If you’ve ever read an article from one of the big consulting firms, it’s clear they’re pretty excited about technology, but it’s not clear why. Is it the social matrix? The frictionless blockchain-enabled business? What does that stuff mean anyway?
Unless your company cares more about its market cap than its cash flow, you probably aren’t big enough to really look at technology like this. That doesn’t mean technology isn’t important to your success, however. Here are three ways that technology is revolutionizing business for the rest of us. When technology is deployed correctly by your company, these same three factors will lead you to beat your competitors time after time. How is your technology team stacking up on these three measures?
Communication Quality and Speed
The best businesses are operating more efficiently than ever before in part because they receive the information they need when they need it. Internal teams can communicate with each other easily and quickly, not just through email, but through applications like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Service and sales teams receive automatic notifications when customers need help or a potential client is sending buying signals, and the information about how those customers and prospects have been interacting with your company can be retrieved in seconds.
Importantly, less valuable information is automatically filtered out or set aside for a later time. The problem of storing customer data was solved years ago at many companies. The modern challenge is automatically filtering data and only providing the data most relevant to the current customer interaction, because most businesses collect too much data to analyze while talking with a customer.
For companies that sell products, technology has made it easier than ever to keep up with inventories. Inventory is no longer about tracking quantities of items in stock. Systems can track when they arrived, how long they stay in your warehouse, and automatically determine how many to order next week. And when those items are ordered, they’re arriving faster than ever thanks to massive technology upgrades at shippers and wholesalers.
For service companies, inventory is represented by the time of the service providers they employ. Time management has gotten better than ever thanks to technology. Scheduling systems can allow customers to request time without having to make a single phone call. Meeting notifications can be automated, with a rescheduling button to reduce expensive customer no-shows. And if your service providers travel to the customer, GPS systems have drastically reduced time spent being lost or waiting on unanticipated traffic jams.
Your employees are more capable than they’ve ever been thanks to technology. The vast amount of information available online means that they can learn in minutes what used to take days. What do customers really want from service providers? What’s a competitive price for your offering? Is a vendor really as reliable as they say they are? The answers to these questions don’t require knowing the right person anymore – they’re easily available online.
Even subject matter expertise is made easier with the internet. What used to require travel to an in-person training seminar can increasingly be learned online. Professional continuing education and product demonstrations that used to require travel can be handled in a videoconference. All of these enhancements to educational speed leaves more time for your employees to employ that knowledge for the benefit of your company.
To learn more about how WingSwept can help your organization leverage technology to improve business results, please call us at 919-779-0954 or email us at Team_WingSwept@WingSwept.com.