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GALLERY: Efficiency

A common but confusing way of distinguishing between efficiency and effectiveness is the saying "Efficiency is doing things right, while effectiveness is doing the right things. " This saying indirectly emphasizes that the selection of objectives of a production process is just as important as the quality of that process. This saying popular in business however obscures the more common sense of "effectiveness", which would/should produce the following mnemonic: "Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is getting things done. " This makes it clear that effectiveness, for example large production numbers, can also be achieved through inefficient processes if, for example, workers are willing or used to working longer hours or with greater physical effort than in other companies or countries or if they can be forced to do so. Similarly, a company can achieve effectiveness, for example large production numbers, through inefficient processes if it can afford to use more energy per product, for example if energy prices or labor costs or both are lower than for its competitors.

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For example, one may measure how directly two objects are communicating: downloading music directly from a computer to a mobile device is more efficient than using a mobile device's microphone [6] to record music sounds that come from a computer's speakers.

Efficiency signifies a level of performance that describes using the least amount of input to achieve the highest amount of output. Efficiency refers to the use of all inputs in producing any given output, including personal time and energy. It is a measurable concept that can be determined using the ratio of useful output to total input. It minimizes the waste of resources such as physical materials, energy and time while accomplishing the desired output.

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