How businesses can digitise their operations

All businesses and professionals should be looking for ways to improve their work rate, be more efficient and perform better. There is a continual desire to get more from less at work and the development of the digital workplace has created a chance for businesses of all levels to work more efficiently and make savings without compromising on quality or standards. In fact, firms should find that digitising their operations allows them to improve standards while saving money.

No matter how straightforward a digital process seems companies must prepare for teething problems. This may be through user error, with people not being sure of what to do with their new digital work, or through systems not being set-up properly. The initial stages will often leave many professionals feeling that digitising operations is a waste of time, but once the initial issues have been resolved, the benefits come to the fore, making this a sensible course of action for firms to take.

Digitise your strategies, not create a digital strategy

One major issue is that companies are reacting to the digital revolution by adding digital processes on top of or in addition to their traditional working practices. This misses the point of digitalisation and it will often result in new problems arising or certain issues being overlooked or omitted. Companies should aim to digitise their existing strategies and working practices, utilising the methods that have served a company well. This is the way that businesses will be able to digitise their operations in the most effective and appropriate way.

Consider the following tips for digitising your business operations:

  • Ensure your website is optimised for mobile users
  • Set up social media accounts
  • Provide a mobile app
  • Utilise digital invoices and documentation
  • Set up employee calendars

By the end of 2017, it is projected that more than one third of the global population will own a smartphone, which means more people will be accessing the Internetvia their phone. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is the case but the statistics support the fact that people use their phones to go online. This means businesses need to be in a position to reach those people, which means firms have to have mobile optimised websites. A failure to do so will see firms missing out as potential visitors dismiss poorly performing sites on their phones, quickly moving on to others that have been optimized.

Going further than a mobile friendly site is producing a mobile app. Apps provide users with a more secure way to engage with a company, which is vital in these safety conscious times. Whether you sell online or you collect and hold customer data, a mobile app provides security, which means users will be more likely to use your firm.

Social media provides great insight

Social media accounts are increasingly useful for obtaining feedback from customers and developing relationships with people. Social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook provides firms with a chance to engage their audience and be part of the conversation. This should ensure there is a greater level of feedback from the firm’s audience than would be expected from more traditional methods. Given that social media accounts can be set up for free, this is a highly effective way for businesses to communicate and develop.

There is a great deal to be said for removing paper trails and documents in the workplace. There is definitely an environmental benefit in switching to a paperless office, but there is also considerable convenience that comes from issuing documents digitally. An example would be utilising an invoice template, created in-house or obtained from a provider like Invoice Home, so that every professional at the company was creating and passing information in a consistent manner. Also, digital invoices can be stored in the cloud or on hard drive files making it less likely they would be lost. Also, if these invoices are submitted by email or via an online account, there will be a date and time stamp attached to the sending of the invoice, which may be of benefit in resolving disputes at a later date.

Another way a firm can benefit from digitising their operations is through knowing where their employees are. Digitally sharing calendars allows employees to plan ahead, which may mean that more efficient journeys can be made. For firms that undertake staff travel as part of their daily activities, improving GPS capabilities allow the progress of employees to be followed, which can be utilised to provide customers with more detailed information about the whereabouts of their order.

The benefits from digitising operations should ensure all firms look into harnessing the new working practices in order to become more efficient.

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