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Is Working From Anywhere Working For You?

September 15, 2020

The face of the modern workplace is changing. Whether you’ve been doing business in a non-traditional setting for years or you’ve recently had to adapt to new challenges, great results can happen away from an office building. Organizations that are well-prepared to support employees and clients (no matter where they are physically) put themselves in a favorable position to succeed in today’s mobile work environment. Let’s take a look at a few key points that can boost your business:

Add Value With Timely Data

Knowing what’s happening in the field as soon as possible is the key to syncing forecasts and actuals quickly. Not only do many businesses save money by knowing what’s happening as it occurs, they find opportunities to make money too. Does your organization have a way to collect data in real time (or close to it)?

The closer you can get to capturing data as it happens, the more accurate it will likely be. Items summarized later rarely have the same detail as items that are communicated in the moment. Task notifications or timestamped photos of completed work can provide workflow updates quickly without a constant stream of time-consuming phone calls or emails to “check in.”

Managing multiple locations effectively is critical if you are looking to scale your business for growth. Mobile data collection provides the agility needed to change priorities quickly. And there’s a competitive advantage to receiving timely, accurate updates versus the lags in reporting that are commonplace for many businesses.

Prioritize Security

If you’ve been forced to work remotely in 2020, by now you have discovered how well your employees were able to access key systems (either through VPN, on-premises, or cloud-based software). While it’s essential for your staff to be able to access your organization’s software outside the office, it’s also critical to keep that data safe. How certain are you of systems and data security? Is the approach you’re using a temporary fix, or one that could take you into the foreseeable future? Bottom line: If a solution you’re using isn’t secure, it’s not a solution.

Facilitate Collaboration

Many platforms exist to help associates stay connected; Office 365, Google G Suite, and others help employees and clients share files, conduct meetings, and make decisions. Some of these technologies are better suited for mobile devices than others. If you’re not using one of these product suites, how do you share information? Are your employees satisfied with their current setup?

Identifying what works and what doesn’t, especially when it comes to employee preferences, can dramatically increase productivity. A technology advisor (like MarksNelson) can help your organization identify possible software solutions that can get employee buy-in, leading to positive responses and increased collaboration.

Coordinate Processes

One of the many challenges of managing a team remotely is how to track employees and processes without physical proximity. Likewise, employees who rely on your physical presence to keep them engaged and focused on what they need to do may find remote work problematic as well. Making sure that your staff is connected to each other, to you, and your customers can help drive favorable results.

Integrated core systems that automate communication and workflow are the best ways to achieve seamless functionality in a mobile workforce. Many organizations have discovered that working with an advisor to find the right technology is critical. Diving into solutions requires thorough investigation and knowledge to find a system that works, so it’s understandable that a majority of business owners and leaders don’t have bandwidth to do the research on their own.

Spark Customer Engagement

Just as your staff may be more satisfied with increased levels of independence, so might your customers. Clients who can get the answers they need without waiting for an individual response are more likely to offer repeat business. Imagine not having to constantly answer questions like, “When will it arrive?” or, “Can we reschedule?” or, “How do I send payment?” When customers can quickly find the information they’re looking for, the sales cycle is streamlined and accelerated.

Improved technology has made it easier than ever to engage with your clients. Consider the value your organization might find in self-service features that were formerly only available at a premium or exclusively to very large companies:

  • Turn-by-turn directions to your place of business
  • Time-based offers and promotions
  • Reminders for appointments and events
  • Two-way communications for customer inquiries
  • Loyalty rewards for repeat purchases
  • Surveys

Many businesses have been able to identify the mobility issues that have challenged them in 2020, but they’re not always able to find solutions. For most organizations, they simply don’t have the time and expertise needed to dial-in on improvements. MarksNelson specializes in working with small and medium-sized businesses to help improve processes and scale with solutions that enable your workforce and your clients to interact with you wherever they are. Contact us to see how we can help your organization perform at its best… from an office or from anywhere.

About THE AUTHOR
Tim is a key member of the real estate practice area at MarksNelson, leading the real estate valuation, commercial property tax appeal, and market demand studies specialty groups. He partners with clients to secure credits and incentives, provide economic development guidance, and advise on state and... >>> READ MORE

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