How efficient is your leadership team? Can every manager, executive, and team leader access company documents, emails, calendars, project task lists, customer data, and relevant business information in real-time from anywhere? Do they have a fast, easy way to communicate and text with coworkers and a history of that communication? If not, the productivity and profitability of your company may be greatly impacted. It’s time to provide your leadership team with mobile technology basics stacked together – or a “tech stack” – for maximum efficiency.
Communicate & Problem-Solve – Anywhere, Anytime
Many companies are dealing with an inefficient collection of spreadsheets, databases, programs and applications that do not talk to each other. With remote workers becoming more commonplace, it is increasingly important to equip your leadership team with basic but important tools on their devices for easy access to information and the ability to communicate and problem-solve from anywhere, anytime. It is a huge advantage to have on-demand access to real-time information, schedules, tasks, production, internal contacts, and customer data and keep everyone in the loop for positive company culture. This is possible with the right tech stack.
Based on a 2015 Enterprise Mobility Survey of 332 executives from various industries, enterprise mobility makes process 30% more efficient and employees 23% more productive.
Start with Basic Mobile Tech Tools
If you’re not sure what apps and tools to start with, here are a few of the basics that integrate and promote maximum efficiency with accessibility from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and Surfaces. Look for those that work with your operating system(s) and integrate well with each other and into your processes.
- Calendar (Google, Office365)
- Email (Gmail, Outlook)
- Texting/Messaging (Messages, Slack, Teams)
- Online note-taking (Google Docs, OneNote)
- Task List/Production Scheduling (Asana, Trello)
- Time Tracking (Asana, Everhour)
Tether Your Devices
Once you’ve decided on a basic set of apps, make sure the devices can access the internet. Though it seems WiFi is everywhere, there are plenty of areas where it’s hard to get a signal. This could be detrimental, especially if you need to communicate in the most unlikely of places in regard to an important business deal or a deadline. Public WiFi is also inherently insecure and might not be a good conduit for your critical business information.
For devices that do not have a built-in cell connection, you can tether to a smartphone or a hot-spot to access the internet when Wi-Fi isn’t available. Using your own hot-spot also adds a layer of security – public Wi-Fi is a bad idea when accessing confidential documents and email. Provide tethering for your leadership team’s devices to maximize the efficiency of your tech stack.
83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. – Forbes
Ready to Take It Up a Notch?
Let’s say you’ve taken steps to implement some basic apps and tools and learned how to use them. Your leadership team is communicating better and plugging away at utilizing their new tech stack – so now, how are you sharing and managing the data? The next step is to stack that useful technology even more to manage your data with automation. The ability to communicate, sort, file, track, and input information is wonderful, but managing permissions so everyone who needs it has access to it is what makes it most effective.
For example, a tech stack that includes a Content Management System (CMS), can store large volumes of info in one place where it can be shared, manipulated, and accessed automatically to help manage company and customer materials. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is imperative to capture critical data and extremely precise details about customers (and potentials) – from their buying habits to how long they stay on each of your website pages to lifestyle and their favorite things. Everyone with access to the CMS and CRM can ensure top-notch customer service and ramp-up production to meet demands.
Another must-have is a chat/messaging app. This technology not only inspires communication, but each person can also hold several conversations at once, helping this often-challenging part of business become a non-issue. The app can also be used for one-on-one conversations, as well as by project, concepts, discussions, compliance, groups, and any custom configuration that suits your needs. It provides easy document sharing and creates a documented communication history. Chat apps create unity and frequently help people feel more connected.
And, lastly, where would your company be without a way to track production and tasks and the time involved? The beauty of a task/production app is that everyone can see their tasks and stay on top of what’s left to do, know exactly when the next person is up to bat and keep projects moving. It also facilitates immediate troubleshooting when needed. Most tracking and production apps facilitate budgeting and cost analysis and work well when linked to a timekeeping app.
When all these tools are tied together, including a calendar app for a quick reference to who is available when without having to email/call/text or wait for confirmation, there is a noticeable uptick in productivity and revenue results. The icing on the cake is to have these apps and tools feed into reports and/or a custom dashboard for easy analytics and KPIs at-a-glance. Rolling up the data in a concise dashboard for leadership to see in real-time takes the guesswork out of the equation and simplifies reporting. Once you implement a tech stack, you’ll wonder how you survived without it!
The global mobile workforce is expected to reach 1.87 billion workers (over 42% of the global workforce) by 2022. – IBM
Build vs. Buy
One of the biggest issues plaguing businesses today is finding an organized, reliable, secure means of managing information. Another challenge is organizing large amounts of data and providing on-demand, real-time access to that data by those who need it – always with maximum security in mind. Tech stacking solves these issues and provides an innumerable amount of other benefits. So, do you build your own or buy off the shelf?
This is a loaded question! It depends on the type of business you’re in, the size of it, your current software, and so many other attributes. Sure, you can “buy off the shelf” and implement the mobile technology that’s readily available and often free. It’s a great way to learn and will evolve with you as you grow – to a certain point. You can also choose an ERP with a tech stack system and integrate some of the off-the-shelf technology into your custom software. Or, you can go custom all the way. There is no right answer to this. It is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Is this dilemma what stops you from pursuing tech stacking?
Swip Systems is here to help you determine what would work for you, how easy it would be to integrate, and help you along the way. We take the fear of the unknown out of the equation and give you peace of mind knowing you have professional assistance. There’s no need to be paralyzed by not knowing where to begin when there’s help available.
92% of organizations believe not only will adopting mobile apps will give them a competitive edge, but also the failure to adopt such apps will put them at a competitive disadvantage. – IBM
The Bottom Line …
For most business owners and leadership teams, the largest hurdle to beginning the tech stack process is the learning curve, which equates to time – time to choose, implement, train, troubleshoot, and ensure minimum risk is associated with every app and tool. As the old saying goes, “Time is money.” However, the best advice we can give is to assign one person to the task of starting the process – someone must move the thing forward because this type of communication and business automation is the key to staying profitable long-term. Without it, eventually, you will be in so much technical debt, digging out will be even more difficult and costly.
Swip Systems is here to help. We want you to succeed and get over the technology hurdles that stop you from moving forward. Contact our team if you have any questions about this topic or would like us to perform an assessment. 877.377.SWIP