efficiently is often a more effective and sustainable cost reduction approach than cutting expenditure. (Although in an ideal world, businesses would do both).
Workday insights allow managers to compare individual or team performance to identify strong performers, for example when SmartSites achieved a 35% productivity gain just by assigning developers to projects based on their strengths.
5. Identifying opportunities for growth
Productivity analytics turns organizational data into an opportunity to identify growth initiatives. For example, improving customer satisfaction often results in reduced customer churn and increased customer lifetime value. Using productivity data, you can trace customer satisfaction issues to their source (such as project delays or sub-par customer support) and implement strategies to solve the problem without increasing costs.
Strategy and innovation are still vital
The Hackett Group’s research indicates 69% of companies are implementing major cost-cutting initiatives in 2023. And yet Gartner points to a string of unforced errors undermining any advantage gained by reducing expenditure.
- Blanket cuts with unrealistic KPIs lead to 43% of organizations missing cost reduction targets
- Failure to systematize and sustain smart behaviors means just 11% of companies maintain cost reductions for 3+ years
- Going for topline reduction and failing to account for complexity creates havoc for 94% of companies
- Cost-cutting at the expense of the employee experience creates a brain drain that blunts an organization’s competitive edge
Creating space for innovation and growth is also critical, yet only 9% of companies do so. The bottom line is that putting costs in the crosshairs and ignoring complex organizational ecosystems is unsustainable and ultimately fruitless. Pennies get pinched, but people exit en masse, and costs eventually creep up again.
The only way to sustainably reduce costs is to purposefully, intelligently and consistently assess the way work is being done.Partnering with a productivity analytics expert like Time Doctor makes performance management and cost control more transparent, measurable and repeatable.
Carlo Borja is the Head of Online Marketing for Time Doctor, a time tracking software for remote teams. He is a full-time telecommuter, a digital nomad and a coffee junkie.