Overcoming inefficiency to boost profit potential

By Leigh Saunders, GM, NCR Silver UK and Western Europe

Every year, sporting fans gather in preparation for another exciting season of Formula One, captivated by the unveiling of state of the art race cars. These machines are meticulously revised and refined to perform at the highest level, shaving off precious milliseconds from the lap time to edge out the competition. In a crowded marketplace defined by rapid, fundamental change, SMBs need to adopt this mindset. Inefficiency means far more to SMBs than a few wasted minutes. It represents the loss of those two most vital resources – time and money – which can be very difficult to spare. This is why it’s vital to establish the source of inefficiency, and tackle it head on. With 50% of small businesses failing within the first five years, you need to equip yourself with the right tools to empower greater operational efficiency, so you can count yourself among the 50% who don’t.

Inefficiency kills

The two key efficiency challenges facing SMBs are staff inefficiency and unsold inventory, which can lead to the biggest profit loss in their business. According to a study, over three in ten SMBs claimed staff inefficiencies resulted in an estimated average loss of £19,800 per year.

Over a quarter of respondents also claimed unsold inventory contributed to the biggest profit loss for their business, losing an estimated £18,972 on average every year. For the unsuspecting SMB, these losses can quickly tally to put them in a very dangerous place, or worse, out of business.

So, why do these efficiency issues exist? The issue is data. SMB owners need actionable data on their staff, best-selling items and payment technology if they are to profit and grow. Reports on sales, inventory and footfall are vital for small business owners to assess how their SMB is performing, but unpacking these reports can be hugely time-consuming. In fact, SMBs reported spending over 24 days per year compiling sales reports, inventory and footfall.

Investing in the right technology

Tracking staff inefficiency and unsold inventory can be a major headache and profit black hole if left unattended. Thankfully, a platform that offers consolidated reporting on employee management can simplify matters, improving employees’ efficiency, as well as your own.

A comprehensive commerce platform like NCR Silver will contain an employee management resource; allowing you to assign roles and track employee time with a clock-in and clock-out system, removing the need to spend hours poring over reports to establish where your employees’ time is best utilised.

Of course, let’s not forget about inventory stock planning. Without easy access to information on your best-selling items and how to keep them in demand, you risk customers being slapped with the dreaded ‘Out of Stock’ sign.

A commerce platform with an inventory management solution – one that can inform you which products are your best sellers – will remove this risk, saving you time to dedicate to other matters.

Like the fastest cars of Formula One, SMBs must invest in the right technology to streamline their business. The right payment platform can enable actionable reporting, efficient staff management and stock inventory planning, taking care of the mundane so you can do the exceptional.