Since its arrival, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the wellness of individuals, communities, and countries worldwide. In one way or another, we have all been forced to pivot to digital solutions; some of us more than others.
In 2020, global economic growth was negatively impacted beyond anything the world has seen in nearly a century (Congressional Research Service, July 2021). This has taken and continues to take its toll on businesses, particularly small- and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs are especially vulnerable during economic downturns. In an effort to survive (let alone thrive), they have been exploring and adapting to new ways of working. If you fall into this category, you have no doubt felt the pressure.
As an SME, your business contributes to an essential economic pillar. Your survival doesn’t just support you and your employees; it supports the economy at large.
How can digital solutions play a role in your business recovery?
To help businesses pivot and support their recovery, digital solutions are advancing at a faster pace than ever. This is creating a divide between the haves and have-nots, i.e., those that have adopted digital solutions, and those that haven’t.
Which side of this divide are you on?
Technology is playing a major role in the way businesses are adapting, particularly those who were relying on face-to-face interaction before the arrival of COVID-19.
Take restaurants for example. In order to survive, many of those who weren’t online before the pandemic have shifted to accommodate online ordering. In fact, many small retailers have done the same, leveraging technology to carry out their normal activities and improve their business processes.
Ultimately, the businesses most likely to overcome pandemic-related challenges are those willing to adopt technology in order to improve production and services. Below are seven areas in which you can use technology to your advantage.
With much of today’s workforce operating remotely, information and communication technologies are not an option; they’re a necessity. Such technologies have undergone great advancements since the pandemic began, improving virtual communication in the business world.
Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and Slack are just a few of the communication platforms you can choose from. Give your employees the ability to “conduct business as usual” in these most unusual times by finding the right platform for your company.
2. Project management
Effectively monitoring employee progress has its challenges in light of today’s popular work-from-home business model. In order to adapt, businesses like yours are adopting technologies like those offered by Tempo to manage their projects and staff.
Many of the technologies and tools available are specifically designed to provide insight into the specific tasks employees are performing. To determine how productive your employees are when working remotely, you may want to consider a tool that also has a time-tracking feature.
No matter what industry sector you’re in, there is sure to be a workflow solution that can help you run your business more efficiently. One of the first steps to take in the interest of workflow efficiency is to minimize paper work.
For example, many companies that once had their field workers use paper forms for information gathering are now using digital collection tools like Coral Collect. These tools eliminate the need for companies to process field inspection sheets.
4. Business development
Today’s business environment is highly competitive. Only the fittest will survive the pandemic. Digital solutions are now a vital necessity, and not just because they help businesses look “more current.”
Integrate technology into all aspects of your business and you’ll witness a shift in your company culture. Digital solutions inspire people to explore, experiment, and challenge the status quo without fear of failure, which opens doors to opportunity.
Regardless of the product or service you offer, providing quality service is essential to your success. In the face of COVID-19, businesses have had to find new ways to deliver great service without compromising customer or employee safety.
Whereas applications like digital signatures and digital identifiers were once helpful to have, they have now become essential. Since the pandemic began, there has been a massive increase in their use, and not just in the case of product/service purchases. Hospitals, social services, and other organizations are now using applications like these to provide high quality, personalized service from a safe distance.
6. Data management
Data is one of your business’s most valuable business assets. It helps you understand your customers’ habits, intentions, and purchase habits. That said, there is little point in gathering data if you don’t have an easy way to mine and extract it when you need it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of data management apps that can help you organize, process, and make sense of the data you collect. If you want to base your business decisions on facts, don’t use outdated data collection methods. Take advantage of purpose-built data collection methods like Coral Collect.
Working faster isn’t the only way to maximize productivity. With the right technology you can improve productivity by eliminating time-consuming tasks. Document management software, for example, eliminates the need for data entry, filing, and manual file retrieval.
There are also digital solutions with diverse tracking capabilities that help improve efficiency. For example, a single piece of software allows employees to track their hours, mileage, and expenses all in one convenient place.
In which area of your business could you most benefit from technology?
Whatever your priorities may be, rest assured that there are plenty of digital solutions designed to meet your needs. If field data management is on your list, be sure to explore Coral Collect’s efficient data collection solutions.