employee engagement with software Archives - Striven

Revolutionizing Work: The Benefits of Employee Work Flexibility

Work flexibility can save businesses thousands of dollars yearly, increase employee satisfaction and improve the customer experience. Workplace policies like flexible scheduling and remote positions have tangible benefits that revolutionize jobs. What are some of the top benefits of flexible employment and why should companies embrace them? 

Higher Productivity

Work flexibility can significantly improve productivity by empowering employees to build a schedule that works for them. Everyone has different times when they work more efficiently throughout the day. Some people perform best early in the morning, while others are more productive at night. 

A flexible schedule policy allows everyone to work at a time when they will be at their most productive. It also reduces distractions and stress from doctor’s appointments and family commitments. Employees can more easily take care of these things if needed and better focus when working. 

Additionally, some employees are more productive outside an office environment. For example, people with ADD, ADHD or OCD may find offices distracting and stressful. Working from home affords more peace and efficiency. 

Work-Life Balance

Work flexibility is transformative for work-life balance. It allows employees to save time on commutes, adapt to needs in their personal lives and spend more time with their families. A flexible arrangement is among the top three factors influencing job-seekers’ employment choices today. 

Employees with some say in their hours and job location can build a schedule that works for them. It allows them to get the most out of their day at home and work. As a result, they can take care of important personal matters without negatively impacting their jobs. 

Flexible work policies are especially helpful for families. Many schools now allow hybrid learning arrangements, which means parents must be home while their children attend class remotely during the day. Hybrid and remote options give people the needed flexibility for situations like this, as well as everyday family matters like activity schedules and sick days. 

Increased Employee Loyalty and Engagement

Retaining top talent requires creating an environment that supports employees’ needs. Work flexibility shows that a business cares about its workers’ health, time and work-life balance. It also builds the foundation for mutual trust between company leaders and employees. 

Workplace flexibility has a real impact on employees’ success, as well. It improves engagement by allowing them to build a schedule optimized for their peak productivity, which results in higher-quality work. For example, research shows that financial businesses that used flexible policies improved service quality by 23% due to higher engagement. 

Flexible work builds trust and support for employees, encouraging top talent to stay. It also results in higher engagement on the job, creating tangible benefits for businesses and their customers. 

Improved Health and Wellness

Employees are less likely to let serious health and wellness issues go unresolved when they have a more flexible schedule. Most doctors’ offices are only open during the week, so employees may be reluctant to take time off to schedule an appointment when needed. 

Work flexibility lets employees shift their hours or projects to make time for self-care and doctor’s visits. Flexible schedules and remote work options also allow more time for wellness activities like jogging and yoga. As a result, people can take better care of themselves, improve their performance at work and reduce sick days. 

More Diverse Teams

Work flexibility can open up new hiring possibilities. Remote and hybrid environments allow businesses to recruit from a larger geographic talent pool. As a result, they can find employees they might not have met otherwise. 

Businesses can build more diverse, high-talent teams when their work environment is accessible to more people. Flexible hours and location make a job more appealing and functional for a larger number of employees. These workplaces can build more diverse teams, powering creativity and a better customer experience. 

It’s also worth considering the needs of employees with mobility challenges. People with limited mobility or access to transportation are often highly talented but may have more difficulty getting to offices. Flexibility for remote work increases workplace accessibility for these employees. 

Lower Energy and Real Estate Costs

Businesses worldwide spend thousands or even millions of dollars annually on office-related expenses. A remote or hybrid work environment reduces the need for large office spaces. Companies can significantly reduce their costs by adopting more flexible arrangements. 

Research shows hybrid work can save tens of thousands of dollars yearly on office real estate and operating expenses. A work flexibility policy means the building doesn’t need to support every employee simultaneously. Businesses can rent smaller office spaces and purchase fewer desks and equipment. 

Additionally, businesses can lower their office utility expenses by allowing employees to work partly or fully remotely. Smaller buildings use less electricity to begin with, but hybrid employers can also schedule “dark office days” when everyone works remotely. 

Both options lead to major cost savings on electricity, HVAC, internet and more. Less utility consumption also reduces carbon emissions, which helps build a good environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile and supports workplace sustainability. This is especially appealing to eco-conscious employees and customers and can improve your reputation as a green company.

The Transformative Benefits of Work Flexibility

A flexible work environment supports employee wellness, improves productivity, increases engagement, expands the hiring pool and reduces office expenses. Flexible hours and locations can make a monumental difference in the worker experience with tangible business gains. When people have the support to do their best work, customers receive the highest quality service and products possible.

ERP: A Tool For Improving Employee Relationships

Customers get all the attention. After all, they’re the ones keeping the lights on. Your processes and procedures are designed with them in mind, you make critical decisions based on their needs and asks, and you do everything in your power to attract and retain them.

Bending over backward for your customers is by no means a bad business practice. What it does mean, however, is that it’s easy to become hyper-focused on all things “customer” and to lose track of other areas of importance. In this case, another critical group of people—your employees.

