A key element of technological advance is the potential boost in productivity it can give a business.
Tasks that were previously time consuming and repetitive can be taken care of by tech. In turn, that frees workers up for other tasks and, thanks to advances in data collection and processing, businesses are now able to learn more about their customers and serve them accordingly.
Examples of how tech is helping business:
Automated office systems
A classic example is accounting software; the latest packages can take care of labor intensive tasks such as invoicing, recording sales and expenses data. Accounting systems can be expanded to incorporate tasks such as payroll and provide efficient point of sale (POS) functionality to include stock inventory control.
Other automated systems can improve productivity such as email autoresponders to conduct email marketing through an automated sequence of relationship-building and follow up emails.
Improved customer profiling
It’s becoming easier to not only collect customer data, but store and analyze it to build an accurate customer profile so as to learn who is being sold to, what their preferences are and what they need.
This is achieved mainly through enhanced data management; the rise of Big Data means huge amounts of data is being collected and analyzed. It’s a branch of tech open to even smaller businesses as cheaper storage such as the cloud means they can afford to build and benefit from big databases.
Chatbots and customer relations
In order to provide comprehensive customer contact facilities, organizations have previously had to use platoons of call handlers and put systems in place to deal with possible human error and variable service levels.
The advances with chatbots – automated bots able to converse with customers verbally via ‘chat’ services and via the written word – mean efficient and less labor intensive, and so less expensive, customer handling is achievable.
It also means a uniform level of service quality is possible from this AI (Artificial Intelligence) based tech.
The ability of companies to run the latest software that can grow with their needs is a huge boost; previously organizations had to invest in dedicated software packages that needed replacing as demands changed or newer versions were released.
As with the accounting software discussed above, many software types can be run via this subscription model – a situation possible mainly thanks to cloud computing.
Also, as mentioned earlier, the cloud provides relatively inexpensive data storage compared to costly physical types; the ever-increasing amounts of data generated can now be stored and accessed easily.
Organizations can get back on their feet quickly if problems with their computer systems strike; backups kept in the cloud can be accessed rapidly.
Software for all
It’s likely now that there is a software package or an app for just about every need possible – or at least many of them.
Tasks can be automated and streamlined with many of the packages available. For instance, project management can be made easy and possible for several people all working remotely using packages such as Trello.
Rather than spend hours manually posting blogs and tweets on social media, businesses can automate the scheduling with social media tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite.
Reporting and communication
The IoT (Internet of Things) is revolutionizing certain business areas with the ability it affords for machines, gadgets and even infrastructure to communicate.
For example, IoT’s effect on transport and logistics is profound as productivity is boosted through improved routing and scheduling. Trucks can communicate where they are to base in real time, and even provide detail such as the temperature of their trailers when transporting perishable goods.
Manufacturing plants can provide constant feedback through IoT based tech in terms of what machines may be running low on supplies or have developed a fault. This means action can swiftly be taken to avoid halts or slowdowns in production.
There’s no doubt technology is making a practical difference for businesses both large and small.