A lot of retailers are so busy, they can’t come up for air. Whilst being busy is great, sometimes a large workload ends up negatively affecting our productivity.
The “I’m too busy” culture
Being so busy that you don't have time to sit back, relax and take stock of your workload and your process for tackling it is a pretty common picture. However, when you put this scenario into a different situation it can sound pretty silly. Ask yourself “when was the last time you were too busy driving to fill up with petrol?” American author and businessman Stephen Covey puts it like this: “Sometimes we are too busy sawing to find time to sharpen the saw, even though the job would be done quicker overall if we did!” In his book, he identifies 7 habits of highly effective people:
- Proactive behaviour
- Beginning an activity with the outcome in mind
- Thinking successfully
- “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”
- “Sharpening the saw”
Sometimes, we just need to stop what we’re doing and sharpen the saw. Improve our own knowledge. Taking time to reflect and consider how we can improve is essential in today’s busy world – and leads to the creation of more efficient business practices.
The most difficult part of changing any habit is changing a mindset. Although there are many different approaches to this, a key place to start is figuring out what will work best for you? Do you need to set aside 30 minutes every day to consider the tasks ahead? Is it easier to assess each task as you come across it? Is prioritisation a problem? Everyone works in different ways and so there is no set process for becoming more efficient but to achieve maximum results then a mindset change is essential.
Struggling with time management is part of human nature – especially when we feel under the cosh. Once you’re in a better place mentally (as above), it becomes much easier to prioritise and organise tasks. Under pressure, we tend to behave in a reactive and instinctive manner which leads to bad decision making but by stepping back, you can plan in a much more effective way.
Digitisation and automation to improve efficiencies
One of the biggest concerns that we come across at Segura is that retail professionals feel as though they need to tackle all of their problems and work themselves. Luckily, in 2018, this isn’t true. The rise of digitisation and automation means that a lot of tasks can be done for us – as long as we step away for a minute to put these processes in place.
Take Segura for example: the platform can provide the retailer with real-time transactional reporting, reducing the number of communications to and between suppliers. Users can order assets from any of their nominated suppliers, all available to view in a single portal, promoting competition between second tier suppliers and driving down prices and lead times.
The only downside is that this is going to make your supply chain really predictable and boring.