Business Innovation Will Boost Productivity Levels

Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

Executive Director of the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC), Dr. Charles Douglas, says that incorporating innovative practices into business operations will help to boost the productivity level of the country.

“Very simple ideas have turnaround impact on companies’ profit… . That is what we want to happen… innovation drives productivity, productivity drives competitiveness, competiveness drives economic growth…,” he said.

He was addressing the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) 20th annual public lecture held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on July 19.

Dr. Douglas cited a number of entities that have integrated innovative practices to improve operations. These include Rainforest Seafoods, National Health Fund (NHF), Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and Devon House.

For the JPS, Dr. Douglas explained that the company had two problems, one of which was the use of multiple printers for print jobs and the other was inaccessibility of electrical lines, particularly after a hurricane.

To remedy the situation, the JPS installed multifunctional printers that required staff to have an identification card to operate, and eventually led to a reduction in the cost of paper and toner.

To be able to access the electrical lines, the JPS employed the use of drones fitted with sensors to pinpoint the location of the lines and the problems that existed, which led to reduced labour and transport costs.

Meanwhile, in her remarks, Manager of Strategy and Accountability at MIND, Prudence James, said the annual lecture provides an opportunity for “movers and shakers from various sectors of the society to coalesce around some topical issues”.

“The whole idea is for it to excite us and trouble our minds so much that we feel like doing something. When you go back to your section of the woods, you would do something,” she said.

This year’s lecture, under the theme “Let’s Talk Productivity…Harder, Smarter or Technology, was in support of Vision 2030 outcome number eight.

This speaks to creating an enabling environment that is focused on initiatives to improve labour productivity and the national productivity promotion programme.