Posts Tagged ‘profits’

The Time For Robotics In Small Businesses Is Now

April 3, 2018

Smart small business leaders are already arming themselves with the knowledge and tools to make robotics work in even the smallest enterprise.

Today, smaller companies in the manufacturing, assembly and distribution areas are reaping savings possible through robotic applications.

In other sectors including hospitality, restaurants, service centers, etc. businesses are employing units for many repetitive interaction with the public and their clients.  Given time, these and many other sectors will see broader categories of robotic units customized for individual company needs.

Supplier entrepreneurs are taking their experiences with the internet to quickly make robotic applications that are easily customizable, which hastens the adoption rate. That appears to be the goal of more and more start-ups today.

Rather than seek to totally replace workers in all of their tasks, many of these far-seeing entrepreneurs believe adding a few robots at a time can make the small business workplace better for customers and employees.  In this scenario, everyone wins when even the smallest company embraces robotic enhancements to the workplace.

Here are a few main areas where robotics at today’s standards can help a small business:

  1. Menial repetitive tasks can be off-loaded to robotic machines; reduced worker involvement in these tasks can contribute to higher profits.
  2. Workplace safety (tasks that are hazardous) is often greater with robotic elements, according to recent studies; safer employees are often happier and more productive.
  3. High tolerance, precision fitting are often done by robots with fewer errors; improving quality and output.

Additional benefits:

  1. Displaced workers can be re-assigned to tasks critical to company success, such as customer service; rewards for higher valued work contribution, may mean more money in worker pockets.
  2. Embracing innovations that prioritize your people will strengthen your company culture. Improved worker appreciation means higher workplace morale.

The time to begin looking at robotic help in your company is now.  If not, your competitor may beat you to it and benefit.

 

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Vibrant Corporate Culture Builds Morale, Sales

January 31, 2012

Corporate culture can attract the best talent, translate their values to their products and services, and show customers what they’re all about. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

Too often small businesses fail to appreciate how a vibrant corporate culture can positively affect the bottom-line.
A small business leader sets the tone for the company’s culture.
He or she often doesn’t realize the impact corporate culture has on the sales effort.
Usually, a corporate culture is a balanced blend of human psychology, attitudes, actions, and beliefs. A strong culture flourishes with a clear set of values and norms that actively guide the way a company operates.
When employees are actively and passionately engaged in the business, operating from a sense of confidence and empowerment they communicate their enthusiasm to clients and suppliers alike.
Performance-oriented cultures possess statistically better financial growth, with high employee involvement, strong internal communication, and an acceptance of a healthy level of risk-taking in order to achieve new levels of innovation.
Culture, like brand, is misunderstood and often discounted.  However, it one of the most important drivers that has to be set or adjusted to push long-term, sustainable success. Long-term success is dependent on a culture that is nurtured and alive. Culture has to be genuinely nurtured by everyone from the CEO down.
Clearly, there are significant benefits that come from a vibrant and alive culture: 

  • Focus: Aligns the entire company towards achieving its vision, mission, and goals. 
  • Motivation: Builds higher employee motivation and loyalty. 
  • Connection: Builds team network among the company’s various departments and divisions. 
  • Cohesion: Builds consistency and encourages coordination and control within the company. 
  • Spirit: Shapes employee behavior at work, enabling the organization to be more efficient and alive.

In putting together a strong, enduring corporate culture a small business leader needs to consider:

MissionIt is important to step back and ask whether the purpose of the organization is clear and whether it has a compelling value system that is easy to understand. Mobilizing and energizing a culture is predicated on the organization clearly understanding the vision, mission, values, and goals. Leaders must involve the entire organization, informing and inspiring them to live out the purpose the organization in the construct of the values.

Vibrant and healthy–It is important to understand what is driving the culture. To get a taste of a company’s culture, a small business leader needs to sit in an executive meeting, the cafe or the lunch room, listen to the conversations, and look at the way decisions are made and the way departments cooperate. Take time out and get a good read on the health of the internal culture.

Culture fuels brand–A vibrant culture provides a cooperative and collaborative environment for a brand to thrive in. A firm’s brand is the single most important asset to differentiate its offerings consistently over time, and it needs to be nurtured, evolved, and invigorated by the people entrusted to keep it true and alive. Without a functional and relevant culture, the money invested in research and development, product differentiation, marketing, and human resources is never maximized and often wasted because it’s not fueled by a sustaining and functional culture. 

Uncommon sense for a courageous and vibrant culture–
Building a strong culture takes hard work and true commitment.  Here are some basic building blocks to consider:

  1. Dynamic and engaged leadership
    A vibrant culture is organic and evolving. It is fueled and inspired by leadership that is actively involved and informed about the realities of the business and who set out a clearly communicated vision, mission, values, and goals and create an environment for them to come alive.
  2. Living values
    It is one thing to have beliefs and values spelled out in a frame in the conference room. It’s another thing to have genuine and memorable beliefs that are directional, alive and modeled throughout the organization daily life.
  3. Responsibility and accountability
    Strong cultures empower their people, they recognize their talents, and give them a very clear role with responsibilities they’re accountable for.
  4. Celebrate success and note failure
    Take the time to acknowledge and learn from failures. Celebrate your victories. 

 With so much upside, isn’t time you reviewed your business’ corporate culture to ensure it is building morale and sales?

Hiring being pushed-off in 2011 by Small Businesses

May 22, 2011

Small business leaders are cautious by nature. They need to be!
Nothing demonstrates this better than small business management ‘s approach to hiring this year.
Our first quarter studies at Information Strategies, Inc. showed a marked tenancy to push off hiring in the immediate future.
This quarter, the Chamber of Commerce reports its findings are saying the same thing.
More importantly, the Chamber suggests that smaller the company, the less likely they are to be hiring this year.
ISI’s survey earlier this year indicated the trend which many thought might reverse as the year went on.
The Chambers’ study of 800 companies compares with ISI’s 1019 pool of respondents.
Taken together with other reports the job picture does not bode well for the remainder of 2011.
President Obama hopes for re-election rests in part in the nation’s ability to improve the job picture in 2012.
The problem there for small business leaders is the growing uncertainty of healthcare reform and the threat of foreign-based competition to small employers.
We are all aware of the uncertainty built into healthcare costs by the new laws.
Less obvious is the threat to small businesses by the rising costs of materials needed to produce even the most elementary service.
As one economist, Dr. Kenneth E. Lehrer pointed out in a recent speech, “foreign competition is creeping into many non-service aspects of the economy. Even small service industries are being affected by offshore outsourcing. The costs of even the most mundane items needed to conduct business are rising due to the dollar’s decline.”
As ISI’s survey indicated, the major factor enabling small businesses to remain profitable is the declining costs of managing functional areas due to the automation available on the web.