How to Choose the Right Tech for Your Business

pexels

The majority of businesses, big or small, need to rely on technology to gain a competitive edge. State-of-the-art tools and devices allow you to provide a more efficient service to your clients and improve communication and collaboration among your team. It’s important to know you’re investing in the right tech, however. It should directly help you reach your business goals and ensure you achieve the maximum ROI. It also depends on your industry, if you’re a photographer, a high-end camera is essential, but for marketing purposes for a catering company, perhaps not. Here’s how to choose the right tech for your business.

Outline your needs and goals

Before acquiring any tech, you need to learn how to conduct a technology assessment. You can also outsource this service to an agency or MSP that specializes in procurement. They will be able to assess your technology needs and offer professional insights. It’s also important to outline which specific business goals investing in new tech will help you achieve. These should be measurable in numbers to work out a budget.

Do industry-specific research

If you need specialist hardware, software, other equipment for the type of business you run, research industry trends. Find out which brands your competitors are using and whether they’re working for them. For example, if you work in the holistic therapy industry, you’ll need to find the best hyperbaric chamber for sale online. Try networking with similar businesses for tips and advice.

Work out a budget

Once you’ve figured out your needs you can then create a realistic technology budget. It’s worth going over your budget with a financial advisor as there are many new trends in technology budgeting. Businesses are choosing to invest more in tools and tech as they help streamline many processes and make a good impression on clients. There are also plenty of ways to cut costs, however, and a financial advisor with experience in your sector will be able to help you with this. 

Factor in the well-being of your staff

When assessing your needs it’s essential to factor in creating a healthy workplace for your staff. This means that part of your budget should be going on providing ergonomic working equipment and ensuring they have the tech they need to do the best job. You’ll only experience a lull in productivity if not. If your staff is comfortable and in good working conditions they’ll perform better. Also, keep them fully up to speed on how to use the new technology you’re implementing, and invest in onboarding and training sessions.

Consider scalable tech
You also need to consider the scalability of your tech. This refers to its capability to adapt if you grow your business. You need to ensure it can cope with more users, big data, and is compatible with multiple devices. If you’re planning on scaling your business in the future, you’ll need technology and equipment that will grow with you. This will ensure you achieve maximum return on investment for your purchases.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

3 Inexpensive CX Systems that Can Benefit Your Small Business

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Whatever your sector, if you deal with any amount of customers then it becomes more of a necessity than a choice to deliver the best customer service experience possible. While a satisfactory customer experience should be aimed for inside an establishment, your business might extend beyond this and may not even be physical at all.

In many cases and as your company grows from a startup into a small business, the time comes where you will need to implement some kind of customer service initiative or a mixture of some that are available in order to provide the easiest process possible for any consumer.

Some of the best and most used customer interaction experiences include:

  • Live Chat
  • Ticketing
  • Call Center

Live Chat is a relatively new feature that has become popular with larger companies while ticketing is good for handling a large volume of queries and utilizing a call center to handle customer service over the phone is still a widely used method.

Live Chat – Are You Human?

Talking to someone in a chat window is one of the simplest ways to deal with an issue that might arise both from a customer and a company perspective. The quick and synchronous nature of Live Chat means that details of an issue can be conveyed in a timely fashion where urgency might be important. Some Live Chat programs also incorporate the use of AI Bots at the start of interaction before it is passed on to a relevant human associate.

Live Chat can benefit small businesses especially as the customers that engage in live chat systems are less likely to abandon shopping carts and having questions answered by a human during a purchase is likely to increase conversions. Systems like click4assistance provide such features as analytics, real-time monitoring, and video chats as well as chat functionality through reactive and proactive communication channels. 

Ticketing – Take a Number

An older yet very effective form of customer communication, ticketing systems are an excellent method of handling a large volume of queries. By allocating reference numbers, urgency indicators and categories to a particular query, ticketing makes it very easy to understand the severity of any issues and identify any ongoing or urgent problems that require more attention.

