It’s a challenge that starts with hiring good people
Developing a robust technology platform can deliver a huge range of benefits in the workplace. Computers, phones, servers and even tablets can and have increased office efficiencies in many business functions.
Technology doesn’t replace good people. You must first have great people, and then provide them with good tools. And with those tools, employees will provide even better service to your customers.
Putting Technology to Work
The employees of Jarrett Logistics Systems (JLS) are the beating heart of our business. Equipped with the right technology, and knowledge about how to maximize their use of it, we can increase our level of service.
Before we put employees on the office floor, we make sure they are fully trained with every device, software and program at JLS. We have them shadow other employees to refine their familiarity with our technology and we ensure they are fully prepared to deliver the service we promise.
The actual familiarity process, though, is neither easy nor simple. Behind the scenes, JLS is full of advanced technology, including a custom developed IT platform created for our office requirements. We found with the amount of daily data entry we perform, we feel more secure knowing our files are safe and accessible to our employees when needed.
Some examples of our advanced technology are the real-time programs we use to help generate reports and track customer information. That way, if a customer requests a report mid-day, we are able to supply it. In our warehouse, hand-held scanners can be used to print barcodes and build accuracy and efficiency for drivers picking up our shipments. When scanners are plugged into our system at the office, the daily data contained on these scanners is automatically updated on the server.
In the end, our technology creates a better customer experience, but only if it is effectively used by well-trained employees.
The ROI for a Business
A business considering introducing greater technology into their daily operation should begin with a cost-benefit analysis or return on investment (ROI) analysis to help understand what technology is needed.
We discovered, when enhancing JLS’ technology resources, a computer is fairly inexpensive, but the behind-the-scenes systems, platforms and software can get costly. For a small business just starting out, using a few computers hooked up to the internet could be more cost-effective; for others, a whole platform may be needed.
This is where the cost-benefit analysis comes into play, seeking answers to critical questions. For example:
- What is your ROI in adding to office technology?
- How does technology help your business internally?
- Does having certain technology increase customer experience?
- Will technology help your business grow?
I have already mentioned it, but it’s an important point worth repeating: Start with finding great people. Then supply them with the technology they will need. And then — thoughtfully and carefully — train these people to integrate your technology to create a strong customer service focus that can place you above your competition. That combination, performed correctly, is priceless.
Michael Jarrett is the founder and president of Jarrett Logistics Systems and PackShip USA in Orrville. Both companies have won numerous growth awards multiple times, including the Weatherhead 100, Cascade Capital Growth Award, INC 500/5000, The Entrepreneurial Edge Award and the NEO Success Award. For more information, visit www.jarrettlogistics.com.