Technology – Using Technology for Gain
Using Technology for Gain
Abandoning paper-based processes can improve productivity and profits.
The more a task can be automated, the greater the increase in productivity and the greater the reduction in employee overtime and management frustration. Even though technology can speed up operations and reduces costs, far too often owner-managers continue to embrace legacy behaviours that keep their businesses from being as productive and profitable as they could be.
Implementing some or all of the following suggestions could be the first step to increasing productivity and making the workplace more efficient and more enjoyable.
Track Your Behaviour
Before you adopt a new technology, make sure you understand how the job to be automated is currently being done and how technology could make it cheaper and/or more productive.
- Analyze and review existing work patterns.
- Determine how the available technology will improve the process.
- Use time-tracking software to understand what you do, where you do it, and the time spent on task.
- Keep track of your activities and the activities of employees through a typical accounting cycle (i.e., invoicing, purchasing, payroll, government remittances, payment and receipts, reconciliations, business reports, job-site reviews and quotes) to determine where and how much time was spent at various stages.
- Analyze your work and personal habits to determine potential behaviour or procedural fixes for not only employees but also for yourself.
- Determine whether time is being wasted at any stage.
- Determine whether the individual doing the task is cost effective (e.g., should a skilled machine operator spend time changing a tire on a company vehicle?)
Examine the communication protocols in your business.
Use Digital Communication
Consider examining the communication protocols in your business.
- Should communication occur using email, text messaging, productivity app, video conference or telephone?
- When does communication need to be encrypted?
- If communication is written, should the recipient confirm receipt?
- How are mailboxes to be set up for access by interested parties?
Use teleconferencing to keep everyone up to date, for example:
- Set up webinar or web conferences to reduce travel while maintaining contact among all employees ─ including you.
- Determine whether online training would be a possible solution for training needs.
- Use the Cloud to share data and files, but ensure that strict access rules and passwords are in place to avoid breaching confidentiality of employees and intellectual property.
- Install remote access software on your tablet or smartphone to provide access to office computers so you can be updated at any time.
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