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5 Industries That Are Leading in Productivity Innovation

As work from home moves from necessity to norm, there are a few industries that have found a rhythm in business that supports the needs of the business, the employees, and the clients, simultaneously. Which industries have mastered productivity? 

By
JJ Watt, Partner
4-minute read

If you polled business owners from a wide range of industries about what they wanted most from their employees and their operations, chances are one of the most common answers would be productivity. These days, it is all about how to get to the finish line in the most sensical way. Owners and managers want to ensure that targets are being met, while employees want to ensure that they are prioritizing a work-life balance. Both desires are important for a successful business and deserve attention.

Compared to the start of the COVID pandemic, many would argue that the business landscape has changed drastically and businesses daily to-dos have significantly changed. At one point, this change was a source of anxiety and concern, but has since become an opportunity for certain industries to reach a potential that wasn't in their sights initially.

As work from home moves from necessity to norm, there are a few industries that have found a rhythm in business that supports the needs of the business, the employees, and the clients, simultaneously.

Productivity is layered and is not going to look the same for every person or every company.

Here are some of the top industries that are leading the way in terms of productivity innovation, and what you can learn from their ideals.

Logistics

If you had no frame of reference for what supply chain was or meant before, these past couple years have almost certainly made it impossible for you to still not be aware. The logistics industry has experienced a huge boom recently and keeping up with demand requires a level of productivity that is simply unavoidable. Those who are on the front lines of this battle know more than anyone that if there are not processes in place meant to keep everything moving along, they will have a hard time staying afloat among their competitors.

For example, companies that have a fleet of vehicles moving the various parts of their business around have taken to using fleet maintenance management to help them remain productive and stay in front of any potential issues that could compromise that. By managing vehicle maintenance, you are reducing your fleet’s downtime and increasing overall productivity. This proactive strategy can reduce the risk of accidents and last-minute repairs by alerting your team to vehicles that need attention before they become unusable. 

Healthcare

The healthcare industry has been forced into the spotlight since the start of the COVID pandemic. The need for everyone in this industry to hustle, adapt, and join forces in less-than-ideal circumstances has led its leaders to now be able to take a step back and asses what did and did not work in the midst of crisis.

The traditional measures of productivity in this industry are the labor output per worker and the costs of goods or services. New ways to manage urgent care offices, administer over the counter procedures, and shift management for various levels of personnel are all examples of how the health care industry places a high priority on productivity.

Emerging technologies have also played an important role here. Things like telemedicine are giving providers an opportunity to manage their output in a way that is new and exciting.

IT

The huge boom in tech as of late is allowing not only the Information Technology industry to thrive, but also all the industries that it touches as well. The visibility that IT provides can do wonders for increasing productivity. Especially in remote work environments, encouraging productivity in the workplace can be a challenge, but the right tech tools can help.

By turning over reoccurring and monotonous tasks to a computer, you are freeing up valuable people power to allocate to other areas of the workflow. Additionally, this can reduce the risk of human error. Yes, computers glitch, and every software system might not be for everyone, but in general, computers give you a level of assurance in accuracy that a human simply cannot match.

Education

The ways in which the education system has had to adapt over the past few years is unprecedented. Figuring out ways to provide an education from a distance, with new regulations, and while managing the expectations of parents and teachers alike is no easy feat. Even as many schools have resumed in-person learning, many are still operating inside of a bubble that demands a heightened level of productivity.

Tech has played a large part of this adaptation. Teachers are now able to use certain systems to not only conduct their lessons, but also communicate with parents and complete tasks like grading, feedback, or reviews in a quick and efficient manner. Homework submissions can be handled online, and when a class is remote, in-person class time cannot be dedicated to areas of learning that are hands on, which gives students the chance to have access to their teachers in new ways.

Food service

It was not long ago that many restaurants could not even accept certain forms of payment. Fast forward to today’s world where the food service industry leads the pack in terms of how to marry customer expectations with the need for heightened efficiencies. Think about things like online ordering, curbside carry out, meal delivery apps, and even home cooking subscription services.

The food service industry has streamlined productivity-focused processes.

The on-demand element of many of these businesses means that there is little room for error. Even restaurants have been forced to reevaluate the customer experience from start to finish.

A great example of this is portals at dining tables that allow for ordering and payment. Giving diners the chance to order their food and pay for it without the need for a human increases the productivity of the staff in terms of needing less people or being able to move their staff around to other parts of the workflow.