Five Ways to Automate Your Workplace
Technology combined with the Internet has brought innovation into business processes and improved many tasks once performed manually. Happily, many tedious — yet necessary — tasks have now been streamlined and automated. With a strict focus on improving the bottom line, programs that automate day-to-day workplace functions, including employee scheduling software, productivity apps, CRM/ERP system integration, time tracking and task management software can easily improve work capacity and overall productivity.
Employee Scheduling Software
One of the obvious advantages to scheduling software is 24/7 access from your computer or mobile device. Both managers and employees have immediate access to schedules posted online, as well as receiving notifications by email or text of any changes that take place.
Matching the schedule with employee availability becomes automated and effective. Employees can note their availability or time off requests from any remote location, and even pick up available shifts that have gone unfilled. This reduces unexpected staffing shortages and frees up managers to focus on customer service.
Online employee scheduling also improves and automates record keeping, and holds employees accountable for filling their shifts. If shift swapping is an option, workers have no excuse for failing to show up because someone else promised to fill the shift. Managers can quickly approve or decline shift change requests to stay on top of them. Lost schedules and forgotten shifts become an ancient memory.
On those occasions when an employee faces an emergency, the scheduling software like When I Work can be used to communicate the open shift along with the need for an immediate replacement, ensuring a greater chance of staffing the open hours.
Employee scheduling software automates every aspect of employee workload, training, sick leave, vacation benefits, holidays and appointments. Moreover, this software maintains permanent records of schedules, eliminating the need for physical storage space of piles of paperwork. Designated managers control access to these records, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive personal information.
Popular content organizing tools such as Evernote can increase productivity. These applications allow individuals to clip, tag and take notes about information found on the Internet. They provide a convenient reference for building strategies, collecting data, websites to follow, competitor analysis and more. In addition, some productivity apps help to streamline reading and responding to emails; calendar and task-driven apps keep the weeks and months organized in a useful platform. Check out CloudOn, which lets you create, read and share Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and other Microsoft Office docs on your mobile device.
CRM/ERP System Integration
To take workplace automation a big step forward, CRM (customer resource management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) integrated systems provide multiple functions within one program. These programs integrate the business website with other areas such as shipping, payroll, lead management and customer management. Sellsy helps you manage your sales and track and ship your orders in one software and it works with Google Apps, Dropbox and Mailchimp.
Generally speaking, CRM/ERP technology has become a critical component in business success, particularly for sales divisions. A CRM/ERP program implemented to manage interactions with clients, customers and sales prospects will allow the sales force to easily automate, organize and synchronize the process of attracting and winning new customers, in addition to retaining their current customers.
Another way to increase productivity through automation involves tracking time spent on specific projects and tasks. Many apps can be used to monitor time spent visiting websites and track which programs an employee uses. Then the program deduces how the employee spends productive time. Moreover, other time-tracking systems will track time against clients, projects or any specific business; and can track actual versus estimated labor costs and produce customizable reports. In addition, many of these programs have the capability to set multi-level reminders and approvals, as well as integrating with project management and accounting software. Look at Harvest for a simple, easy and fast time tracking tool.
Task Management Program
As the workflow in a growing business becomes more complex, a task management system can quickly streamline the processes. Some systems are stand-alone programs that give the organization the capability to customize an existing ERP program to integrate task management into the website. Many offer customizable, on-demand reports for individual team members and provide team members automatic notifications, alerts and reminders via email. In addition, a task management program can work with data across multiple platforms giving 24/7 access to those who need the information, and many of the programs have an excellent mobile interface, too. Producteev is great for individuals and teams. This online task management app lets you integrate your email, your calendar and tasks. Use it to create tasks and manage them through email, IM, web, iPhone, Gmail or Google Calendar.
The productivity and efficiency of a business depends directly on the output and performance of its staff. As such, technological innovations and tools to create systems that ensure high-quality organization and order are crucial components in today’s successful work environment.