As you will have read Australian business productivity is going backwards. Not good news in a time of lots of other bad news, but something that can be readily tackled (unlike the US/EU economies)
Beyond getting workers to work harder and smarter, the big opportunity for business to create more output, with the same labour or less is to leverage technology. Some of these opportunities may be obvious like work place mobility (blackberry’s, iPhones and tablet computers) and some are not.
Productivity experts divide businesses into three groups – which category do you fit in?
1) Actively adopt new technology, drive value from it to create competitive advantage and drive productivity gains, utilise technology to connect with customers.
2) Looking at technology and using a fair bit of it, but haven’t ingrained deployment and adoption into your culture and business DNA.
3) Know there is lots of new technology but are not actively looking to deploy. Directors / Managers leave tech decision making to others.
So its clear that technology can be used to improve your productivity but how to avoid making bad decisions?
Technologically its a baffling world. There are so many options and lots of acronyms to navigate, and with the advent of mobile computing, the cloud and other upcoming communication advancements like the NBN, how do you draw a distinction between a technological hype, and a must have.
Visium has been at the forefront of the security over IP industry for nearly a decade now, (which has required constant evaluation and adoption of technology) and has learned some lessons along the way that we’d like to share.
After a bit of research to check out a new systems possibilities and well before you commit to buying, write down the things that would make your business run better, processes you could complete faster with less labour or no labour and get a clear indication from the vendor what they are providing against your ‘requirements list’.
This requirements list (often refereed to by IT guys as a specification) is an essential tool for both the evaluation and sign off stage. Visium wrote a specification for all the things we wanted out of a new Accounting/Logistics system which helped us wade through three different products and five different vendors. And aren’t we glad we did, without getting too far into it, our chosen Vendor looked to under-provision the system. Armed with our specification (which they had agreed to meet) we were able to get a significant concession that would took to another provider who gladly fulfilled our breif. With no spec we would have been left with nasty excess charges and would not have enjoyed the same productivity gains we now enjoy with a complete on-budget system.
Another way to improve technology is to get more out of what you already have. Like with your Visium video network;
Do more with less
Set up your key operations staff with a video command center. Get them managing multiple remote sites from one location. Organise some video training so they become proficient with the tools.
Be everywhere at once
Get video onto your smartphone/iPad (e-mail our service department and ask how to take advantage of the free app) so you can check things are humming when you are not around.
Replace static guards with a video solution that costs 50% or less of the same operational expenditure. Ok not everyone has static guards, but many people have customer service roles, weighbridge attendants and the like that could be consolidated to one centralised worker empowered with network video and door/gate control. The possibilities are huge, so if you have a hunch a job can be done remotely try us out.
If you want to read more about productivity via investment in IT & Communications please check out Telstra’s productivity indicator