Business communication is exponentially faster now than it was even just a few years ago. Gone are the days of waiting to receive a paper catalogue or a fifty page fax. Instead, email has revolutionized how we operate and communicate in a business environment. Imagine then, if your day to day business processes could make the same vast improvement ensuring better time management of both yourself and your staff. Well this dream has become obtainable through web applications which are geared towards streamlining consistent and repetitive tasks. Using this technology will improve your return on investment in a short period of time.
A working example of this can be seen in the operations of a tradeshow event company. Often, the event company is responsible for confirming with their vendors that their booth requirements have been specified. As well, staff and third-party companies are required to be notified of these special requests. Instead of staff calling hundreds of vendors to confirm their booth requirements, web applications can be utilized to automatically email a personal reminder to the individual vendors. The email would contain a unique link and instructions to complete the online booth requirements form.
Once the vendor has completed their form, the information is logged and special departments or third-party companies are notified as needed. Two weeks prior to the event, your staff can follow-up with a phone call to remaining vendors who have not responded. As an owner you have the ability to view the entire process on-demand via reports from your mobile device. Hence, a fifty hour task was reduced to 2 hours, substantially increasing efficiency.
This example may not be relevant to your business, but if you understand the concept you may be able to visualize similar opportunities within your company.
I am not suggesting that you re-invent the wheel, rather take a long look at how your business operates. You can then identify, with the help of your staff where web applications could optimize and streamline your business processes.
Although web applications are not a new concept, the technology has become much more affordable for small and medium size businesses. The communication infrastructure is there (the web), the hardware is there (laptops, tablets and smartphones), the software can be developed at a reasonable rate, and is much more cost effective now than it has ever been. Small and medium sized companies can finally invest and customize solutions specific to their businesses, just like large companies have been doing for years.
Lastly, customer service does not need to suffer even when the customer is directly interacting with your web applications. Streamlining your business processes will allow you more time to focus on servicing the customers when they truly need it.