Continuous improvement is a must for business survival

financial crisis get aheadAt last! The UK will vote on staying in or getting out the EU in June.

At least there is an end in sight to one issue that has been causing businesses to put potential plans for investment on hold.

In the interim there is plenty that a business can do to ensure it is in the best possible shape for the future, whatever the outcome of the vote.

The next three months provide a breathing space when a business can focus more closely on aspects of continuous improvement that may have slipped down the “to-do” list at busy times, although it should be an ongoing activity for every business, whatever the circumstances.

It may be a good time to consider whether to upgrade equipment whether it is manufacturing machinery or IT hardware.  Is the cost of repairs beginning to outweigh the benefits of waiting before investing in new kit?  Is it possible that new kit will automate some processes currently carried out by employees, who could be more productively used elsewhere? This again applies whatever the outcome of the vote.

There may also be some processes that are currently carried out in-house and could be outsourced more economically.  Again this may release some people for other, more productive activities.

It’s all about being prepared and agile

Introducing more automation or outsourcing does not necessarily mean reducing the work force.  It may offer an opportunity to train people in additional skills that will benefit the business in the future. It may then be possible to offer a wider range of products or services and create another income stream making the company more adaptable and flexible.

The challenge is to determine where to do business, where to grow, inside or outside Europe.

Given the impending in/out vote now is a time to plan for both scenarios so you are ready to embrace the future. Either outcome will offer plenty of opportunities.

The ability to respond to a rapidly changing economic environment is something a business ignores at its peril.  This is why a culture of continuous improvement is essential to any 21st century business.

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