Similar to a standard form, a ticketing system makes it very easy for customers to raise or enquire about an issue and has become the communication form of choice for companies that deal with a large volume of queries on a daily basis such as video games developers. In situations such as limited staffing for small businesses then this is an excellent option over standard email queries. 

Call Center – Hold Please

Utilized as a customer service tool since the very beginning of its invention, the telephone has been a standard form of communication between a company and its customers for well over 100 years. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that the call center was created to handle a mass volume of customer queries, in the UK, with the first successful call center being opened in 1973 by the Rockwell Corporation for Continental Airlines.Since then, call centers have boomed and a recent survey found that phone communication is still preferred by 61% of people over newer technologies. While call centers can be used for handling queries, their use as a lead generating and marketing tool for business promotion has become more prolific over the past 20 years and you don’t need to own your own team but can rather hire a call center company for a relatively small monthly fee and the amount directly related to how small or large your business is, with most call center services even offering e-receptionists; an excellent alternative over an expensive full time employee when starting a small business.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

How to Supercharge Your Home’s Internet Access

You’re likely reading this because you’re not happy with the speed and provision of your Internet access at home. In some parts of your abode, you find that Internet access is slow at best and just non-existent at other times.

Reaching out to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) hasn’t yielded much help, and now you’re unsure what to do next. If you hate your Internet speed and lack of connectivity in certain parts of your home, here’s how to fix the problem with some actionable steps:

Image Credit

Change Your ISP

First of all, if you’re unhappy with the service provision offered by your ISP, it’s time to change to another provider. Doing so means you can get a better level of Internet and customer service. Plus, you could potentially pay less for the same billed access speeds.

Many ISPs exist, so it’s worth doing some research to determine which ones offer the best service. You may even find a provider with an introductory sign-up bonus, such as reduced fees for the first year or a welcome gift.

Get Structured Cabling Installed

Do you have desktop computers in your home or Internet-connected devices like smart TVs that use Ethernet connectivity for Internet access? If the answer’s yes, it makes sense to have some network cabling contractors install structured cabling for you.

Structured cabling is what you’d likely find in modern office buildings, but it’s becoming increasingly popular with homes that demand fast wired Internet connectivity. You can easily upgrade your home to have Ethernet access in every room if you wish.

Upgrade to Mesh WiFi

Now that you have your wired Internet access problems resolved, the next step is to fix your wireless Internet. The trouble with WiFi Internet is that the wireless solutions offered by ISPs for home users are mediocre at best.

Many householders frequently experience problems like short range, slow Internet access, and routers that ‘freeze’ and need to get rebooted due to firmware or hardware problems. You likely experience some (or all) of those issues in your home too!

Thankfully, mesh WiFi or a “wireless mesh network” will resolve all those issues and provide complete and fast wireless Internet connectivity in all areas of your home. In a nutshell, mesh WiFi involves the installation of wireless nodes arranged in a mesh topology.

Mesh WiFi differs from existing WiFi repeater solutions on the market in several ways. Firstly, you don’t have separate WiFi networks that share the same SSID. That means there’s no constant disconnecting and reconnecting from your devices.

Additionally, you won’t experience poor connectivity issues due to still being connected to a WiFi repeater node in another part of your home. Mesh WiFi works by splitting data transmitted across short hops between nodes.

Conventional repeaters do not work cooperatively as with mesh WiFi nodes. That’s why when you first start using mesh WiFi in your home, it will feel like every room is where your main Internet router got installed!

By following the above actionable steps, you’ll soon have supercharged Internet access in your abode. Good luck!

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Is It Worth Investing in Bespoke Tech Solutions for Your Business?

Sooner or later, your business will face a plethora of tech-related issues that will make it difficult to grow your business. For example, you might find it difficult to scale up your technology to accommodate your growth, or you might find it frustrating to make the swap to an industry-standard solution that your business can finally afford.

Managing technology is one of the more annoying aspects of running a business, but it’s something that you absolutely need to do sooner or later. If you don’t, then you’ll hinder the growth of your business and it might become extremely difficult to make progress later in the future.

