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Britain's businesses want to shape up - according to blur Group research

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Britain’s businesses are on a crash course to increase efficiency and cut waste, according to new research by blur Group, which operates the world’s largest online marketplace for business services.

Sixty per cent of companies questioned said they had plans to automate more business processes this year and invest more in technology.

There was also a strong desire to outsource more processes in order to reduce manpower costs with half of all businesses wanting to bring in outside suppliers to take on functions normally carried out in-house.

The trend has been dubbed as the journey towards becoming a ‘Size Zero Enterprise’, by Philip Letts, the CEO of blur Group.

“We are witnessing a seismic shift of attitude amongst businesses wanting to shape up for the new economy by improving efficiency, reducing waste and properly harnessing the power of technology. We call it the journey towards Size Zero and away from old school business practises,” he said.

The research, conducted amongst 100 business leaders in the UK by blur Group, also showed a strong desire to save time by attending less meetings and travelling less. Just over half of those interviews vowed to spend less time in meetings and 31 per cent wanted to travel less.

Nearly a half (48%) wanted to reduce waste within their business and a quarter (24%) believed they should cut their CO2 emissions.

Interestingly, 22% of respondents felt their business was over-staffed and wanted to actively reduce headcount.

The survey went on to reveal that 12% of businesses are considering relocating to save on property costs.

“There are a whole host of measures a firm can take to shape up, but the most important thing is to refocus the business on creating value and stop doing things that aren’t”, said Mr Letts.

blur has devised a ten point plan to help businesses become Size Zero by reducing waste and improving efficiency through automation and technology.

Mr Letts said that simple things like cutting back on the number of meetings attended can have a dramatic impact on efficiency. He cites a study last year by the consulting firm Bain & Company who estimated that about 15% of an organisation’s collective time is spent in meetings. 20% of that time is unproductive, equating to a whopping £45 million loss for a company with 10,000 employees.

Moving to cheaper offices can also play a big part in boosting profitability. blur recently relocated its head office to Exeter from London, saving an estimated £250,000 a year in property costs.

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