You value your employees tremendously. They are the backbone of your business, and their hard work is recognized through salary increases, promotions, and other commendations. 

Employees love incentives—especially cash incentives. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding your employees for a job well done. It’s certainly part of a winning strategy. But, it’s not the only component that goes into building the best business possible when it comes to employee relationships.

Your investments in your employees need to go beyond bonuses, holiday parties, and awards. In some ways, your business needs to look at its employee relationships in the same light it would its customer relationships. It’s important to embrace how technology can improve areas such as employee communication, the onboarding process, reduce employee burnout, and the overall efficiency of their daily experience.

In short, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) under the umbrella of business management technology is capable of facilitating a better, more efficient employee experience that improves employee engagement—disengaged employees cost companies between $483 to $605 billion per year, and companies with more engaged employees outperform their counterparts by 202%.

business management software erp productivity

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that business management technology can facilitate a more engaged, productive workforce and how that can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

How ERP Benefits Internal Communication

Even before the advent of widespread remote work, maintaining organization and accuracy in daily communication channels was a challenge. Now, the challenge has risen to an entirely new level.

If you have employees out in the field, they will most likely be calling or texting back to the office. Young and tech-savvy employees working remotely will have the inclination to use their favorite group messaging apps. The term is known as shadow IT where employees use familiar (to them) apps that have not been blessed by your IT department, typically for cybersecurity concerns.

And—even more prominently—most employees will still rely on traditional email chains as their primary method to relay information. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these channels of communication. However, there are two glaring problems when it comes to how they’re used: 

1. They’re all disconnected systems that do not have a single, verifiable source of centralized data. 

2.  There is now an extraneous layer of separation between these communication channels and the work being done.

Transparency and Inclusion

One of the biggest and most immediate benefits that business management software offers in terms of employee communication is the fact that discussions are all happening within the system, with everyone on the same page.

In an atmosphere where all employees are encouraged to communicate, problems will be solved quickly. Oftentimes, problems that would have shown up later down the line will be stamped out quicker than ever when communication is at its peak.

Enabling transparent and inclusive communication empowers your employees to work productively and relay data faster. Another great way to empower employees is through corporate awards; in this way, they will feel more appreciated and productive. It will be favorable among your employees, and it will have a trickle-down effect on your customers who are seeing their problems and needs accounted for much more timely and efficiently.

Accurate, Real-Time Data

Sifting through various mediums of communication to find the “correct” set of data is one of the biggest time wasters that a company can face. One study found that employees spend 19.8% of their business time searching for information to do their job effectively.

If you’re not keeping your data clean, you could be missing out on opportunities to reach new customers or nurture relationships with existing ones. To create and maintain better data, you can use employee survey software tools and have better management.

Needless to say, improving the ways in which your employees send and receive information can save your business time and money.

Project Management Efficiency

Every type of business spends time working on projects of some kind. Whether it’s a construction job site, a catering event, or a financial planning document, you will have information in need of being stored, co-workers in need of being brought up to speed, and work that needs to be reviewed and revised. Thus you can give corporate awards to the most successful employees and enable their trust and dedication. 

Instead of communicating about projects on a separate software app, communicate directly where the project data is stored. This way you can point to specific information, upload additional documents, and see a definitive edit history. You’ll be able to spend less time clarifying back-and-forth remarks and more time accomplishing the tasks at hand.

Adapting To Your Employees

Your employees are all truly one of a kind. Some employees are aces in analytical positions, while others are better suited for labor-focused tasks. Skillsets aren’t the only area of importance here—personalities also play a major role in the workplace. Some may be best suited for customer-facing positions, while others thrive in the back office environment. 

Differing and diverse talent and personalities among your employees is an unequivocal strength. The hard part comes in pairing employees with others that complement their respective skill sets and personalities. While that requires some managerial expertise, business management software plays a vital role in empowering your employees to maximize their unique potential. Perhaps, take a look at branded corporate achievement awards to improve employee relationships and recognize outstanding achievers. 

Automation Enables Creativity

While automation doesn’t directly contribute to creativity, it provides more of the most significant element necessary for creativity to flourish—time. Right now, 67% of organizations are implementing business process automation solutions. And around 85% of business leaders, believe that automating some of this workload will give employees more time to focus on crucial company initiatives.

The truth is, one of the easiest ways for employees to become burnt out and unproductive in their role is when they are required to perform large amounts of menial and repetitive tasks. By utilizing business management technology, your employees can get back to not only the work that they do best but also the work that keeps them highly motivated and productive.

Remote Work

Some employees work best in a lively atmosphere surrounded by lots of people and activity, while others work best in quiet solitude. In the last couple of years, the latter type of worker has thrived. While not every person is at their best working remotely, nor can every job be completed in this way, it can be highly productive for those that embrace it.

remote work erp software productivity

47% of employees that work remotely are more productive, and on average these employees end up working one additional day per week.

