Technology can help your business perform better, faster or more efficiently. The key to choosing the right technology is to understand what you’re already doing well and what you need to do better.
Discover your pain points
Figuring out your company’s biggest pain points is key to knowing where you can improve. That process starts with talking to your team.
- Ask your employees to log their work tasks for a week.
- Invite honest feedback about bottlenecks, frustrating tasks that take too long, or are too convoluted.
- Think about what growth looks like for your business and whether the majority of your staff spend their time on tasks that add value.
- Map key processes
- Estimate the amount of time spent on each step in common workflows in your business.
- Find inefficiences.
- Find new technology tools to improve critical and time consuming manual processes.
Once you have a week’s worth of data, look for trends.
- Are most people spending too much time catching up on email? That might point to a need for a more efficient communication or collaboration solution for your team.
- For example, we use a range of free and paid software to accelerate everyday tasks:
- Harvest is our central team resource and time management tool. It integrates into Xero. The team logs time against allocated tasks. It also helps us to review budgets and timings to maximise efficiency in real-time, providing valuable insights.
- Trello is a great tool for a card based team management workflow.
- Slack has replaced all our internal email communications.
- Confluence centralises our document management.
Are repetitive administrative tasks taking too much time? This may indicate a need for an automated, connected solution. This solution uses programming language to link one database to another. If data is located in one central database, then programming can draw it into another format, without the need for employee intervention.
Common resource drains
Manual data entry is still a large part of daily life in small and medium sized businesses. Keying data may have seemed the best option when your business was small. As businesses grow, the data entry will continue to grow exponentially. When the work increases, manual data entry becomes less cost effective and less scalable.
Consider this simple exercise to assess the cost of manual data entry:
- Calculate how long it takes a team member to complete a very common task. Let’s say it takes an average two to four minutes for one staff member to complete a process. This could be updating a customer record, maintaining a database of suppliers or tradespeople, or recording a transaction. It could be longer for less skilled or experienced staff.
- Multiply that by the average number of times they would do the task in a day. They could update 30 records a day. This is 660 records a month.
- Then multiply that by the amount of staff.
- Then multiply again by their hourly wage.
You may be surprised to learn how much of your revenue is spent on repetitive, manual tasks. How much value is this expense adding to your business?
Technology that prompts customers, suppliers and other business partners to maintain their own records is now available. This reduces the burden on your business. Business rules can also program databases to link with each other, eliminating double-handling of data.
For example, a real estate agent at an open house can hand potential customers an iPad. He can ask buyers to key their details directly into his agency’s client facing application. The application can also provide buyers a checkbox to opt-in to a weekly newsletter. The app can schedule emails annually, requesting customers to check and maintain their details. The database is always up to date. There is no manual data entry involved in this transaction.
Similarly, if you are a building management business, you may have thousands of tradesmen in your database. When a tenant requests a repair, you want to have up to date details at your fingertips. You can send an email to your database and ask tradesmen to sign up to a new app. When new tradesmen contact you, ask them to download the app and register their details. It is now possible to build a client/supplier facing app that can match suppliers with tenant repair requests.
As an example, powered by our enterprise and start up platform Mobiconnect™ – we’ve created two building management mobile apps for apartments. The tool is useful both for the strata managers, building residents and owners.
- Report any issues/ incidents directly to the building manager.
- Access all building resources, manuals and warranties in one place.
- Receive latest News, special offers from exclusive partners.
- Access general building information and details assist settling into their new home.
Technology is ultimately all about finding a way to maximise the ratio between your team’s input and their output. It helps you get more results for your effort.
To learn more about our zero low, zero design platform for digital products using ready to market Mobiconnect modules contact us for a complimentary consultation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or head to www.mobiconnect.io
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