The coronavirus pandemic has created many changes for companies. Those who shifted to mostly remote work quickly leveraged new tools to improve communication and connection with both staff and customers. Even those who kept operating in person had to shift to new processes and new ways to communicate as well.
In the midst of all of this change, there’s also opportunity for improvement in terms of processes and communication. This is a moment to take stock of your workflow processes and communications and seek ways to utilize technology to become a more efficient and current company.
All companies, including service companies, have some opportunity to leverage technology to improve processes and communications, whether that means updating their company website, upgrading internal tools, or shifting to using tablets in the field instead of paper forms. Today’s customers increasingly expect companies to leverage technology, as do members of your future workforce. Although the processes that have served you for decades feel comfortable and familiar, younger workers see the inefficiencies and are looking for employers that leverage technology for better efficiency overall.
Before you dive in on purchasing a new technology, consider this three-step process to ensure the best outcome.
Document your current process
The first step in modernizing your business with technology is taking stock of what you are currently doing. Do you have written documentation of your processes? Do you know the typical workflows of how things move through your business and who is involved? If you’ve written them in the past, spend some time reviewing the documentation and make sure it aligns with your current practice. Evaluate your communication between employees, your contact and communication with customers, and all the steps necessary to produce your final product. Once you have a handle on your current workflow, you have a starting point to evaluate where technology could help you improve.
Look for areas to improve
When you take the time to document your processes on paper, it will often bring redundancies and inefficiencies to light. It’s easier to see what isn’t working well for your business and needs improvement when you start looking closely at each step of the process. Look for areas where you are entering information twice (once by hand and then later in the computer), things that just feel like they take longer than they should, and places in your process where confusion occurs between employees or between your company and the customer.
Leverage technology to help
Once you have a list of areas that need improvement, it’s time to start asking where you can insert technology to help. Whether it’s a new way of communicating between employees or an improved website with current information and ways for your customers to contact you, it’s time to take the leap into fresh technology. Consider if there are ways to enter information directly into a database via tablet rather than taking a customer’s information on paper and entering it later. Perhaps the technology you need is a project management system to keep everything on track and to quickly know project status without asking employees for individual updates.
This process may take some time, but it will be worth it the investment in the future of your company. Customers will be confident they are working with an efficient and current company, and you will appeal to the next generation of workers as they seek companies that make the most of technology. Ultimately, you will also save time and money as efficiency improves.
Thinking about this or other ways your company needs to shift to better recruit and retain the next generation of workers? We can help you set a strategy.