One solution to make your technology woes a little easier to manage is to invest in bespoke tech solutions. These are generally preferred by businesses because they’re made exactly to your needs, they have unique features that optimize your workflow, and it might even end up being cheaper. But what are the downsides to this, and how would it affect your company?

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/B6JINerWMz0 (CC0)

Identifying if you have a need for bespoke tech solutions

First, make sure you actually need bespoke tech solutions in the first place. For instance, if you’re looking for virtual platform design to build and emphasize your brand then it’s usually a good option to look for a bespoke solution. However, if you simply want to speed up work processes and improve your efficiency, then there might be cheaper solutions that can easily be slotted in as replacements for existing options.

Who will maintain and upgrade your solutions?

It’s also important to consider who is going to maintain and upgrade your bespoke tech solutions. Usually, this is handled by an in-house team of experts that design, develop, maintain and upgrade your bespoke tech. However, if you outsource this, then you can expect long-term costs. You might also find it difficult to switch from one company to another, ultimately creating a dependency on them.

Will it end up being cheaper in the long run?

One of the great things about using a bespoke tech solution is that it can reduce operating costs when used correctly. This is only true if you compare it against the high-end industry solutions that already exist. However, if you’re a relatively small business, then there are usually affordable plans for existing tech solutions that will save you money and a lot of hassle. If you’re concerned about the cost-effectiveness of a bespoke solution, then you should consider the available alternatives before you look for a company to take on your project.

Some final words

In most cases, the best approach to using a bespoke tech solution is to create it in-house. This ensures that you can build something that is exactly to your spec and that you’ll always have control over its features. However, it can be expensive and generally isn’t something you should think about until you have your own in-house IT department to design and develop bespoke solutions.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

8 Reasons To Automate In Manufacturing

Every single industry out there should be embracing automation in their day to day workings. Not only is it a must to improve quality for your business output, but it’s going to help you to better operate manufacturing systems in your business, too. Automated manufacturing systems work to perform processing, assembly inspection and material handling operations, and oftentimes, more than one of these operations can be performed in the same automated system.

Automation means progress, and while you’re learning software such as Industry 4.0 and understanding what will better suit your business, you’re going to learn fast how automation can improve your business massively. Don’t believe it? Great – look at the EIGHT fantastic reasons your business should be embracing automation right now.

Man Standing Beside Heavy Equipment

Image Source: Pexels

  1. Better Productivity. If your team is working on their usual tasks and has the help of automation software, you’re going to increase the production rate and the productivity of your team. For every hour of labor input, you’re going to add a better output from your team. It’s there to help them, and you can make sure that it happens and happens well.
  2. Reduced Costs. The costs of labor are increasing for manufacturing businesses and this is evident in how the world’s industrialized societies are behaving. The increased investment in automation is justifiable, however, as it’ll replace manual operations and while this isn’t good for people, it’s great for the demand on production – which people are responsible for! The more you invest in automation software, the fewer people you are responsible for paying.
  3. Replacing Labor Shortages. In some countries, there are not enough people to do the labor in manufacturing industries. With automation, you can guarantee that the labor will be done at a lower, and sometimes more efficient, cost. There are some areas it becomes dire for manufacturing companies to find the right people – and this is one of them!
  4. Improving Working Conditions. There are some processes and tasks in the workplace that are boring and irksome. When these tasks are automated, you can improve the way in which your staff work and improve their working conditions as a result. Automation software is taking over the tasks they don’t want to do – it’s far more efficient as a result.
  5. Better Safety. Some manufacturing tasks are just too dangerous sometimes, but when you automate a particular operation, you transfer the employee to a supervisory role instead of an active one. This can improve safety in the workplace exponentially.
  6. Higher Product Quality. When there is more uniformity and precision, there are higher production rates that are a better quality overall.
  7. Lead Time Reductions. When you embrace automation, you reduce the time it takes between the orders coming through and delivery of the product. It’s a great way to offer a competitive advantage to your business.
  8. Embracing Machinery. Most machines are continuing to help businesses as they accomplish the tasks that cannot be manually completed. There are certain tasks that cannot be done by man alone, and it’s these tasks that automation helps.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

The Future Of The Cars On Our Roads

Photo: Unsplash

We have all heard about autonomous cars making a comeback this decade. They will be cars that drive themselves, nobody at the wheel and available for us whenever we need them. That is the ideal. We also know that a lot of cars are going to become electric this decade, as a way to save the planet’s resources and use elements that aren’t so damaging. So are electric cars the future?

