We’re in the middle of the biggest revolution in business since the industrial, and this time we’re all going digital. There are many legitimate projections on the fact that our machines and software are going to be able to replace us in the majority of jobs we currently hold; not just on assembly lines, but in business strategy, resource allocation, even elements as creative as content marketing. There’s a lot of software available to help you manage a business already, so could you theoretically get a computer to manage your team better than you do?
Get more done
If you don’t want to be replaced by a computer somewhere along the line, then you need to focus on being more productive. This might be where the right software has the most to offer as far as the personal working experience goes. Time management software can help you not only manage your schedule, and set allotted times for different processes and projects. There is also time-saving software that can spot where you get less productive, where you waste time and help you avoid doing so in future. This can also be a hugely effective tool for measuring the truly disruptive force of distraction in the workplace. Concerned your employees spend more time on Facebook than on their work? Well, now you can look at the raw data and find out if that’s true.
Taking care of the busywork
Your software can make you a much more efficient manager in different ways, too. It can help take care of some of your workload. Business automation software has come a long way as of late. It can help deal with the monotonous tasks of data-entry, such as updating HR records and tracking employee holidays, sick days, and so on. It can streamline communication. It can even minimize lost time and money due to human error. Automation is a process you can start applying to employees, too, helping to make their own workloads much more manageable. That gives everyone more time to spend on the processes that actually involve a little more input, thought and creativity.
Don’t keep an eye on the clock
When talking about time, you also have to talk about what employees you’re supposed to have, where they’re supposed to be, and what they’re supposed to be doing. A lot of workplaces now use flexible work arrangements to rotate different members of the team in and out. Retail businesses, restaurants, and bars will be more than familiar with that setup. Now, there are tools like this work schedule app making it a lot easier to manage a large team that has a lot of different and varying arrangements. This can help you always be aware of who is supposed to be working in advance, and whether or not you might have enough people, or too many people, for a certain shift or time of the workday.
Sharing leads to success
Information is key in most businesses. The team needs to be kept updated with new objectives, supplied with resources used to inform their work, and in reach of project briefs, instructions, and process steps that ensure they’re doing their work effectively and efficiently. Instead of having to email the same document a hundred times, you can save a lot of time on communication that shouldn’t have to happen in the first place with Cloud storage solutions. Beyond creating sticky information easy to reach for anyone with the right level of access, the Cloud also provides a safe place to back up important documents instead of your physical storage devices.
The big tasks
Communication might have to be a lot more concise for those big collaborative projects throughout the whole business. Managing a team through a project can be one of the most stressful tasks an employer or manager has to take on. Making sure that everyone is progressing in their separate tasks, monitoring the workflow, identifying potential bottlenecks. It can feel like you’re juggling many balls all at once. Project management software can help give you a much more organized approach. You can clearly define project timelines. You can set project roles and group different individuals together for better reporting and make inter-project chatter much more relevant and organized. All in all, you can stop a project from becoming a stumbling mess.
Get the very best
Managing your team might not be all that you do, either. Finding the next person to fit that team is just as important. Getting a good look at potential employees and deciding if they’re right fit still involves some human decision making for now, but that doesn’t mean that software can’t help you out. Employment process software, for instance, can help you track and update records on applicants throughout the whole process and provide backup checks on applicants. You can easily use this to inform your decision making as time goes on. You can even use this software to automate things like emails for rejections, letting potential hires know they’re through to the next stage of the process, and even scheduling in interviews.
Knowing your market
Your customers are just as important as the team and often you have to manage them, too. Managing your customer base, however, is all about keeping the relevant information on them. That’s what customer relationship management tools are all about. You can keep records on individual clients and customers so that you can personalize your approach to marketing or pitching to them. You can also keep information on past work you’ve done with them or problems you’ve faced so you can skip the steps of having to ask them a hundred questions to get to the point of a conversation. You can simply get them to provide a little information to identify themselves and pull up detailed records of past interactions. That will make customer services much more efficient and less cumbersome for both parties.
What about your market at large? Building a community online is very much becoming an essential step to becoming a truly successful business. At the moment, it’s mostly done through social media networks. But if your business has several of those, it can time consuming to not only create content, but to thoroughly disseminate it through different channels, to reply to messages, and to find and curate content to share. Social media management apps allow you to easily do that all from one platform and one screen, rather than having to switch to different windows and tabs. They also allow you to schedule posts, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your finger on the social media pulse all day long.
Keep in touch
The internet allows us to communicate much more effectively with our target market. But it also helps us communicate more effectively with the team, too. That allows us to carry out conversations and share information without having to leave our seat. Even when someone is out of the office on a business trip or working remotely from a different location entirely. However, having face-to-face communication can still be the most effective way to communicate and an important part of building a rapport and a proper working relationship that keeps a positive company culture. To that end, every business owner and manager should get used to using video chat as a regular communication tool.
Get a little help
When you need more help in the team, there’s hiring process software that we’ve already gone into. But there’s also specific hiring software that can help you access databases of different potential contractors and employees, too, meaning you don’t have to rely on advertising and agencies as often as you might have in the past. In particular, freelancing software can drastically cut down the amount of time spent looking for professionals for short-term work when you need to outsource and you need to do it in a hurry. Often, we outsource when we have extra work we can’t cope with, but it needs to be done in a timely manner. Outsourcing software is perfect for helping in those situations.
Let it be your accountant
Okay, so the computer can’t be a real chartered accountant. For tax purposes and dealing with audits, you still need a CPA. However, for the financial management side of things, such as book-keeping, cash flow projections, and even automating payroll, it can be a lot of help. Human error is one of the most prevalent reasons for accounts being inaccurate, and the right software can ensure that doesn’t happen. It can also help you get an easily understood overview of the business finances as they stand, letting you know how much you have, what your costs are, and how they compare to your current revenue. Accounting software also makes it a lot easier to keep track of receipts and expenses records for tax purposes, too.
There’s still plenty that a computer can’t do. It can’t show leadership, provide a direction for the team and maintain healthy team relationships. But it can help you do a lot of the other stuff, making your job as a manager a lot easier.