One of the biggest advantages of technology is its ability to help us accomplish tasks more efficiently.
The emergence of cloud technology and social media in the last decade has made it easier than ever for business owners to find ways to increase efficiency and communicate more freely with customers and those within their own organisation.
With this in mind, below are five of the best ways to use technology to increase efficiency in your business.
The ability to automate repetitive tasks is one of the best ways to use technology to increase efficiency in your business. There's a good chance that there are many day-to-day tasks that could easily be automated through the use of technology.
For example, if you’re a busy IT manager trying to keep systems online and protected you’ll have to keep a constant eye on new security updates and patches. These may be required for servers, PC operating systems, web browsers, various applications and tools in everyday use. By automatically scanning and updating your system regularly using a patch management service or tool, you can make this repetitive task easy and far less time-consuming than doing it manually when you have the time.
Alternatively, if your business uses social media for marketing purposes, then scheduling social media posts is one of the best ways to use automation to improve efficiency. Most social media services give you the ability to schedule posts and doing this is beneficial in a couple of ways. Firstly, it will enable you to write posts in batches and choose exactly when they’re posted. Secondly it will free up time further down the line since you already have a good backlog of posts scheduled.
There are also services such as CoSchedule, that make the process of automating social media posts even easier and give you a more complete overview of your social media activity.
Office 365 cloud services, such as OneDrive, Word online, Outlook webmail etc. can make a huge different when it comes to increasing efficiency. Giving your staff the ability to easily share and edit documents in the cloud not only improves efficiency but it also makes your data safer too, since it doesn't need to but put on physical storage devices such as USB drives, which can easily get lost or fall into the wrong hands.
Another great use of the cloud is to use a collaboration application or a project management programme such as Microsoft Teams & Yammer. Project management is made infinitely easier through the cloud and enables you to collaborate much more effectively and without the need for everyone to be in the same room at the same time.
Mobile devices are often thought of as being an enemy of efficiency and productivity in the workplace but this doesn't have to be the case.
Training your staff to use their mobile devices for tasks such as accessing and editing files, communicating and collaborating will certainly prove to be beneficial when implemented properly. Mobile apps will enable your staff to accomplish most, if not all of their tasks when away from the office.
If you implement any new software in your business, then it’s always a good idea to provide your employees with the necessary ability and training to use it on their mobile devices too.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can make a huge difference when it comes to increasing efficiency in your business. Good CRM software will enable your staff to easily access vital data such as customer records and has the ability to integrate with other software and programs, including marketing automation tools.
CRM software can also enable your staff to get the bigger picture when it comes to customer relationships and customer lifecycle. This type of information is typically very complex and difficult to be managed by just one person but CRM can give your entire staff that powerful capability.
Video conferencing is an excellent way to collaborate with different branches in your business in an extremely efficient way. Prior to this technology existing, if you wanted to schedule a meeting between different branches of your business then practical considerations such as travel and accommodation expenses could easily become an issue. Video conferencing can virtually eliminate this problem.
Using an interactive calendar is another excellent way to use technology to increase efficiency in your business. It enables you to set centralised appointments and goals that any of your staff can access from any device. You can even use it to manage business resources such as meeting rooms, vehicles and ‘pool’ items.
If you’d like more information on how you can use technology in your business to improve efficiency, then get in touch with the team at Grant McGregor and we’ll be happy to discuss your efficiency goals.