The COVID-19 virus has introduced us to a new world and a unique working environment. Companies are now reconsidering and reorganizing work processes and themselves to accommodate remote workers, and being productive in a distributed environment. Some of the challenges companies are trying to solve how do employees communicate, have access to data, customer records, human resources, scheduling, and inventory management. Companies are also struggling with just maintaining a work process that makes sense and is productive for the company and employees, along with how to manage and measure that productivity in this new normal. I have been strategizing software and work processes for this scenario for almost twenty years, designing a software package that empowers employees and companies to operate productively in this situation. The COVID 19 virus has put this strategy into an unprecedented real-world test.
Business Manager 365 was developed over the last twenty years to address and wrap real solutions to real business operational problems. I think everyone agrees that having great employees is key to any companies success. However, organizational success is as much driven by the work processes and the data that employees use to operationally run the organization and provide services and products to your customers. COVID 19 has proven that without access to data operating within the distributed environment is increasingly difficult. Or, due to what I call disassociated data, which is data that is only held by one employee or there is information hoarding can result in delays and customer service issues.
Business Manager 365 was developed to focus on the work process, and putting employees into a management structure as part of the ordinary business operations to collect data, and structure it to be immediately available to all parts of the organization. Data management and data flow within Business Manager 365 are focused on automatically moving the data through the system with a series of triggers to automate the needs of the customer and the team by putting that data into workable and manageable work processes.
Aside from organizational work process issues, the COVID 19 virus has shown us that most organizations are not as ready as everyone thought. There have been a lot of other problems that have proven to be areas of improvement from a technological perspective.
- Internet capacity issues, all the telecommunication companies tend to oversell the capacity of their networks; this is to maximize profits and regain the cost of development and maintenance of the fiber and copper networks. COVID 19 overselling the capacity of the systems has proven to have an impact on the ability of employees to work from home, with slow Internet response, drops when using high bandwidth resources such as video conferencing, and choppiness.
- Security, some data is coming in that has shown an increase in the virus, malware and ransomware virus spreads. There is also data showing that in some cases, corporate networks have been compromised through employee’s home systems. Home networks are notoriously less secure than corporate networks, which is opening up opportunities for corporate networks to be virus-infected due to the lack of filtering and protections coming through the employee’s work portals. Or, due to the employee working from home, the culture of security has dropped, and employees are leaving workstations unlocked and logged in to work networks providing easy access to people who shouldn’t have it.
- Lack of collaboration software, this is the area that Business Manager 365 can fill the gaps, it is a fully integrated database, which scheduling management, parts, and inventory management, time and attendance, document management, and escalation processes all built into the system. The goal was to put employees regardless of role or responsibility into a work process and data flow process managed by one piece of software. This doesn’t mean that integration with other software packages is a bad thing because it isn’t, Business Manager is not accounting software. Still, it does integrate with QuickBooks Pro with a bidirectional API interface. However, the theory behind Business Manager 365 is to minimize the necessity for employees to have to go from one software package to another to do their jobs effectively. Business Manager 365 limits brain drain and workflow management to collect all the operational and customer information you need to operate your business successfully.
Business Manager 365 has its roots in managing service-based businesses. Service-based businesses rely on customer communications, CRM, customer history, contract management, scheduling, time management, and parts and inventory management. Control of a naturally distributed workforce and a highly mobile workforce can be a tricky proposition when it comes to collecting customer time and translating those activities into billable hours. COVID 19 has now forced internal staffing into a remote workforce, and Business Manager 365 has proven to transition and manage those processes in a productive manner effectively.
COVID 19 has indeed shown many weaknesses in the world of technology and the ability to be remote workers and mobile workers. However, fortunately, in our client base, the transitions have been smooth and have gone off with little impact on our client or their clients. It has always been one of our objectives to design systems that, by default, have a high degree of flexibility to the end-user to work in the traditional office setting or on the run. This methodology has now shown to work to a high degree of success and provided our clients with a flexible, high performing system to serve their clients.
About the author: Scott Lewis is the President and CEO of Winning Technologies Group of Companies which includes Liberty One Software. Scott has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry and is a nationally recognized speaker and author on technology subjects. Scott has worked with large and small business to empower them to use technology to improve work processes, increase productivity, and reduce costs. Scott has designed thousands of systems for large, medium and small companies and Winning Technologies goal is to work with companies on the selection, implementation, management and support of technology resources. Learn more about Winning Technologies at winningtech.com or call 877-379-8279.