When trying to improve productivity, many people start by looking at inputs – trying to reduce costs by saving materials, energy or manpower. 

There is nothing wrong with such an approach except that it is an incremental approach. Your are unlikely to save more than 10-15% of costs so productivity can only rise by that amount.

What you need is something more revolutionary – more innovative.  So, look at your outputs – and especially outcomes.

What are you trying to achieve? And how near do current outcomes come to targets and aspirations.  What can you do instead of what you do now?  What can you change to improve outputs?  How can outcomes be improved to look more like those defined in your strategy?

When outcomes and outputs are improved, you can then look at inputs – for they might need to change to help achieve revised outcomes.

Only, them should you think about reducing costs.