We now live in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. This can be an important crossroads for businesses. Businesses today must choose whether to embrace and integrate technological advancements or continue with the old ways and risk being left behind. Newer technologies and a complete digitization of the workspace can lead to improved business productivity by implementing quick and effective solutions for a range of challenges that a business may face. Companies that embrace digital innovation also reduce energy consumption by providing a much-needed environmental break while streamlining and improving production, connectivity, organizational processes, and employee working conditions in 4.0 companies. worldwide.
This article examines six different approaches to improving efficiency while avoiding the productivity losses typical of technologically disorganized work environments.
Invest in intuitive technology
New technologies, from cloud computing to IoT systems, are having a dramatic effect on how people use the internet to work. Such highly intuitive tools have a direct effect on improving workplace productivity.
The prefix "smart" has become a universal term for the new wave of technology of the 2010s. Nowadays, almost everyone knows the term ("smart-phone", "smart-car" "smart-house" etc.). ). However, for some, the term is associated with complexity. Therefore, the main objective of any so-called “smart” solution is a guarantee of user-friendliness, intuitiveness and automation.
Automation is integral to simplifying even basic tasks in the workspace. Once any device or software has been effectively set up, it frees the user from some tedious activities like having to insert these preferences each time they are accessed or used. After initial setup, users can easily streamline document scanning, development and storage.
Business applications, remote work and e-learning
There are several business applications that can be seamlessly linked to company servers, making work documents and memos accessible even from home. Remote workstations are on the rise, reducing or eliminating lost trips, while providing employees with tremendous benefits by optimizing daily tasks from the comfort of their own homes. Businesses also benefit from reduced rental and travel costs while achieving higher levels of productivity.
E-learning tools are also spreading. Any new employee can receive immediate professional training from a number of online learning platforms normally divided into two groups:
1. Proprietary: Platforms that usually have the downside of not being customizable. 2. Open Source: Modular platforms that are constantly updated by communities of developers and fully customizable to specific needs.
Improve communication, organization and portability
The integration of communicative collaboration tools offers companies better connectivity between employees. With a plethora of free apps like Google's cloud suites for sharing documents and information with remote and offsite workers. Google Hangouts, Slack, Cisco Park and Workzone are just a few of the many proprietary cloud-based platforms used to communicate effectively between colleagues, many of which offer top-notch security for sensitive company messages and data.. This software also allows incredible versatility that simple emails cannot compete with. The most vital business discussions are more accessible, there are dedicated spaces for different work topics instead of a single cluttered inbox, and many other features designed to simplify communication and reduce physical barriers between employees.
The cloud-based time tracking software is also incredibly useful when it comes to managing and monitoring employee hours, mileage, expenses, and other logistical factors. Vital business information can be stored and accessed by supervisors, employees and even customers. This also ties into accessibility, especially when it comes to remote workers and customers. Keeping mobile devices and communications software up-to-date is key to keeping all parties well informed. A missed phone call or unanswered email can degrade or even ruin a potential business deal. UC (Unified Communications) for business is becoming a mainstay in modern enterprises with platforms that integrate calling, chat, video conferencing, fixed-mobile convergence (email, voicemail, fax), data sharing and other mobile features.
Best mail, billing and archive systems
Archives are of fundamental importance to a business, therefore, an archiving system can either simplify activities or cause problems (especially when using outdated or obsolete versions).
Better organized e-invoicing and email practices can also help reduce not only wasted paper and ink, but also the carbon footprint caused by the emails themselves (the use of eight e- mails in watts causes the same pollution as a car driving for 1 km).
Integration of e-procurement
E-procurement (or electronic procurement) is the process of managing purchases of goods and services for companies via digital platforms. E-procurement reduces purchasing and logistics department costs and improves staff productivity through improved, simplified usability and superior security for B2B transactions. Additionally, transaction information can be easily processed in-house or in the cloud, making it accessible to employees through multiple channels via the Internet.
A multitude of different suppliers can be researched, evaluated and finally selected by the online shopping service, which guarantees an efficiently streamlined logistics service. The price of goods, services, raw materials and even personnel can be negotiated with each supplier to provide the best possible rates for the company. This means that employees of a company do not have to invest time and money in researching specific products or suppliers. Transaction security is also significantly improved, as all legitimate e-procurement platforms operate under a strict standard that also guarantees data recovery and maintenance. All buying and selling activities performed by buyer and supplier can be audited and tracked, ensuring full transparency at both ends.
Technology and digitization are changing the way we do business, being in the loop or even ahead of the curve is not only recommended but vital for continued success. Not only that, but the benefits in employee and customer satisfaction and the positive effects on the environment (digitalization reduces manufacturing waste and transportation costs) are too numerous to ignore.