The first time we heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder,” we were struck by how obvious it was, even though it hadn’t really occurred to us in our first few years of operating.
As our business grows and develops, we are now using this philosophy as one of our main guiding principles. Our main aims are to avoid causing additional workloads and stress for our team, improve efficiency within the business and ultimately increase profit without affecting wellbeing. For us, software technology provides a multitude of opportunities and solutions to these issues.
Within any business or organisation, there are often massive amounts of people, tasks and systems to coordinate. Planning and monitoring takes a lot of time and people power, but doesn’t necessarily have to. Every business can harness the power of technology, to some degree or another, for the purposes of making people’s work lives easier.
Technology can be used to optimise any aspect of a business, including:
- Organisation – Documentation of systems and processes can be made accessible to all, at any time. Organising systems digitally using cloud technology can decentralise information, giving employees access from anywhere at any time.
- Efficiency – the gathering and analysis of data in real-time can help optimise processes, thus improving efficiency.
- Administration – Automating repetitive admin tasks can free up time to spend on more impactful work.
- Finances – To improve accuracy of bookkeeping and save time processing transactions.
- Brand/Business Presentation – Customer service can be made more consistent and response times improved, improving how the outside world views the business.
- Communication – Processing and delegation of tasks can be made faster and more accurate. Teams can also spend less time on communication when tools and strategy work towards this goal.
- Learning & Development – Self-learning pathways to skill-up employees.
- Environment – Such as reduced travel and lower office bills.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but certainly serves to illustrate the diversity of what digital integration and transformation can do, which we find very inspiring.
At Kew Consulting, when making a change to our operating methods, adopting new technological solutions etc, we regularly ask “Does this help us to work smarter, not harder?”
If the answer is yes, we’ll pursue things further. If not, we’ll stop and find an alternative.
A Word Of Caution
There are also downsides of using technology in the wrong way, which managers should be aware of (and plan for) to mitigate negative impacts. This can include the loss of productivity, the impact on work-life balance, and stress which can be caused by being constantly contactable. Technological tools plus micro-management can often leave employees feeling overwhelmed, as can lots of sudden changes to business practices. Ultimately, the effect of change on employees is one of the most important things to consider.
We are definitely not saying that your business should immediately acquire a technological tool or solution for each and every strand of its operations. However, we would initially recommend harnessing software to take care of one or two functions/areas of your business. If you see a direct, tangible benefit, then incrementally add more software tools to improve things further.
This can also be done with custom software systems, where a developer team can build components in a modular fashion and with your future expansion plans in mind. The joy of custom software is that it is built for your current needs, and with a small amount of forethought can be built to accommodate your future needs, too. If you already have software tools which you use within an organisation, many of these can be integrated into a custom system, tying together many systems and strands of your business into one holistic piece of software.
To find out more about how our team can help you with a custom software system, get in touch now for a no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you to work smarter, not harder.