Replace These 3 Common Office Tools to Become More Efficient

Beyond the need to add value and solve problems, the goal of every business is to make a profit. If you’re tackling pressing industry needs or seen as an authority in your field but not making money, your business process may need a refresher. 

Some workflows require little or no creativity, consume time, and stifle employee growth. Many businesses run redundant processes that ought to be automated. Automating these processes frees up valuable time employees can channel to more productive tasks. If you want to do more with less time, you should look at your processes and see what aspects you can make more efficient. 

Today’s highly competitive and demanding market requires that businesses are more innovative. Companies constantly have to improve efficiency and productivity while aiming to be profitable. This means you must eliminate anything that wastes time or is unnecessarily cumbersome. 

It is important to point out that efficiency is not always equivalent to cost reduction. Companies keep inefficient processes and systems in place to keep expenditure at its lowest. Instead of changing the outdated systems, they simply augment. Such temporary procedures often require complex processes and become more difficult to change in the future. Here are three common office tools to replace for improved efficiency.

Paper-Based Operation

So many businesses still rely on manual data and paper filling for reporting processes. This process wastes time and can be cumbersome—from looking for missing documents to passing papers around. It requires physical access to sort, and the search process can be frustrating. No matter how organized the documentation is, once some documents go missing, you incur an extra cost to reproduce.

Research shows that 70 percent of businesses will not survive if they lose their data. A cloud-based management system reduces the margins for errors and costs incurred from mistakes. Workers spend 20 percent of their time looking and collecting information. Decision-making is improved in a digitalized system where access to information is at the click of a button. 

Businesses can improve efficiency by moving over to cloud-based document applications, such as enterprise content management software. This allows companies to transition from paper-based to digitalized processes seamlessly. Processes such as data entry, employee onboarding, and compliance will benefit from digitalization. The processes will become faster, improving accessibility across different governance levels. 

Before, most employers had to use punch cards to track employees’ attendance and work hours. With this paper-based method, workers mark them out on machines to set the time they arrive and leave the office. Then, the data gets collected and encoded manually to calculate the appropriate wages.

This process can be easily riddled with errors with all that manual input. An app or program designed to track employee hours can do the same tasks more easily.

The latest attendance tracking applications have biometric capabilities like facial recognition, making logins and logouts more accurate and seamless. They’re also more secure from tampering, preventing instances of fraud. 

Investing in such apps or software can make business processes like these less tedious, more efficient, and more dependable.

Data Silos

Based on the functionalities of different work departments, their core tools are different though they might run the same database. A company’s culture, size, and organizational structure cause data silos. In large organizations, most departments run independently using different technologies. And the few times they have to collaborate, there is a problem.

Data silos can cause cumbersome processes that affect the quality of products or services. When employees change data in one department, the update might not reflect across the board. This lack of uniformity creates multiple versions of the same account with no clear sign of the most updated. This ambiguity results in slower processes where there’s a struggle to identify the correct database. 

To correct this, a single data source has to be accessible to all. A cloud-based productivity app that allows integrations and collaborations will rectify the problem. Integrations make it possible to use different tools on a single platform, ensuring all team members access accurate data and eliminating miscommunication.

Multiple Communication Channels

In the bid to reach more customers and be seen as tech-savvy, businesses bite more than they can chew. Running multiple communication lines is time-consuming and could drain resources. Without vital resources to cater to the demanding needs of various communication platforms, you could end up shooting yourself in the foot. However, there is a solution, unified communications. 

Unified communication streamlines the various platforms employees have to navigate and presents it in one place. It improves existing processes and productivity, and its cloud-based functionality enables real-time presence and collaboration across your organization. 

You can also improve call handling efficiency with shared phone lines to foster efficient customer service and eliminate call transfer. This is particularly useful in retail businesses. So rather than having multiple phone numbers, you could just have one and route it across various devices. This way, many people can pick up across different locations, increasing flexibility and reducing inefficiency.

Moreover, you can also improve your business’s overall efficiency by using project management software.

Effective team management is all about proper communication. When the channels aren’t streamlined and you’re not updated with what your team members are doing, miscommunication occurs. This can lead to mismatched timelines, botched projects, extended downtime, and a serious drop in productivity.

With project management software, you can ensure proper communication and collaboration on and off-site. You can create a work schedule, assign tasks, share files, and send feedback.

Stay Competitive

Today’s competitive market and customer expectations require businesses to use innovative tools to eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies. Understand your business dynamics and search for software that aligns with your workflows and goals. The hack is not always more technology but better decisions.

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