Five ways to improve business agility
The extent and rate of change that your organisation experiences can be influenced by many factors. The state of the economy, company growth, changes in technology and the dynamics of a particular market or geographical location all contribute to what can often be turbulent times. If your organisation is to remain competitive and take advantage of new opportunities then the ability to anticipate change and adapt quickly is critical.
Here are five ways to improve business agility in your organisation.
1. Rapidly introduce new products and services
When customers demand new products and services or as an organisation you need to make changes to existing offerings, time is often a luxury that cannot be afforded. When design, manufacturing, sales, service, finance and other interested functions need to come together, the location of individuals or teams, differing time zones or technology should not be a barrier to rapid objective setting or decision making.
Seventy-three per cent of businesses in a Frost & Sullivan survey¹ believe that Unified Communications technologies will improve productivity and almost forty per cent believe UC will accelerate decision-making.
- Audio, web and video conferencing with live document sharing allow teams to work together, see each other and manage projects in real time
- Presence and availability notification give colleagues a visual representation of co-workers and team members allowing them to avoid the wasted time often associated with multiple attempts to contact individuals who are away from the desk or on the telephone
2. Shareholder value is a leading KPI
With teams successfully integrated, sharing information and working closely together the cost of product development can be managed allowing margins to increase. As you streamline your business processes to reduce unnecessary activities the focus can firmly turn to reducing the cost of sale, ensuring customers have a lifetime value and foster an ethos among employees of continuous improvement.
With technology supporting collaboration, real estate starts to have a lower importance. It’s widely recognised that
a mobile workforce drives business flexibility and much can be achieved when employees are free to work from locations of their choice with consistent technology tools regardless of their chosen work location.
- Single number reach allows employees to work from anywhere and still retain their one business contact number
- Hot desk capabilities allow employees to work from a variety of locations while retaining their personal communication profile
3. Respond to changing market demands
Modern communication solutions allow companies to access and measure performance data and market trends quicker than ever before. Immediate access to company performance, product sales and geographical trends mean you predict change and view it positively. IT tools are also changing to keep pace with real-time information gathering particularly in understanding how customers view your business and the products and services you provide.
Modern businesses have adapted to incorporate social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to receive inbound customer feedback and as part of outbound marketing programs and company communications.
4. Deliver exceptional customer service and satisfaction
Retaining customers, then turning them into loyal and life time customers can only be achieved when our business exceeds the expectations that customers place upon us. In a Frost & Sullivan survey¹ sixty-eight per cent of businesses say that customer satisfaction and call handling can be improved with the use of Unified Communications tools.
Today’s consumers carry with them technologies that facilitate them contacting your organisation in seconds. The devices they carry with them provide instant access to the internet, social media, email, applications downloaded from the cloud as well as mobile video and telephony.
With all this capability usually carried in one smartphone or tablet they expect enquiries to be dealt with immediately, 24-7 and 365 days of the year. Our responsibility is to ensure that we are all ready to answer these queries.
Technology agility is a key factor in managing this change in consumer behaviour. Implementing a multi-media contact centre flexible enough to receive and respond to enquiries via a selection of mediums is one way to ensure your customers are always at the heart of your business.
5. Corporate commitment to the environment
We all have a responsibility to operate our business in a way that considers the effect we might have on the environment. In many cases behaviour towards the environment may have an impact on the people who look to invest in our business.
The changing face of our work force allows flexible working practices. These include reducing travel and general day to day commuting by offering home working. As well as a positive effect on the employee this also allows organisations to review the size and location of office premises.
Delivering unified communications and collaboration in a virtualised environment enables you to use a single piece of physical hardware to run multiple operating systems or processes. In this scenario you can reduce the number of servers you need to support your communication infrastructure and therefore reduce the space and power usage required.