Rising operational expenditures (OPEX) is a "silent killer" in many organizations. Increased revenue temporarily masks increasing expenses but OPEX growth cannot be accepted as a necessary part of business.
Accepting it as a necessary fact limits the business' growth potential. Instead, consider what your organization can do to support increased growth without increasing operational expenses.
Payroll is the biggest expense in nearly every business. New hires cost more than just their salary. The first, and most significant short-term cost, is training. Training a new hire requires paying at least two full-time resources their full salary while each only produces at half (or less than half) capacity. This often slows existing projects, which results in additional costs.
In addition to training expenses, workforce growth increases other expenses including vehicles and retirement plans.
It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. – W. Edwards Deming
Training and New Hires are Only Part of Expanding OPEX
Consider all of the tasks associated with your projects and the time spent on each task. In most cases, businesses fail to understand how long each resource is spending on a task. Manual time tracking methods are rarely accurate and often lead to faulty logic and erroneous estimates.
Many teams spend a significant part of their day in attempting communication with other disciplines. This may be checking status of a job, requesting proof of completion, or even notifying a team that a project is ready for the next step. Emails, phone calls, and text messages often get lost or forgotten requiring multiple attempts on both sides.
When a project is complete, required quality checks to review and approve projects often result in long delays and require workers to make multiple trips to the same jobsite – all of which increases schedule and OPEX.
It always seems impossible until it is done. – Nelson Mandela
There is Another Way
What if you could multiply your workforce without the cost of hiring and training new resources? Efficiently-sized teams allow the company to generate the maximum income while maintaining the lowest OPEX.
For most businesses, "automation" sounds like an insurmountable mountain, something that may happen sometime in the distant future but of no real help to their business NOW.
This could not be further from the truth. Automation is not an all or nothing improvement. Consider the last major process change you made in your company. Maybe it was the use of smartphones to communicate in ways other than voice.
You did not collect all flip phones one day and immediately hand everyone a new iPhone fully equipped with email, Facetime, and text messaging. It was a gradual process that likely started with text messaging or maybe email on a Blackberry and then progressed over time.
Implementing automation in your business should follow the same gradual path. Start by mapping out your processes. Then evaluate your current state and decide where the business could see the greatest improvements through automation. For most wireless construction companies, this often means automating time-tracking and quality checks.
Automated quality management tools, like Active Oversight, allow your business to auto-capture field data from all of your vendors and then funnel this information into a central database to support accurate business intelligence. Real-time uploads of quality documentation with instant next-level notifications reduce project cycles by days or even weeks to increase cash flow and decrease labor expenses.
Technology is constantly improving the way we work. Incorporating automation gives your business the boost it needs to experience growth without increasing operating expenses and directs growth dollars straight to your bottom line.