Business efficiency has increasingly come into the spotlight as small businesses have been forced to improve practices to survive the recent recession – and to take advantage as the green shoots of recovery continue to take hold. This report, by Exact and the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR), looks at the value of effective time management within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The report highlights some compelling reasons why operational efficiencies matter, including showing that SMEs that do manage their time well have a more successful track record of increasing growth than those that don't. Furthermore, SMEs with high levels of operational efficiency, calculated using 17 different operational functions, are also more optimistic about continuing this success in the future.
The research, which included input from SMEs in the manufacturing, professional services and wholesale & distribution sectors, shows the importance of adopting new technology to improve performance levels. Adopting software, particularly through the use of cloud and mobile technologies, is strongly linked to better growth performance and better operational efficiencies, with almost 80% of SMEs who are using cloud solutions operating at above industry norms.
SMEs often resist change because of fears over the costs involved or because they are unable to access appropriate help. Most often, it is down to a shortage of time. This report identifies some of the challenges many of the UK's 5 million-plus SMEs face in optimising operational efficiencies and acts as a guide in terms of identifying the necessary tools and processes needed to drive their businesses forward.