Is your business technologically efficient?
As a business owner, what are your greatest concerns in 2014?
Among the challenges facing those who run companies nationwide is finding affordable healthcare for employees, keeping dependable workers on board when they might look to jump ship for better salaries and benefits, and maintaining data security in a world where hacking incidents have become all too familiar.
Now, where would you rank maintaining your company’s operating technology efficiency among the challenges you face owning a business?
Unfortunately, too many running companies overlook the importance of staying up to speed on the latest technology to effectively run their operations.
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Don’t cut corners on technology
One of the perfect examples of this dilemma is not spending enough money on technology, something that many business owners fail to comprehend.
That said, according to a Gartner Inc. forecast, spending worldwide in 2014 is estimated to come to a total of nearly $4 trillion. If that holds true, it will be more than a 3 percent jump in such spending from just a year ago.
With that in mind, will you be one of the businesses increasing your IT budget this year? Or, will you stand pat or even decrease how much you put towards technology?
Areas to focus on
If this is the year to spend more time and perhaps more dollars on your business IT efforts, what are some areas to look at?
Among some to consider:
1. Mobile payments– If you’re not already offering mobile payments for your customers, you are very likely losing out on a substantial amount of prospective revenue. As more and more consumers abandon traditional shopping methods for faster and more convenient buying options, making mobile payments available can only help your business;
2. VoIP – As a business owner, do you take time to see how efficient your employees are both in and out of the office when it comes to customer service, meetings, conferences and more? With the right VoIP solutions, your company can increase worker efficiency, decrease the costs for long distance calling, and integrate multiple functions all at once. For your employees that are on the road and/or telecommute, VoIP is a great option for conference calling and keeping everyone on the same page with company initiatives;
3. Videos– Lastly, how much time and money do you invest in video technology? With the right video packages, your company can promote your brand and bring a visual presence to your products and services. Whether it is through in-house productions that are posted to YouTube or your own website or hiring an outside video production company, never underestimate the power of video.
As a business owner, is 2014 the year you see an uptick in your technology efforts and expenditures?
If not, will you ultimately end up on the outside looking in when it comes to adding more customers and increasing revenue?
About the author
Dave Thomas covers an array of website topics, among which include marketing, social media, and technology.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.