words Al Woods
The days when a business could get away with paper files and an in-house filing system are long gone. These days, one of the biggest compliments you can pay a company is to say it’s “Web 1.0.” Still, if you want your company to grow and prosper, it has to adapt and integrate online technology with old-fashioned customer service.
This isn’t to say that you have to be on the cutting edge of technology to stay competitive. You don’t need a big, fancy website with streaming video footage of your company’s history or all the bells and whistles of wireless Internet access. All you need are the basics.
How To Use Technology For Your Business
Businesses often struggle to use technology in their daily operations. They spend large sums of money on new features, but they don’t have a specific goal or purpose for the technology other than having it at their disposal.
1. Partner With a Cloud Accounting Software Provider
Small businesses often handle the entire accounting process without help from a professional. This can be very tedious and time-consuming, especially when you’re working to meet a deadline for tax season. A cloud accounting software provider is a business that specializes in helping clients by offering bookkeeping services at an affordable price. With the software provider handling all your financial matters, you can find a Dynamics 365 Business Central partner to take care of the accounting aspect of your business. As long as you choose a partner you can trust, cloud accounting is an excellent way to streamline your business.
2. Automate Your Document Scanning
Document scanning sounds like it should be costly, but many businesses do it themselves (or their employees) using desktop scanners or camera-equipped smartphones. If you own or rent several different scanners, you can set up your scanning equipment to scan and convert documents as they arrive at the office. The scanned files will be saved as searchable PDFs and stored on your company’s server for future reference. You can also save yourself some time by using automatic document management software that allows you to search the text in your documents without having to upload them all one at a time. If you want to make the process more efficient, you can invest in software that automatically sorts and organizes your scanned documents into folders on your computer.
3. Upgrade Your Phone System
If you’re still stuck with an old landline phone system in your office, it’s time to make the switch to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service. A VoIP service works like a traditional phone line but has the advantage of letting you connect and transfer calls over the internet (and at a lower cost than most conventional phone services). It also gives you the option to use your existing office phones or purchase new cordless phones that can be used anywhere in your home or business. The best part about switching to VoIP is that it integrates well with online documentation and document storage applications such as Google Docs and Dropbox so employees can file away scanned documents without waiting until they return to their desks.
4. Use a Customer Relationship Management System
Customer relationship management systems (or “CRMs” for short) are software suites that help businesses keep track of their clients. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to organize details about your business relationships and provides a central location for storing your contact information, emails, notes, and relevant documents. You can filter contacts according to different criteria such as “top customers,” age, or location and place them in groups to make it easier to manage large numbers of people.With CRM software, you can:
- Improve customer satisfaction by helping you stay on top of your clients’ needs
- Boost sales with targeted marketing campaigns using data that is automatically updated when people update their contact information
- Streamline the hiring process by organizing new recruitment efforts and tracking applicants’ progress
5. Test Drive Business Intelligence Software
Business intelligence (or “BI”) software provides companies with reporting tools like dashboards, scorecards, and analytics. It allows businesses to make sense of large amounts of complex data in real-time. Also, it lets you easily share important reporting metrics with employees through email or business collaboration portals like SharePoint online. To find the best BI software for your company, take some time to research different options and analyze what features will provide the most value. Some of the benefits your company can gain by using BI software are:
- Identify revenue opportunities through data-driven insight
- Gain visibility into business operations that helps you identify areas for improvement
- Monitor employee activity to maintain high productivity levels and meet compliance requirements
6. Take Advantage Of Collaborative Tools
Collaboration is an integral part of how companies work today, especially since many employees no longer have to be in the office day-in and day-out to do their jobs properly. With collaborative tools like Trello, Slack, or Microsoft Teams, teamwork is easier than ever before because it lets everyone stay connected within one secure location without relying on emails or other modes of communication. These tools enable teams to work together toward common goals and provide a simple way for employees to communicate, share documents, and track projects from start to finish.
7. Make Use Of Biometric Technology
With biometric technology, you can securely identify people by their unique physical characteristics, such as a fingerprint or retina scan, instead of using PINs or passwords to access data files and secure locations. Among the advantages of using biometrics are:
- Employees can easily log into company devices, computers, and secure locations when they need to without having to remember multiple credentials along with complex password procedures that add extra security but can be challenging to memorize
- You gain peace of mind knowing that people who shouldn’t access specific files or secure locations can’t, even if they steal or borrow a company ID card
- Employees don’t have to worry about using long, complicated passwords or memorizing complex security procedures
Technology has made it easier for companies to succeed with innovative products, superior services, and effective business processes. Now more than ever, taking advantage of these digital tools is the best way to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced business world. Whether you are looking to improve customer service, optimize operations or gain valuable insight into your company’s activities, modern technology is here to help.