Beyond the subjective questions – like what needs to happen for each respondent to decide for themselves to switch to using an electric vehicle, the respondents in a recent survey were asked about their clearly unscientific assessments about the rate of technology penetration in the world. On average, car owners believe that they themselves will consider purchasing an electric car in three years, towards 2024, but they believe (on average) that only in 2030 will the car industry cross the turning point and most new cars sold in the world will be electric. Of course the average, by its very nature, misses the differences between all the countries surveyed, and in some countries governments act faster than in others, as well as in a more determined and effective manner. Car owners in India, for example, will consider buying an electric car as early as 2022, that is, in a little over a year, while the Chinese – who are actually leading the revolution, answered that they believe it will only happen a year later.

Charging infrastructure: The egg and chicken problem

Many of the respondents in a recent study actually rated the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles as the most important critical challenge for them. Seventy percent of respondents believe that the turning point for an electric vehicle will exist only after their national charging infrastructure is available to them at least as much as existing gas stations. However, by 2030, will this not be a problem anymore? It is rather ambitious but electric cars do seem to have quite a few benefits; one of which they claim is financial. 

Selection of vehicles: Wanting to diversify

A selection of electric vehicle models is indeed a less important barrier for most, but precisely in terms of fleet managers this is currently perceived as the second most important factor on the way to the turning point. In total, more than half of the respondents indicated that they would consider switching to an electric vehicle only when they found a model equivalent to their favorite vehicle. They can still look at changing their tyres and painting their exteriors. Platinum Wheel Repairs are important to ensure the safety of any car.

One of the important challenges facing anyone today is to help customers understand that most barriers that are perceived by them as separating them from switching to an electric vehicle are likely to be removed much earlier than they think. An electric car on its own is certainly a big purchase but it is a very valuable investment that will serve you well into the coming decade.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

5 Must-Have Tools for Your Remote Teams

5 Must-Have Tools for Your Remote Teams

Image Credit

Quite a while back, remote working was not considered a full-time career with salaries barely above the minimum wage. Fast forward to 2021, the coronavirus and technological evolution has prompted massive trend changes as businesses try to adapt to the innovation. Before COVID-19, only 7% of US employees worked from home, but today, approximately 59% of employees work remotely and prefer to continue even post-COVID. But how do you keep productivity at acceptable levels while working remotely? These essential tools should keep your business and remote teams functioning effectively.

  1. Google drive

Are you looking to centralize your data in one location? Google Drive is a cloud-based storage tool that keeps every one of your data in a secure and centralized place. This platform allows your teams to remotely share documents and files from one integrated location while permitting weekly metric reporting. Moreover, Google Drive documents can be synced, viewed, and updated across several devices from any site.

  1. Dropbox

Dropbox is a cutting-edge workspace tool with many features to manage your remote employees effectively. Sharing large documents via email can be problematic, and that is where Dropbox comes in. The cloud storage framework has API, which makes it very useful for collaboration between remote staff. Remote teams can easily share huge documents, for example, PowerPoint, Sketch, Photoshop, etc., with anybody. Dropbox has staked a claim as the first smart workplace tool with data access control through an admin access system, link sharing, and user-friendly application.

  1. AccessE11

AccessE11 is a web-based management software that allows access on any web-enabled device. The platform is cloud-based and ideal for local governments in citizen request management, code enforcement, and citizen issue tracking. As a centralized storage solution, your team and department can access data from a single source with ease without requiring any complex training and learning. AccessE11 allows for easy recording of citizen issues, assigning staff for resolving, and access to trend reports for analyses and decision making. This way, you are provided with enhanced visibility for staff management.

