How do you improve your business productivity in a short time? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
There are about 4,000,000 ways that you can improve your business productivity.
There are about 1,000,000 ways that your can improve your business productivity in a short time.
Here are couple that come to mind (that I’m sure you’ve heard):
- Implement better task/project management structures/systems
- Foster better communication (new software, implement standups, etc)
But there’s one that you may not have considered—one that could benefit almost every business, whether large or small.
Let’s define a couple terms first.
Vendor clutter is when you deal with so many software vendors that it actually begins to inhibit productivity, rather than driving it.
Vendor consolidation is the act of reducing the number of software vendors that you work with as a means to cut costs and drive efficiencies.
Vendor consolidation is a term that is typically applied in the supply chain world where producers may reduce input channels as a means of lowering the cost of freight, increasing purchase power, and building stronger contacts.
With software, however, freight is not an issue. But, many of the other benefits still apply, such as:
- Increased productivity. Fewer logins, fewer data transfers, fewer bottlenecks.
- Increased efficacy. Too much software leads to a complex web of apps that don’t communicate.
- Reduced expenditure. Software is expensive. Monthly subscription models are just really good at hiding this fact.
Otherwise, you may have a vendor framework that looks something like this:
If you want to make sure your software stack doesn’t end up looking like this, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Perform A Vendor Audit
You probably have no idea how many software vendors your business is actually using. Step one is figuring out this number.
2. Categorize Your Vendors
You will then want to organize your vendors based on functionality so that you can better visualize the distribution of your software expenditure. Sample categories might include marketing, HR, collaboration, finance, CRM, productivity, etc.
3. Determine Internal Usage Rates
This is where you’re going to want to whip up a survey. You’re going to want to find out who is using what application, how often they’re using them, and how important they are to the work your organization is doing.
4. Identify Preferred Vendors
Outside of the factors above, you may want to also consider breadth of functionality, integrations, and partnerships when identifying preferred vendors.
5. Eliminate The Excess
Once you’ve determined who you’re keeping, then the rest is history. Pick up the phone (or the mouse) and get cancelling those redundant subscriptions that are only weighing you down.