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Stefni Oliver, CEO, Daisy Corporate Services (DCS)
Industry View from
Here we are again. Another new year but with the same old issues surrounding UK organisations. Efficiency and access to professional skills in the workforce continue to stifle productivity and cost the economy an estimated £18 billion annually. What’s more, CBI research confirms that profitability is falling at its fastest rate since 2012 – the worst since its surveys began.
We’ve seen this before, but we’ve also seen the answers before. Using technology to improve productivity isn’t a new idea. In fact, examples stretch as far back as 1854.
The New York and Erie Railroad Company, one of the biggest rail companies of the time, was failing to exploit new technology to address crippling operational issues. Inefficient and plagued with incidents that caused delays and wreaked havoc, the problem wasn’t a lack of information – the use of the telegraph provided a constant flow of data – it was how that information was communicated.
The answer lay in using the data to delegate decision making. Authority over day-to-day operations was assigned to local superintendents down the track who were closer to the key issues and therefore better placed to tackle inefficiencies. The result? An empowered workforce and improved productivity, simply by marrying technology and data together.
Now this isn’t just a nice story. Those exact principles are as true today as they were in 1854 – what worked then works now.
When combined, technology and data make decision-making faster and workers more effective. The inevitable improvement in quality of service then increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, thus boosting profitability and market value.
Our customers tell us that understanding how technology can solve their productivity problems and protect against skills shortages is the most valuable thing a supplier can help with.
Major vendors are often too big to get close to the specifics of the mid-market’s problems. That’s where companies such as ours come in to engage closely and help answer a multitude of questions such as:
How do we use tech to make better decisions?
Big data and analytics will continue to evolve to become central in decision making. By understanding the decisions customers want to make, we can work with them to implement the right mix of technologies. Intelligent use of cloud helps facilitate that decision making while simplifying data storage and analysis. Office 365 can then help with more effective collaboration. Remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. If a business wants to make better decisions, it is going to need its own specific solution.
How can tech help our workers be more effective?
Mobile working can give a typical office worker an additional two to three hours’ productivity per week, and is becoming essential in attracting and retaining skilled workers. Today’s digital natives value cool, collaborative technology over security and pay, so the mobile technology you offer is now a key part of the decision to join, or remain with, your company.
How can we make sure technology helps improve performance and create a better place to work?
Don’t start with the tech. Start with your organisation. Our approach is to examine processes and uncover what’s holding an organisation and its people back. Then design a solution that delivers the outcomes needed. The more an organisation understands what it wants, the better the tech’s answer will be. We always advise customers to test potential solutions before adopting. Then, once deployed, it’s vital to help your workers adopt it.
How do we get the best deal?
Every organisation has cost constraints. It’s often assumed that going directly to vendors will elicit the best deal but it’s not always the case. It’s up to companies like us to make sure organisations are in the know.
It can be difficult for organisations to know how they should use technologies to their advantage. Some, having adopted new technologies, reckon they are gaining only 10 to 20 per cent of its potential value. What a waste!
Firms such as Daisy Corporate Services can help organisations become better buyers and users of technology, and it’s our mission to make this happen. Productivity is stagnating, and this will only be solved by organisations getting into the best shape possible. The future of our workforce hinges upon it.
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