  1. Basecamp

If you are looking for a simple, clean, yet functional tool for your project management and remote collaboration, you should consider basecamp. This all-in-one remote toolkit is popular among freelancers, managers, and agencies due to its varying range of features and tools. Despite this, the platform is flawed with no time tracking, subtasks and professional team hierarchy limitations. However, if you have specific needs like project management and effective communication with clients, basecamp can get the work done effortlessly.

  1. Zoom

Since its initial release in 2012, Zoom has grown to become a leading video communication tool for enterprises worldwide. The platform raves in high customer reviews with integration to online marketplaces, next-generation phone systems, video conferencing, and video webinars. In 2017, Zoom reached a $1billion valuation before peaking at 10 million users in 2019. With COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home restriction, the platform saw enormous user stats with over 300 million users in April 2020. Zoom is easy to use and boosts quality videos for your video chatting and meetings, with full-length video recording features.

With businesses trying to keep up with the new trend, effectively managing your remote team has become necessary in achieving business objectives. However, these tools should keep your remote staff productive and focused. 

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Cars: The Greatest Freedom Tool Ever Invented

Pexels – CC0 License

When you think about human freedom, you usually think about ancient Greek philosophy, the invention of democracy, and libertarianism. But being free is actually a lot more practical than many people in their ivory towers imagine. 

Cars, for instance, are arguably the greatest tool for freedom ever invented. For the first time in history, people can hop into a vehicle and travel wherever they want on the public roads, without having to pay a fortune for the privilege. Practically everyone in work can afford these objects. 

How We View Our Cars

It wasn’t always this way, of course. The 1960s, for instance, was an era before universal car ownership. The vast majority of working people couldn’t afford to run a private motor vehicle, so they had to rely on walking, trains, or bicycles instead. 

When cars began coming down in price to the point where the average person could afford them, they were hailed as freedom-giving objects. All of a sudden, a family living in the middle of a big city could pack their bags and go to the beach whenever they liked, without having to hop on the train first. Plus, they could travel back whenever they liked, instead of having to keep an eye on the clock. 

Young people experienced a similar level of freedom for the first time too. They were able to go out late, drive where they liked, and meet up with their friends, so long as they had access to a car. It was seen as the greatest tool for freedom in the history of mankind, giving anyone who owned one unprecedented level of independence. 

The view of cars, however, began to change. And by the turn of the millennium, very few people saw them as a tool for freedom. In fact, most began viewing them as objects that polluted and damaged the natural world – a far cry from fifty years beforehand. 

The rise of the car wreck lawyer also began to change things. For the first time, we saw that cars were also extremely dangerous and that safety was a real concern on the roads. 

Because of these major narratives, we’ve forgotten about the freedom that cars offer us. But it’s still there, and we should celebrate it. 

Reclaiming The Car Freedom Narrative

Pexels – CC0 License

Major social forces are changing the way that we view our motor vehicles. The global elite actually wants to put an end to private vehicle consumption because of the impact that they believe it is having on the climate. 

But with the advent of electric motor vehicles, that could all be about to change. In the future, the problem won’t be the cars themselves at all – it’ll be the coal and gas power plants providing them with energy. 

Cars will once again become a kind of guilt-free pleasure that anyone can enjoy. And it’s going to happen sooner than many think. Already EVs are economically compelling. And by the time we get to the middle of the next decade, the price of making them will have fallen below regular ICE vehicles, ushering in a new era.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Is Your Business Facing Any Of These IT issues?

The advantages of using modern business technology are well known.  In reality, it is safe to say that the vast number of organizations can benefit from the introduction of new technology. However, notwithstanding all the positive elements, it is important to be aware of the possible issues that technology can cause. These days, these risks are greater than ever before. 

It is important to keep security and usability at the top of your approach when using cloud computing, the Internet of Things and automation technologies. Here, we will looking at some of the possible IT challenges you might face and how you can prevent them.

