In order to remain competitive and continue to increase revenue, business owners must constantly be thinking about ways to help their employees become more productive. Advancements in technology mean new tools are increasingly available making it easier to get work done. Ideally, technology serves to augment employees’ work, but if it’s utilized incorrectly or ineffectively, it can have the opposite effect. Let’s take a look at some top technologies that are helping businesses achieve more and how they work together to ensure productivity remains the focus.
1. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
Enterprise resource planning software represents the ultimate example of connected, communicational systems within an organization. Managing the flow between departments, ERP applications are capable of collecting, storing, and even interpreting data from across different sections of a company. This software is capable of fulfilling the needs of any business looking to get beyond simply tracking business operations using simple spreadsheets. Instead, custom ERP software can be molded to fit the exact flow of a business. Working with a custom software developer to streamline, optimize, and maximize efficient processes specific to the core of the business helps standardize the flow of operations— the resulting increase in productivity can be staggering.
2. Customer relationship management (CRM) software
Sales employees at any level are usually familiar with leveraging some kind of customer relationship management (CRM) software to get the most out of their relationships with existing customers and potential clients. By creating touch points and reminders for staff at all levels to reach out and make contact, CRM software helps businesses ensure leads are moving along the sales process and tracks the history of the relationship with each client.
Ideally, CRM software is accessible to all employees. Though the software should enable management to set different levels of access for different employees, by having everyone on the same page a consistent experience can be established for clients at any point of interaction.
3. Collaborative calendars
As a business grows and brings in more employees, it usually becomes necessary to implement some form of shared calendar application. Collaborative calendars enable employees to schedule meetings quickly and efficiently. Decreasing the interactions needed to schedule a meeting with someone may seem like a small improvement to make in a single instance, but multiplied across the company and the many instances meetings are scheduled it becomes an enormous time saver.
Collaboration is vital to any part of a successful business. Moments of interaction between employees are where some of the most creative ideas and enormous steps in progress for a company are bred. But sometimes employees need to work remotely and the distance makes things difficult. Webcams are a useful tool in harvesting and encouraging these interactions. By offering a way to to pick up nonverbal cues a richer conversation can be had.
We’ve all had instances in work situations where we’ve either written or received an email that has been misconstrued or misunderstood. One person may be trying to say one thing, but the other person maybe understands their email as something else. Webcams offer a chance to interact in a way that facilitates greater understanding and a richer conversation than that afforded by other means.
5. Surveillance systems
Surveillance camera systems offer peace of mind for any business owner. Acting as a deterrent or observational tool, security cameras give supervisors a view of exactly what’s going on within their workplace. And even beyond security, cameras can be used to give a view of inventory or manufacturing line processes, making inventory counting tasks more efficient and accurate.
6. Tablets and mobile devices
As technology improves, the ability for employees to be productive while on the move is more viable than ever. With the increased usage of universal apps, particularly the Office 365 suite on Microsoft Surface tablets, switching between devices gives employees greater options for collaboration. Additionally, functionality on mobile devices has reached such a level comparable to desktop devices, that employees don’t miss a beat when out of the office. Having access to emails, documents, and other productivity software means they can get work done anywhere.
7. Integrated phone systems
Office phone systems provide a far greater set of features to improve day-to-day operations of a business than regular POTS lines. Whether it’s recording a greeting with directory instructions, voicemail to email, or setting up remote extensions, businesses are able to formulate the exact experience they want for callers calling into their company. This means less time for employees directing calls around the office and no missed calls while employees are away from their desks. Depending on the exact nature of the industry, an integrated phone system could have enormous ramifications on a company’s overall productivity.
These technologies, while varying in complexity, installation time, and reach, all contribute to a more productive workforce. The challenge for business owners and IT experts becomes about how to integrate these systems together into the company’s workflow and ensure each system has the greatest possible impact.
Have you leveraged technology to help with productivity in the workplace? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
If you would like to learn more about how you can utilize technology to make your business a more productive place or have any other questions about IT as part of a comprehensive IT services package, don’t hesitate to contact us today to speak with an expert.