Businesses in Northern Ireland 'need a productivity revolution' says Flowlens

Flowlens chief executive Rich Dale pictured with the 'Stellar' solar charging bench which is manufactured by Flowlens customer Environmental Street Furniture. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/PressEye

BUSINESS growth enabler Flowlens says businesses in the north will need a revolution in productivity if they are to flourish and thrive after the current coronavirus crisis.

It comes after data from the Office of National Statistics and Bank of England showed continued weak growth in labour productivity - a finding that has been described as ‘the statistic of the decade.'

According to the Bank of England's latest Monetary Policy Report, the recent drop in productivity has come as a result of furloughing schemes, containment measures such as self-isolation and care for other family members, and new ways of working, especially considering inexperience of working from home or a lack of systems in place to accommodate it.

Rich Dale, chief executive of Belfast-based Flowlens, said: “It's hardly surprising productivity levels have declined during lockdown, but it's worrying as these levels were already significantly low before the coronavirus outbreak.

“Productivity is the main driver of economic growth. It is something businesses need to work on, in order to sustain themselves in a downturn and be ready for future growth.

“This extended lockdown period is going to further damage our productivity rates as a whole this year, but taking strategic steps to improve outputs and streamline processes will help.”

He said that by thinking in a joined up way, instead of in silos, Flowlens customers experience vastly improved productivity, which means saving time, resources and allowing the deployment of resources elsewhere.

Flowlens ( specialises in ‘joined-up' cloud sales, manufacturing and reporting systems for small manufacturing businesses that makes industrial equipment and products.

Its specialist software helps businesses achieve rapid growth in sales, streamlining stock and operational processes, reducing manual administration, in favour of higher value tasks.

Mr Dale added: “The impact of Covid-19 has already been hugely detrimental to businesses, with the loss of staff, customers and supply chains in many cases. But this time can and should be used as a chance to review and reevaluate how you have been operating – eliminating silo thinking, identifying possible efficiency opportunities and preparing to improve your business when we all come out the other side.”

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