Take a look around you. What can you see? In this day and age, it’s virtually impossible to escape technology. When you go to a store, you’ll see people pressing their card on a reader to make an instant payment or finding items for their cart off a recipe website. When you’re on the train or bus, you’ll notice the majority of people listening to music or surfing the net on their phones. Wherever you go, you’re likely to come into contact with technology of some sort. Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate and the way we work. If you run a forward-thinking company, you may be wondering what’s next and considering whether you’re taking full advantage of the gadgets, programs, and machinery available to you.
It’s amazing to think that not that long ago we were talking to each other through tin cans. The field of communications has evolved at lightning speed, and we’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to getting in touch with people. In a matter of seconds, we can make a call, we can video chat, send an email or an SMS or leave a voice note. In business, developments in communication technology have had widespread success, and it’s easier than ever to collaborate with colleagues, maintain contact with existing clients and engage with new customers. Investing in technology such as smartphones, systems that facilitate video calling and conferencing and programs that give you the option to communicate via instant messages and group emails are worthwhile. Consider the cost of organizing a meeting overseas compared to offering employees the chance to get involved in a video conference. You’ll save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on flights and accommodation, as well as a huge amount of time. If you don’t already use state of art communications technology and you’re spending a fortune on client meetings, business events, travel and expenses, now is the time to consider modifying your approach.
Training is incredibly worthwhile for business owners and employees, but the way we learn is changing. Gone are the days of sitting down with a notebook and jotting down text from a board. Online courses offer employees greater control and flexibility, and they can also be a cheaper option for employers. There’s also the fascinating world of virtual reality to consider. VR is taking the world by storm, and if you offer training programs or the opportunity to learn on the job, this could be a form of technology worth embracing. Virtual reality gives people a real sense of what it’s like to be in specific scenarios, and it helps them to hone their skills in a safe environment. Consider a medical student learning how to conduct a procedure as an example. With virtual reality programs, that student can practice over and over again without any risk to their professional reputation or the patient’s health or safety. In a business context, you could invest in trying to improve your sales team’s performance in pitches. If a person who lacks confidence in their public speaking abilities is able to practice and rehearse in a realistic setting, this will enable them to build confidence so that they do a better job when they stand in front of a panel.
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Improved efficiency is one of the best and most influential advantages of technology in business. If you take a peek inside a factory, you’ll see a dazzling array of components, machines and parts all doing jobs that would either be impossible or incredibly time-consuming if they were left to a human workforce. If you work in manufacturing or construction, it’s so beneficial to invest in modern systems and machinery that will increase productivity and efficiency and reduce costs in the long-run. It’s worth getting in touch with companies like Dynatect Manufacturing to learn more and get tailored advice that could benefit your company. Away from the factories and warehouses, technology also makes a massive difference to efficiency levels in offices all over the world. Many of us use online systems and software to manage everything from rotas and accounts to collaborative projects.
Promoting healthy living
Many employers have taken it upon themselves to try and encourage healthy living. Sick days cost businesses in the US more than $220 billion per year. As a business owner, it makes sense to try and keep the workforce fit and healthy in a bid to cut costs and improve productivity. There are various ways of promoting good habits at work, such as including discounted gym membership in the employment package and stocking vending machines with healthy snacks, but another option you may wish to consider is the provision of wearable technology. We all know how popular wristbands that count the number of steps you’ve taken have become. Mostly, these are used by people who are trying to increase their activity levels in their leisure time, but there’s nothing stopping business owners from trying to promote active lifestyles at work. Office jobs are predominantly sedentary and providing employees with a wearable tracking device could encourage them to move more, reducing the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
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This can be a controversial subject matter. A lot has been said over the decades about how replacing human functions with robotics and software has meant that people have lost their jobs and employment opportunities are reduced as a result. While this is a regrettable side effect of advancing technology it is an unavoidable fact that improvements in technology can save businesses a lot of money. Here are some ways that using the latest tech can cut your business costs.
- Technology can work 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is, therefore, more efficient. Yes, there will be an initial outlay in the cost of installing new tech or equipment, together with the running and maintenance costs but in all likelihood, the increased production and associated costs of that will outweigh the initial and ongoing running costs.
Take, for example, speech recognition for medical transcription software, this works by directly transcribing in real-time. Meaning that dictation does not have to be produced, outsourced, and later transcribed by personnel. This represents a huge decrease in the amount of time and money spent on achieving the same result. Not only does this improve efficiency but it will also have the wider benefit of improving healthcare.
- Lower margin for error. While even technology can let you down from time to time it is generally thought to be more reliable than manpower in terms of margins for error. Therefore less resources are likely to be spent on rectifying problems or mistakes that have occurred.
If your business involves selling products or providing a service, it’s essential to engage with customers. You want to encourage existing customers to use your business again and bring new clients in. If you think back to the days before cell phones, the Internet and automated systems, you had to be manning a phone at a desk or be available to speak to somebody in person if you wanted to tell them all about your business or try and persuade them to place an order. Nowadays, you can reach out and interact with customers long after you’ve shut up shop or locked up the office. You can take calls when you’re not there, respond to inquiries on the go and enjoy 24-hour advertising thanks to the Internet and social media sites.
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Technology plays an instrumental role in modern business. If you’re not au fait with the latest innovations or you haven’t updated your systems or invested in new tech in a while, why not have a look around and see how your business could benefit from being more forward-thinking?
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