October 3, 2013
London, England (RPRN) 10/03/13 — The idea of running the office today with the equipment of 30 years ago is laughable. Having a single phone system that did nothing but take phone calls and stand-alone copy machine and fax. Many offices simply used word processer typewriters. The internet was barely in its infancy and was simply email and chats programs at that time and broadband was unheard of. With all the modern conveniences of integrated computer systems and automated software programs, why is the cost of running a business so much higher even given inflation adjustments then 30 years ago?
Underutilization of Automation Capabilities
The biggest reason for the lack of effective increase in productivity in administrative tasks in a business even after substantial upgrades to computers is that the capabilities are not fully used. Paying $1500 for each computer workstation and another $1000 for a server with the end result of having the same service as a small $150 word processor with a floppy disk of 25 years ago is obviously not cost effective. The same goes for computerized phone systems that often end with no more value than an analog hold button and several lines of service. While both of these systems have the capability to do much more, in practice at most small and medium size businesses they do not.
If the only purpose your business is using the internet for is to get online orders and emails, high speed broadband internet is nothing more than an expensive perk for employees to use to surf while they should be working. It is an unfortunately common reality that after internet and computer upgrades there is often a net decrease in productivity rather than the savings expected from such a large investment. It must be a focus of all upgrades that making the workers job easier is only of value if it increases productivity. If there is no more work output from the same number of employees, no increase in retention of employees, and no reduction of staff with the corresponding cost reductions, your efforts have completely missed the mark.
Making Technology Pay
There are many ways to truly experience increases in productivity and decreases in cost by using the technology available. Whether you currently are fully equipped and simply under-utilizing the capabilities or considering improvements some ideas that will pay huge dividends are easily available if they are approached with a specific goal. The key to achieving the cost savings anticipated is to train and enforce the use of the products to maximize potential. Very often the savings are lost simply because after improvements employees continue to do business in the same way as previously.
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