Every year we face the same holiday work bottleneck, and it always catches us by surprise. Here are a few ways to avoid it.
December passes by, and though for many this means national holidays and rest. But for many others it means high volume requests, big workloads, and fewer people coming in to work.
The holiday season brings in about 30% of retailers’ annual revenue, if not more. It pushes many industries to up their game, and the challenge is perfectly visible.
So, first things first: what is a bottleneck?
A bottleneck is any part of a process with limited capacity that lowers the overall capacity of the production. This means that because one-factor changes, it shifts the natural balance. That translates into extra hours put to work.
Why do they occur?
Various reasons. Some can be avoided, others are inevitable. If someone in our team feels unwell and takes a few days off, it’s not something we can see beforehand (though there could be established procedures as to how to prioritize in that case). That’s called a short-term bottleneck.
But some of these short-term mishaps catch us off guard every single year. For example, someone in our team feels unwell and takes a few days off. It’s not something we can foresee (though we could establish procedures as to how to prioritize in that case). That’s called a short-term bottleneck.
What to do?
To remove them, first, you need to identify them. In this case, we’ll take the High volume of work vs. the Holiday scenario.
We know work intensity will go up, and the amount of staff present will go down. So the step that follows identifying the problem in this case, is being able to visualize the whole workflow. What does it look like? Who does our team depend on? How much time does it take to process each task?
With this picture in mind, ask yourself: where in that workflow will the bottlenecks be produced? How can they be avoided? More people? Task distribution? Getting some extra work done previously?
And finally, find a way to make that happen. Any method won’t do, believe it or not, keeping employee morale high is a very important part of eliminating bottlenecks. Frustrated and unmotivated people are likely to not be at their best, and these are people working during holidays.
Why do you need managed services
There are multiple ways to reorganize, strategize and defuse these over-the-top busy weeks. Having the ability to thrive under challenging circumstances and manage teams with dexterity, is a valuable work skill.
You could break down the work, and create more agile processes. Keep dedicated track of analytics and task progress to notice where any lagging behind takes place. Hold participative team meetings to make decisions as to what should get done each day and how.
But sometimes, the hardest part is having someone who has the time to veil for all of this to happen. Someone with an unattached perspective, solely dedicated to proposing themselves as an enabler to make things happen, rethink processes and make quick choices. The reason the story repeats itself every year is that sometimes it’s too much.
Simply put, hiring Managed Services is on some occasions, a time-cost efficient equation. A designated person with a fresh view, lots of energy, and most importantly, experience. Managed Services can handle the daily operations of your specialized team.
Provide more capability to your company end-users by freeing your team to focus on your business’s core competencies. Let costs, facilitation of meetings, and time/budget tracking fall in the hands of someone else.
At Stillman, we guarantee the most skilled and experienced Project Managers whose goal is to save your time and money. We define clear goals and expectations from the beginning. We establish constant communication. And this makes all the difference. Why?
1. It can reduce production costs by up to 50%.
2. We hand-pick the right Project Managers for what you do to deliver on time and budget.
3. Our staff understands your technical needs and team dynamics, and works as an extension of your team.
4. We have expertise in nearly every software platform.
Strategic planning, ongoing systems monitoring, and regular maintenance are our thing. You can go on with what’s important. With temporal outsourcing of demands, you can meet your KPIs and peacefully surf the holiday season.
Contact us, and give it a try.