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New Challenges to Operational Efficiencies Because of COVID Protocols


We’re all aware of the fact that COVID-19 has changed life as we know it in this country (and the world). Because of this pandemic, there is a new level of complexity in everything we do. Whether it’s having to mask up, sanitize grocery cart handles, and remember not to touch your face before washing your hands just to shop for your family’s dinner, or running your business’s operations safely by instituting new protocols designed to keep your workers healthy, COVID has inserted all sorts of new steps into old processes.

These are necessary evils, at least for now. But no matter if you’re talking about a grocery run or a manufacturing run, all of these new steps, protocols and procedures mean a drop in efficiency. Things just take longer now. For individuals going about their everyday lives, it’s a simple annoyance. But for businesses, it can mean a drain on the bottom line.

Efficiency busters in business

If you’re experiencing a drop in efficiency because of COVID protocols, you’re not alone. Most every business has instituted new procedures designed to keep their people safe and healthy. The unfortunate downside is, they can erode your efficiency. Here are some common efficiency busters brought on by the pandemic.

Temperature checks. Just getting on and off the shop floor now may involve temperature checks and other time-consuming safety protocols. When you’re measuring efficiency in minutes, this time lag when changing shifts can become problematic in a hurry.

Temperature checks and other COVID protocols are causing challenges to operational efficiencies

Physical distancing. The COVID distancing guidelines (six feet, per the Centers for Disease Control) have caused manufacturing businesses to alter the configuration of their operations in order to accommodate the need for separation between workers. But that can mean fewer hands on the job.

Employee exposure. If one person on a shift is diagnosed with COVID, everyone who came into close contact with that person should isolate until they are tested or don’t develop symptoms within 14 days, according to CDC guidelines. Losing even a few team members for that amount of time is devastating.

Sanitization. Many businesses need to clean and sanitize workspaces, machinery and other tools of the trade between shifts, now more than ever before.

Supply chain slowdowns. COVID protocols worldwide may result in challenges getting people and materials to your business. Your supply chain may be affected by these same issues, causing a slowdown in getting the raw materials you need to and from your business. According to the Institute for Supply Management, purchasing managers at some of the largest manufacturing companies expressed ongoing unease about future shocks to their supply chain while they scramble to remedy current shortages.

[For more information about supply chain management, read our blog, 4 Best Ways Manufacturers Can Perfect Their Supply Chain]

Everyone’s productivity can be taken down a notch by these new protocols, procedures and delays.

How USCCG can help

By analyzing and implementing new strategies with getting your people on and off the shop floor faster, developing optimized layout plans to allow physical distancing, or improving processes for sanitization or what to do when employees develop symptoms, USC can assist. Most importantly, we can help you find hidden opportunities for efficiency that might mitigate some of that productivity loss. It’s crucial to look at your operations now. Operating like that proverbial well-oiled machine will be the key to you not simply surviving this crisis, but thriving now and in the future.

At USC Consulting Group, we have spent more than 50 years doing just that. We specialize in finding hidden opportunities for increasing process efficiency, allowing you to do more with the assets you already have. It’s about looking at your operations and finding efficiencies you’re not aware of.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how USC Consulting Group works, and what we can do for your business, please get in touch. That call today could lead to a more efficient operation tomorrow.

For more information about our current solutions to today’s operational challenges, read our free eBook, “Times Have Changed. USC Consulting Group Can Help You Adapt.”

Time Have Changed: USC Consulting Group Can Help You Adapt eBook

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