increase-efficiency-through-technologyWhilst we’ve seen a definite upturn in the economy we’ve also seen increased competition from abroad and in some sectors prices still rising whilst incomes remain the same so we’re still in a challenging market place and we can’t afford to be complacent.

More than ever we need to look at how we can better generate profitability both from our customers and prospects through sales but also (and probably easier) from within the business by reducing costs through buying smarter and reducing costs, and increasing efficiency. Small business changes that will change your business will increase your efficiency, reduce costs and errors, and possibly increase your quality.

So how do you increase efficiency through technology? Here’re my quick win areas.

Automate tasks

Take a long hard look at your business processes and as far as possible automate. Look for efficiencies across the business, they don’t have to be major but they could create a major impact on overall efficiency and your bottom line.  Then look for software that can be used to automate through workflow or email communication.

Cleanse your data

From the moment contact data enters your database, it starts to decay. Within a couple of years more than 30% of your data could be out-of-date. The cost of mailing to inaccurate addresses and redirecting mail can be significant. Regular cleansing of your contact database will bring dividends and save you time and money.

Streamline communications

A CRM system linked to an email platform allow you to manage your customer communications and relationships from a central point with much greater efficiency. The analytics contained in these systems can tell you how effective and efficient your marketing campaigns have been.

Digitise

Digitise your documents so they are easier to send, share, store, search and they won’t get damaged or lost. WWF recently carried out a study that suggested a typical company could reduce its paper usage by 20% by simply highlighting to staff how much paper they use in a month.

Improve collaboration

Improving collaboration between employees, partners, suppliers, and customers is another way to boost efficiency. Take advantage of new collaboration technologies like interactive calendaring, videoconferencing and webcasting.

Outsource IT

Is managing IT infrastructure the best use of your time? It may be advantageous to outsource your infrastructure and support to a managed services provider. It can free your time to focus on running your business rather than your IT.

About Matthew Fleming. Matt has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry working with small medium sized and enterprise clients, with a consultative approach, to better understand requirements and deliver appropriate, scalable and cost reducing business solutions. He’s been working with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM since 1999, providing these to a range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, retail, professional services and finance.