Efficiency and productivity have always been key components of a winning business model, so it should be no surprise that they offer a competitive edge in the digital age.
These eight digital strategies are essential ways to get ahead of the crowd. Use them to streamline workflow on your way to greater success.
Take Computing to the Cloud
Speaking of the crowd, it’s already using cloud-based computing for storage, file sharing, practice management, accessing information from any device anywhere, desktop as a service, information security, redundancy and recovery as well as a bevy of other benefits.
The streamlining part is that you don’t have to waste time or financial resources on IT infrastructure, training, system backups, software updates and add-ons.
Implementing reliable Internet-based computing for tasks specific to your industry won’t put you in front of the competition.
It’s too late for that, but taking your computing to the cloud will form an essential part of the foundation for you to build upon.
Use Industry-specific Management Software
One exciting development rising from the evolution of cloud computing is management software customized for industries from retail to healthcare to manufacturing.
For example, in dentistry, online dental software includes an appointment scheduler, estimates for dental services, opportunity for patients to securely view their file and charts, review the treatment plan and much more.
Another benefit is being directly connected to HICAPS which makes sending payments and claims a breeze.
When provider/seller and client/customer have the capability to interact on a secure platform over the Internet, both save time.
Clients and customers consider the system to be part of outstanding customer service, and having it available builds their loyalty.
In the years to come, management software providing this type of ease of use will be expected, and companies that don’t offer it will be quickly left behind.
Cut Down on Travel
Traveling is a time waster, so it should be reduced where possible. Cloud computing means that most people can work away from the office to fulfill much or all of their job description.
In fact, about half of Aussies are identified as “digital workers” who work from home or on the go at least part of the time.
Think about the return on investment if the 30-90 minutes many spend commuting each day were directed toward productive work. You and your team would start going faster immediately.
Skype and GoToMeeting are just two of many ways to get face to face that save travel and time while boosting efficiency.
Most companies still benefit from getting people together in the same room at times, but virtual meetings can be pulled together quickly at little or no cost. They are a great tool for connecting with partners, co-workers and clients alike.
Work from Anywhere
There are many options like Microsoft Office that allow you to get work done from any location.
Most offer the convenience you enjoy on a laptop when using a smartphone or tablet, so a myriad of tasks can be accomplished wherever your office is at the moment – your home, your car, Starbucks, it doesn’t matter. The world is your office.
Not only can you get face to face without meeting in person, you can work together over the Internet with cloud-based platforms like Google Drive, Office 365 and OneDrive.
The documents being written, read, edited, discussed and ultimately acted on can be viewed by any team member from any connected device. Rather than passing around files, links to online documents can be shared.
The documents can then be worked on together in real time. File sharing through email attachments for the purpose of collaboration is on the steep decline; collaborating online in real time is on the rapid rise because the time savings are outstanding.
Use Bookkeeping Software
The days of the bookkeeper who keeps manual records of everything are going the way of the compact disc.
Instead, small businesses are using Internet-based software like Cashbook Complete for essential tasks such as invoicing, quotes, electronic bank reconciliation, budgets & actuals and GST returns.
Most are easy to learn and incredibly accurate when data is properly inputted. Save time; save money on accounting, and have accurate data at your disposal 24/7. It’s that simple.
Sharpen your Digital Axes
An old saying goes, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” There is a principle here for business owners, managers and entrepreneurs that want to streamline their workflow and increase productivity.
A range of “digital axes” are available. Sharpening your digital axes is the process of obtaining and customizing the tools that fit your purposes and getting thoroughly familiar with their capabilities.
This takes an upfront commitment of time, dedication and effort, but once the axes are sharp, you will start “chopping down” work at a much faster rate.
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