Building back-office operating efficiency, one app at a time.

Author:Belous, Scott
Position::TECH STRATEGY
 
FREE EXCERPT

Nearly every smart business owner is constantly pursuing one particular ideal these days: doing more with less. The great conundrum, however, is that no one wants the end result to feel like they're settling for less. That's where trimming the fat really takes savvy and not just an eye on the bottom line.

However, thanks to digital business tools, "less" can now be "more" when businesses adopt smart tools to cut costs and boost efficiency. When looking for ways to integrate digital tools into the business, back-office tasks are a particularly great target, because these tasks can siphon off valuable billable time from employees, and they generally involve employees at all levels.

Though the most apparent gains that digital apps offer are speed and efficiency, the right tools can also provide the additional bonus of helping employees feel empowered and unburdened by the paperwork and time-intensive processes often associated with back-office tasks.

SPOTTING HIGH-POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Though there are various digital tools available for boosting back-office efficiency, all businesses are different, so it is important to identify areas where a particular business can make the greatest gains. In making this assessment, it is also important to consider the nature of the gains that digital tools designed for smartphones and other devices can provide.

Since some of the greatest assets of digital tools are the elimination of paper, the ability to collaborate or readily share information in real time, and the flexibility to work away from a desk, businesses can target areas for improvement by identifying tasks where these advantages are most lacking.

Tasks that are largely dependent on paper are prime suspects. Likewise, any process that can routinely become bottleneckecl by interactions between employees, such as an approval process, shows potential for improvement. Finally, any task that ties an employee to a desk should be closely scrutinized.

Streamlining Expense Management If there is one area where paperwork and bottlenecks can cut into efficiency and steal away valuable working hours from employees at all levels, it is the universally dreaded expense report. Since there are multiple reasons why the process is often so inefficient--including lost receipts, manual paperwork, employee resistance and more--the potential for time savings is exceptional.

Another compelling reason for pursuing better expense management is the sizeable amount of...

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