Business Productivity and Technology

 

June 17, 2016

Customer retention. It’s the core concern of any retailer, from the independent niche boutique start-up to the Fortune 100 behemoth. But what happens when operational infrastructure fails to address chief productivity concerns among employees? Here’s an overview of some ways in which to leverage technology to more adequately organize your day to day operations.

Cloud Based CRM Software

As more and more companies move towards virtual based storage platforms, both the accessibility and efficacy of cloud based applications are finding new ground in the dynamics of customer management. The ability to manage customer relations remotely helps create a mobile environment that is not tied down by the specifications of physical logistics, allowing real-time customer interaction and evaluation.

Online Project Management Tools

While the trend towards online management sharing should be all-encompassing, many companies seem to retain an almost sentimental longing for physical paperwork. Whether rooted in legitimate fears of security or a sense nostalgia, both the rise of mobile workplaces and increasingly location-specific needs for data management means that an efficient operation staff cannot afford to rely on physical tools to meet management needs.

 

Time Management Resources

The need for effectively juggling multiple tasks in the course of the day can be an all-consuming process. In the past, reliance on solutions such as assistants (physical and virtual) may have been proven effective, but at operational costs that soon skyrocketed. There are numerous online apps (many, even free) these days that can substantially minimize the cost of an operations assistant, allowing less time in organizational function and more time in strategy development.

Communication Gaps and Productivity

One of the chief complaints of anyone operating a business has been bridging the gaps in communication between employees. Without clearly delineating company goals and strategies, employees are often left in the grey; uncertain, overwhelmed, and generally speaking, unappreciated. Ensuring a robust platform for addressing company-wide goals, encouraging internal communication and transparency at all levels are becoming just as much of a focus of time and energy these days; ones which could be much more productively spent developing growth strategies and maximizing already existing resources.

1.) Podio: https://podio.com/

This integrated project management tool, with both web and mobile accessibility, is ideal for structuring operational tasks, deadlines and real-time feedback. With progress updates than can be customized to provide brief overviews or detail-intensive data, Podio is an easily adaptable tool that can be integrated with a wide number of already existing tools and applications.

2.) Harvest: https://www.getharvest.com/

This simple online timetracking tool is an excellent boon for any AR/AP or HR department (both of which regularly face substantial allocations of time and energy in organization.) With built-in reporting and data analysis, budgets can be set to accurately track project progress, ensuring consistency while reducing time and labor.

3.) Zoho: http://www.zoho.com/

As a virtual CRM tool, Zoho is almost unparalleled. By combining multiple functions of time tracking, email and collaboration, finance and budget analysis, sales and marketing leads and business process creation, this versatile tool lives up to its tag-in: it truly is an Operating System for Businesses.

4.) Salesforce: http://www.salesforce.com/

As one of the world’s most well-known CRM solutions, Salesforce has enjoyed a reputation of innovation and ever-changing adaptability to workplace demands—and with good reason. With both automatic and customizable updates and easily accessible usage, Salesforce has helped revolutionize project management software by leaps and bounds.

5.) Wrike: https://www.wrike.com/

This innovative and fun tool helps take project management outside of its traditional zones by offering a communication platform strikingly reminiscent of social media. But don’t let the casual interface throw you off; this tool is an effective, concise and highly adaptable application that is ideal for real-time analysis, task assignment and progress reports.

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