Over time, the systems and structures that run your business can become unnecessarily complex. For example, if you created your network ten years ago, chances are, you’re using legacy equipment and plenty of workarounds that make your network time-consuming and challenging to manage.
A system should become less complex over time. A system that becomes more complex is a sign of inefficiency. Either you’re using workarounds to avoid replacing legacy equipment, or you’re not using the most efficient technology available. Simplifying your systems on all fronts will support you in maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Start by adopting the following digital technologies:
Voice Over IP (VoIP) Services
Voice over IP technology, referred to as VoIP, transmits telephone calls over a broadband internet connection rather than a traditional phone line. The best VoIP will simplify your business communications in-house and with the outside world. If you’ve already switched to VoIP, make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the functions and special features your platform has to offer. For example, a good VoIP provider will offer unified messaging. This means voicemail messages can be automatically converted to emails and vice versa. Faxes can be sent as an email as well.
Another feature you don’t want to miss is crystal-clear conferencing. Since VoIP uses the internet, collaboration capabilities are far superior to the analog conferences you’re used to. For instance, participants can quickly and easily share files, sync their calendars, and see each other on video.
More than 40% of small businesses have already switched to VoIP, and as sipVine explains, this technology grows with your company and avoids the hassle of upgrading expensive phone systems or changing providers to get better features.
Perhaps the most valuable feature VoIP has to offer your business is the ability to reach employees on any device with a single number. Your sales team will be reachable in the field, and your remote employees can be reached right on their computer without having to look up their cellphone number.
A recent study showed that nearly 80% of business will use cloud computing within the next year or two. Most businesses use cloud-based solutions to handle the back end of their operations like accounting and marketing. Other businesses put everything in the cloud, including daily operations, applications, and company assets.
Although data security concerns become larger the more we rely on remotely stored data, enforcing a security policy mitigates much of that risk. Many businesses aren’t aware that data and malware security breaches often result from user negligence. Either they failed to encrypt their data, or they didn’t strictly control access. Sometimes threats come from within a company, so not all data breaches can be avoided, but when stolen data is encrypted, it’s useless to the thief.
Three-dimensional printing isn’t reserved for hobbyists; there are real-world business applications. For example, once you learn how to create designs using your 3D printer’s software, you can print product prototypes for a fraction of what a manufacturer would charge. In fact, you can prototype your product in one day.
A 3D printer can also be used to produce final products and/or components. For example, a company used 3D printing to create more than 85,000 fuel nozzles for Leap jet engines. The nozzles are stronger and lighter than what was formerly made in the factory. Their only problem is the 3D printers can’t create components fast enough.
Surprisingly, car companies have been using 3D printing technology since the 1980s to produce more than 500,000 parts. They have made engine covers for the new Mustang with 3D printers. Traditional methods would have taken four months and cost $500,000; with a 3D printing business, it took four days and cost $3,000. That’s an astronomical increase in profits. Your initial investment in this technology will likely be under $5k, and even if you only use it for prototypes, you’ll be ahead of the game.
It’s Never Too Late To Adopt Cutting-Edge Technology
Regardless of how long you’ve waited to adopt these cutting-edge technologies, it’s never too late. The benefits of using technology to simplify your business are clear. You’ll save time, money, physical resources, and human resources. Your staff will be more productive, your communications will be less stressful, and your business will run like a well-oiled machine.