15 Apr 2017, 12:30 — 5 min read
Technology offers innumerable opportunities for small business owners to boost productivity and streamline business processes. For a small and medium sized organisation, implementing the right technology at the right time will definitely bring these benefits and more:
• Significant increase in revenues
• More time available for business and customers
• All round increase in productivity
• Seamless information flow without bottle-necks
• Happy customers due to efficient service
In my software business, our endeavour is to develop software that contribute to the productivity and therefore profitability of our customers.
Our customers are mostly medium sized enterprises who have embraced technology and reaped great benefits. Let me narrate some examples of how our technology has enabled their business growth.
Streamlining billing & ordering system
A customer of ours has a number of retail outlets selling all kinds of bakery products. The conventional and most used approach would have been to install POS terminals, connect them to a central computer and use billing software.
Instead, we developed and installed for them a completely ‘tablet’ based software that combines billing and order-replenishment. The counter-sales person now does the billing using a tablet and prints the receipts in a blue-tooth printer. Apart from ensuring proper billing, they also had another challenge to solve, namely, the timely replenishment of stocks. At the end of the day, orders are placed to the central kitchen using the same tablet. This is a great example of how smart technology has streamlined & improved the business’ billing & stock-keeping system.
Leveraging smartphone software to manage sales staff
Being a major distributor of a range of products, a client of ours has a number of dealers in several towns in south India. They employ a number of field sales executives whose main job is to stay in regular contact with the dealers and secure more business. The challenge faced was that a lot of time was wasted in travel and therefore the number of dealers visited daily by a sales executive, was always less. Needless to say, this impacted the business.
With our mobile field sales force management software, the situation has completely transformed. Each sales-executive is issued a daily route plan that they can see on their mobile phone. They know clearly which dealer to visit next. The same software allows them to record the work done. The activities usually include – accepting new orders, collecting money for the last invoice, recording any feedback and so on.
Mobile app for finding remote locations
How often we would have had the experience of a technician calling us repeatedly to know the location of our office our house, when he has to visit to fix a faulty inverter or a washing machine or some other machinery.
A customer of ours, who is an inverter and UPS manufacturer, employs a number of technicians, who are always in the field attending to customer calls. With customers in remote areas, locating an address is a difficult task, thus wasting a lot of time not to speak of delays in service. A CRM is being implemented but even then the last-mile link with the field technician is a difficult problem to solve.
Our mobile app reads the address received as SMS Text and identifies the location in a map. Now the technician need not run around trying to locate a door number or to make repeated calls. Service levels and productivity have vastly improved as a result.
The ‘all important’ TAT (Turn Around Time) for resolving customer calls is kept in check.
Work-flow management using smart phones
It is not just our customers who have benefited from our software. We have developed and implemented a work-flow management system for ourselves. This helps me and my project managers, assign jobs, track them and also intervene in case of delays, no matter where we are. Due to my frequent travels, information flow was a problem that led to embarrassing situations with my customers, earlier. Now with the software, I know who is doing what and what is the progress of work. When a customer calls me, I know exactly what to tell him.
Well, I can go on and on, describing how technology can enhance business benefits. There are several simple solutions to complex problems. All that one need is the will-power to implement them, irrespective of several challenges and road-blocks.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to embrace the right technology to grow your business!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted bySridhar Narayanaswamy
Managing partner of Innovatus Systems, founded by him on January 1, 2013. Sridhar is a result oriented professional with over four decades in the Information Technology &...
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