As we sit around kitchen tables, coffee tables and spare bedrooms, battling for bandwidth in our isolating bubbles, there is a realisation of how much we rely on systems tied to locations and business practices that mandate meat-space meetings.
These practices have proven the weak link in the chain for many businesses; those that acknowledge this and look to mature technology will ride out the storm, both now and the economic uncertainty to follow. There has never been a more precarious time for business owners, flexibility will be key.
Mobile applications (apps) are a mature technology and can go far further than shopping, gaming and social media. Think of those areas of your business that require paperwork, face-to-face meetings and those mundane tasks that no-one wants to do. Identify those in your business and you are taking the first steps in working smarter.
Mobile apps don’t work in isolation, however, you’ll need a web-based portal in order to manage the system and use the data it generates. It is very rare to find an off-the-shelf system to do this. Start with a blank sheet of paper and make the system work for you, this approach will have the greatest chance of success, you’ll need your staff and suppliers to welcome the new system, early frustrations can lead to a lack of take up.
If you are in the trade sector how to you manage tasks for contractors? How do you receive invoices? A mobile app can be run on your contractor’s own phone and you can push tasks out to them using an adaptable web portal. This can include drawings and photos, they can mark each task as complete and supply back any necessary comments, photos and videos and it will all be collated in your web portal, accessible from anywhere, with vital information readily available, not waiting for end-of-day progress reports and paperwork.
Once you have data the opportunities to evaluate and identify new ways to enhance your business are immense, it will reveal new ways to grow and expand, to identify skills training and those areas of the business that are underperforming.
Be it the current pandemic, or the increasingly urgent need to reduce our environmental impact, businesses will look very different in the coming months and years, don’t be Blockbuster.