Lean doesn’t have to be mean.

This past year one of the hottest topics for small businesses focused on ways to make your business “lean.” The idea is a sound one. Of course, finding ways to cut costs and make your business more profitable will improve your bottom line. What’s not to like about that? Numerous articles offered a list of tips previously utilized in manufacturing that have been adapted for small businesses. Unfortunately, many of the “lean” business suggestions can come across as mean when implemented. Quick side note. If you're looking for a way to help make your small business lean, then try our free online inventory system to reduce your overhead.

For example:

Time: Encourage employees to be productive every minute that they are at work except when they are on an “official break.” Really? No one is productive every minute that they are at work. No one wants to clock out just to run to the restroom. Allowing employees to take mini-breaks as they are working could actually increase their productivity. While it may seem counterproductive to pay someone to stand around and chit chat that conversation could produce an idea or solution that can actually increase sales. Encouraging your employees to effectively use their time while allowing them the freedom to feel relaxed and empowered at work can improve morale and have far reaching benefits. You can also increase their productivity and have even more flexibility over their time by using our free online inventory system.

Materials: Evaluate office supplies and cut down on any excesses. This too sounds like a good idea until you realize that reducing the number of available printers mean that people are now standing around chit chatting as they wait for their page to come up in the print queue. Remember our previous recommendation on time? Standing around waiting for things to print is definitely not an effective use of your employees’ time. When evaluating resources that could be reduced don’t make any hasty decisions. Removing items on a trial basis might be the best idea, that way if you find that the removal has a negative impact on workflow you can replace the item. Need to keep track of what's removed? That's easy with our free online inventory system - create a location only you have access to and move the items in Stockpile to that location. Easy peasy!

Space: Another recommendation is to take a hard look at the way that you are utilizing your available space. Again, in theory this sounds great. Of course, you want to use your existing space as effectively as possible. When considering making changes to the way that you use your space, take the human factor into account. Will moving things around make your employees happier and more productive or will it create an environment rife with challenges? There's an easy way to see how you're using your space with Stockpile. Our free online inventory system has reports and functions that make it easy to spot over or under-utilized space within your company.

There is no one size fits all solution for making your business lean. What works for one company, could have a negative impact on another. Trying to make your business more lean can have a significant impact on your bottom line when it’s done correctly.

Try Our Free Online Inventory System Today!

To make your inventory management processes more lean, try Stockpile today. Our free inventory management solution will have you tracking inventory faster and more accurately than you previously thought possible.

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