Image via Unsplash CC0

Outdated technology

Technology is developing at an unprecedented pace. Even if you think your infrastructure is up to date, before you know it something new will come along and be better and more effective. If you start falling behind technology, you run the risk of falling behind your rivals, and that is not good news for any business, whatever the industry.

Make sure that whenever new update scomes along, you don’t miss it and stay up to date with any new developments.Attending networking events and conferences is an ideal way to not only to network with other people, but also to find out what is going on in the world of technology.  You can also get advice from an expert in IT such as Haval Dosky.

Network and data breaches

It is thought that a breach of data occurs every forty seconds and that almost half of the attacks are on small businesses with less than thousand workers. This is because, broadly speaking, smaller enterprises have fewer strategies in place to deal with these problems and are thus more vulnerable. You must have systems and processes in place to prevent this from happening as a breach of data can destroy your company.

As with everything, prevention is the best form of defence. Make sure your systems are upated as soon as updates are released, make sure that you have the best in anti-virus and anti-malware software. It is also crucial that your staff are all aware of the importance of being careful with data.

Deceleration of productivity

Technology is typically intended to help increase productivity and performance and streamline the business processes. However it does not always operate like that for many businesses. Due to inadequate maintenance or improper use of the technology, it may do the reverse and contribute to a deceleration of productivity. This does not even take into account any disruptions caused by system crashes and failures – and this is always a possibility with technology.

Making sure that your workforce is up to date with current training and understand how to use technology is important if you want to keep your business running. Not only that, you want to make sure that there is continuity across the business as well. Some staff may fear that making the most of technology will put their jobs at risk because they will no longer be needed, but if you can show them the contrary, they are more likely to accept it and use it efficiently.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Why It’s Time To Embrace Automation

Robot, 3D, Print, Wallpaper, Ai, Machine

Image by D1_TheOne from Pixabay 

In the past automation has been praised for making people’s lives easier, but at the same time, it has been criticised for taking people’s jobs. However, since the coronavirus outbreak, automation is something that has been implemented for many businesses as adopting this technology has been the only way some businesses have been able to keep going and for people to feel safe. If you want your business to survive this difficult time and you also want to stay ahead of the competition, then it’s time to embrace automation in your business. 

Automation Improves Organisation

Automation doesn’t just mean robots and self-scanning, but it can also help you to organise your business to help manage your files, do your accounts, delegate tasks and generally reduce errors and increase efficiency in your business. Tools such as Slack can help you sort through your overflowing email inbox and can streamline communication between team members. It is a powerful automation tool that many businesses are using as an alternative to traditional email as conversations are threaded like a chat window and visible by other people in your organisation.

Automation Increases Accountability

Whether its AGV automation in manufacturing or using social media scheduling tools in marketing, automation means that there is a digital trail for everything that goes on within the company. It means that things are very rarely lost or misplaced, and there is increased accountability for everyone across all the different systems.

Automation Saves Time 

Many of the things that take up the most time in your company are the ones that are easy to do and don’t require much skill but still have to be done and are incredibly time-consuming. Think about those filing tasks or those jobs like putting all your business card contacts’ details on a spreadsheet. Menial jobs like these are essential, yet they take you or your employees away from doing the things that they are good at and are best used for. You can save so much time on manual, repeatable tasks by implementing automation tools within your company. 

Automation Will Get You More Sales

Whether it’s sending automatic personalised emails to your customers or targeting your customers with other products that you think they might like, there are a number of ways to use automation to increase sales, so why wouldn’t you use them? Using tools such as Salesforce which can enhance your digital presence and marketing campaigns as well as integrates with hundreds of third-party business apps. 
Automation tools come in a variety of options and for all areas of business, so while you don’t have to use them all, it would be a good idea to have a look at them all and see which would be the most beneficial to your business, to your customers, to your employees and to you. Do your customers need an automatic email to feel acknowledged? Do your employees need you to implement automatic emails to free up some of their time? Or do you need a tool to sort through your cluttered inbox and to feel less stressed and to have more time to focus on what is important? Whatever it is, there is a tool for you, and it will make your life far easier and your business more successful.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