Using the cloud to help you to run your business more efficiently

For any business efficiency is important. In fact, for most it is critical. It can make the difference between being profitable and folding. The tighter your margins are the more critical running efficiently is.

Firms that are in the habit of constantly reviewing their processes, honing their skills, and looking for ways to do things better in less time are the ones that succeed. They beat their competitors when it comes to both lead times and price.

Using the cloud for onboarding and ongoing training

Making full use of cloud computing is a great way to join the dots. For example, you can use connected HR systems to onboard a new employee. Potentially you can set things up so that when you add them to your system and key in the department they will be working in, a tailored induction program is automatically created for them.

They will be given access to all of the normal induction materials, such as the health and safety video, diversity awareness training and an introduction to the firm. As well as material that is specific to their role. For example, a new member of the canteen staff could be asked to complete food safety training. At that point, they can then be automatically sent to the relevant test facility to complete a test and gain the necessary certification. While someone who is going to work as a welder will be walked through the safety equipment and protocols for that area, instead.

Over time their direct manager will potentially be able to use the same system to schedule further training sessions for them. Using a Learning Management System (LMS) to feed them with materials that will address any skill gaps they may have. Or, better still to teach then new things that will help them to grow and become even more invaluable employees. As you can see here, taking this approach is an effective way to futureproof your business.

Using the cloud to shave time off of your processes

Studies show that firms that follow clearly defined processes are more efficient. The more time that elapses between one step and the next the more likely it is that the process will stall. It is just human nature. So is getting bored and moving onto a fresh task without completely finishing the one that you were assigned.

Potentially you can use cloud-connected apps to help you to break these bad habits. For example, you can require your workers to issue invoices before the job they were working on is flagged as complete and the next one is automatically issued by the system.

If you connect how many jobs they complete to how big of a bonus they are paid they will be highly motivated to issue the invoice, so they can get to the next task without leaving the previous one incomplete. The fact that the customer has the invoice on their screen as soon as the work has been completed is a great way to prompt them to pay immediately. They are standing there in a happy state of mind, grateful the job has been done, so it is almost automatic for them to click the ‘pay now’ button. This is also great for your cashflow.

Once you get used to using cloud-based systems in your business, you will wonder how you ever managed without them. The list of possibilities is almost endless.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.