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Unlocking capacity is key to thriving in economic downturn

Richard Jeffery, Chief Executive Officer at ActiveOps

It’s time for UK businesses to release ‘hidden’ capacity within their organisations, a new report* has revealed. Getting a true picture of real-time capacity within an organisation will enable operations leaders in the UK financial and banking sector to unlock time and resources that can be better spent, helping teams to do more with what they have during recession.

This comes as the new report, Are you recession ready? How to do more with less, reveals that 55% of UK businesses know they have spare capacity within their organisation but don’t know where, or how to access it. However due to a lack of insight into workload volumes and day-to-day operations, leaders are unable to make critical decisions or respond to spikes in demand due to a lack of operational agility. This could ultimately cause businesses to fall short of organisational objectives, costing revenue and profit.

Importantly, almost 60% of employees also believe that their business needs better forecasting and planning during a recession; indicating that a combination of better foresight and insights into day-to-day operations will be key to supporting employees and responding to customers when circumstances change rapidly.

Other key findings of ActiveOps’ research include:

  • One in four businesses simply don’t have the information needed to improve productivity or efficiency
  • 30% of employees can’t see when people are working
  • 35% of employees lack intra-day insights to make timely decisions
  • 29% of businesses lack reliable forecasts of future work levels
  • 89% of businesses are yet to begin recession preparations, and the further away an organisation’s preparations are for recession, the more confident they felt that they have the information needed to make decisions to improve productivity and efficiency.

Building resilience and agility into operations will be crucial for organisations, particularly in the finance sector. Leaders will need to facilitate a culture of cross-team collaboration to support overworked teams, clear backlog and enable flexibility when the unexpected happens. In order to unlock capacity, leaders must have an accurate overview of capacity within their organisation by analysing the work teams and individuals are doing to understand where capacity is hiding.

As well as supporting internal teams, addressing the workload challenge and finding ways to do more with less while prioritising employees, it is vital to maintain customer service. Leaders must not only source additional, existing capacity, but also prioritise cross-training and reskilling of employees to remove skills-based bottlenecks and make it easier for teams to borrow and lend resources.

The ActiveOps’ report signifies challenges ahead for UK businesses particularly in the finance sector; and surveyed 1,000 employees within operations teams across the UK, North America and Australia. The UK financial services sector is one of the largest and accounts for a total of 8.3% of UK GDP.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Jeffery, Chief Executive Officer at ActiveOps said: “A recession is looming, and a trend we’re predicting is that businesses will need to optimise the resources, staff and solutions that they currently have, to boost organisational visibility and become more resilient.”

“Businesses need to know as much as possible about how work is done, how long it takes and how employees spend their time. This will enable operations teams to respond more effectively to spikes in demand, make the right decisions and keep things moving when recession bites. Investing in technology is key to this. Technology that identifies opportunities for improvement and enhances transparency can save time and resources by identifying efficiencies, prioritising workloads and facilitating collaboration across teams. It will also support customer needs and employee demands throughout recession.”

“Now is the time to unlock your capacity and gain a better understanding of processes, to enable you to trim the fat while strengthening the muscle of your operations teams – and your business.”

*Report from ActiveOps, click here

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