Optimal productivity is the holy grail of business. Yet even in this digital era, we come across organisations hindered by inefficient approaches that needlessly waste time and resources.
As an extended part of our clients’ teams we’ve been proud to help many businesses with their efficiency challenges. From improving applicant sign-up processes to introducing virtual servers, we’ve smoothly launched new technology and improved productivity in numerous ways.
In this blog, we reveal the technical solutions that have freed up time, saved money and helped our clients move their businesses forwards.
Ringing the Changes in Recruitment
One of our clients, a recruitment company, asked us to review their applicant sign-up process. Currently, candidates fill in paper-based forms which are passed to an administrator who manually enters the data onto a system. Not only does this introduce two potential rounds of human error but the same information is being written out twice causing business productivity issues.
Some of the challenges this presented include:
- Typos or missing details resulted in additional phone calls to check information
- A paper-based approach is outdated and was not aligned to the firm’s modern brand identity
- Other priorities meant forms were not always added immediately to the system – this delayed the sharing of candidates with companies looking for hires.
Our solution was to remove the duplication of effort by re-creating the form online. Instead of being handed a form, applicants are given a tablet to enter their data into the app we created.
By connecting this technology directly with the customer relationship management system, each candidate’s details are saved directly to the database. This has removed the need for administrators to add the data to the system saving 20 minutes per application and 830 hours each year.
The online form includes rules to ensure applicants complete all relevant sections reducing human error and ensuring missing information is no longer a problem. This streamlined solution removes the need for administrators to seek additional details as well as minimising the printing and shredding costs associated with so much paper.
Making the Dreaded Timesheet More Accessible
Completing timesheets is one of those jobs that falls to the end of a long list of things to do. Yet in many businesses it’s critical for establishing profit and loss and can have a huge impact on invoicing.
In a bid to move away from paper-based records, one of our clients asked employees to add data to spreadsheets. While Excel formulas were able to provide some functionality, they would often fail leaving staff frustrated. And human error also resulted in gaps in the data and inaccuracies.
As the business grew, this approach also meant additional manual work for departments like HR and Accounts when collating the data.
We took timesheets online developing a digital solution that can be used on mobile phones, tablets and PCs. This has made timesheet completion possible wherever employees are and has reduced the time it takes staff to input their hours.
Not only that but the new timesheet system automatically collates data and delivers additional management reporting capability at the click of a mouse. Now the business can easily reference data using a bespoke reporting dashboard. This makes it quicker and easier to understand where they are facing challenges at different organisational levels, from team leader to whole enterprise.
Business Growth with Advanced Phone Technology
As a legal firm, you need to be accessible to new and existing clients, often urgently. For one of our clients, a large legal enterprise based in Liverpool, their old IT systems were restricting their ability to grow as they could only handle a limited number of concurrent phone calls.
This meant some callers were unable to get through resulting in the loss of potential business and additional workload to respond to voicemails. However, expanding their existing digital system would have meant costly licensing fees. Another answer was needed.
We introduced a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOiP) phone system that has enabled the business to manage a much higher number of calls.
By using additional headsets, the number of agents who can take calls can be increased as demand requires. Even when an employee isn’t sitting on reception, they can log in to a handset and deal with incoming calls. This flexibility has given the business the technical capability to deploy additional resources as required without the need for extra expensive licenses.
With a seamless transition from the old system to VOIP, there has been very little downtime, cheaper calls and a cost-effective long-term solution all of which has helped to position the business for future growth.
Only Pay for What You Need
Third party HR systems are expensive. And paying for a full suite of tools is out of the question when you only need one aspect of the system.
One of our clients had been suffering due to challenges posed by their offline holiday request system. They needed an online solution to solve this single element of their HR practices and asked us to build a platform for them.
Using Office 365 apps, we created a digitised absence system. It enables employees to request holiday and line managers to give approval online with clear process steps built in and audit reports available.
Not only is the holiday approval process now being strictly followed, but holidays can be booked over a year in advance allowing the business to plan effectively over a longer period of time.
HR can now produce reports and visuals for managers and stakeholders at different organisational levels, empowering leaders to identify people planning issues ahead of time.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Replace your old boiler with a new one and you can expect to save money due to improved efficiency. The same is true of servers. As they age they begin to work slower and are more prone to breakdowns adding to their running costs. Plus, old hardware usually can’t store as much data as newer models.
There are also a range of disaster risks that could bring a business to its knees such as physical servers being destroyed by fire or flood. Our client was well aware of all these problems but was mainly suffering due to slow speeds that were impacting productivity.
By moving the data held in old physical servers to virtual ones in a secure offsite data centre, we have created a virtual infrastructure for this client. This has enabled them to replace several ageing servers with a single new server which uses the latest technology and runs far quicker.
Not only does this mean employees can work more efficiently but the costs associated with multiple servers, like additional floor space, running and repair costs are also reduced.
There are many ways that technology can be deployed to make businesses more productive. Whatever your productivity challenge we’re confident we can help.