ERP business management software gives your employees the freedom to work in an atmosphere that suits their strengths while not sacrificing any of the communication or data visibility traditionally reserved for those working in the office.

Enhanced Decision Making

While you still may leave the bulk of the decision-making up to the executives within your business, it’s always a good idea to aggregate ideas from every person involved, not just executives. Using the tools that business management software has to offer, your employees will have faster access to better data, enabling them to make smarter decisions.

Giving employees more leeway to dive headfirst into data facilitates more openness within your organization and gives way to better ideas being developed. Even if your average employee isn’t responsible for making the final decision, having those conversations within your organization from top to bottom will prove the theory that two heads are always better than one.

Wrapping Up

Focusing on the relationship between you and your employees—as well as the relationships that employees have with each other—is really important. In fact, it can be viewed as an extension of focusing on your relationship with your customers.

CEO Doug Conant quote

If your employees are empowered to work their best, they’ll be best set up to serve your customers in an optimal fashion. Giving your employees the tools to communicate about projects, allowing them the opportunity to make intelligent decisions, and overall promoting an atmosphere of open communication, inclusion, and transparency will help every employee in your company reach their full potential, thereby helping your company achieve the most that it possibly can.

Contractor Management Software: Benefits and Advantages

The world of construction and contracting contains a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively. Tools, materials, and machines need to be transported, assembled, and installed at every job site. 

Beyond the physical labor lies the real headache of contracting—legal documents, compliance measures, appraisals, estimates, budget reports…the list is seemingly endless.

Every business that handles construction and contractor management does things a bit differently. Some have completely integrated business management software solutions while others still rely on manual, analog business practices. 

The reality is that most businesses find themselves somewhere in between when it comes to technological integration.

Benefits Of Contractor Management Software

Construction and contracting companies (and businesses in other industries that rely on various types of contract work) share a common goal, no matter the specifics of the project, customer, or client—that common goal is creating value and increasing revenue.

construction and contractor management software

Experts on construction and contracting productivity estimate that 35% of construction time is spent on non-productive activities. It’s not necessarily the activities, objectives, or the people themselves that are inefficient—it’s the methods and processes that cause stagnation. 

Contractor management software helps businesses streamline the processes that their business already accomplishes on a daily basis. Job costing, equipment tracking, and estimating are just some of the processes that contractor management software helps your business improve upon.

Have you experienced the pitfalls of tracking equipment with pencil and paper? Have you had to repeatedly run the same numbers to make sure you’re still under budget? Have you had to pause your labor to call your office staff numerous times from the same job site on the same day to acquire crucial information?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to consider exploring the use of contractor management software within your organization.

On the other hand, if you haven’t experienced any of these headaches yet, consider yourself lucky. You have the chance to proactively build better processes before any of these hurdles arise.

Better Communication, Better Bottom Line

Communication is important in every line of work. However, when it comes to working with a variety of subcontractors and contracted parties, communication takes on an increased importance.

Quality communication—or lack thereof—has a tangible impact on job sites. In construction and engineering projects, 52% of rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication. This translates to nearly $31.3 billion in rework in the U.S. alone in 2022.

construction professionals communicating over blueprint

By utilizing the tools that contractor management software offers, you won’t have any ambiguity about budgets, schedules, or the status of work. 

Imagine this: many businesses use emails to send documents, isolated hard drives to store files, text messages to share images and status updates, paper and pencil to sign out equipment and materials, and expensive third parties to craft contracts. 

Using so many disconnected software systems (not to mention some entirely paper-based systems) leaves the door open for errors, delays, and miscommunication of all kinds. Contractor management software puts everything you need in one place, able to be accessed anywhere, anytime, without the high risk of errors and faulty data.

Reduced Risk Exposure

The task of maintaining full legal and regulatory compliance is a multifaceted, challenging endeavor. Businesses deal with complex and oft-changing tax codes, strict OSHA regulations, and countless types of insurance guidelines. 

It’s easy for disorganization to run rampant if your systems and processes are not efficient and in unison. Though it may be tempting to safe keep all pertinent company documents in your private, isolated filing cabinet, it’s important to understand that there is a better, safer, more effective way. 

One of the biggest benefits of contractor management software is that you’ll be able to set parameters for your organization’s specific compliance requirements. From there, you can upload documents and let automation handle the rest.

With a quick search query you’ll be able to:

  • Make sure that all of your contingency workers have their certifications up to date
  • Verify specific tax considerations for each job site
  • Manage documents relating to incident reports and insurance claims

Beyond the increased level of organization and speed of access, your documents will be safer, too—a cloud-based, cryptographically protected, backed-up document storage solution will make sure that your data is never lost or damaged. 

Compared to the single, lock-and-key filing cabinet, contractor management software is a much better solution for making sure that you and your employees are fully protected, both physically and legally.

Better Talent Acquisition and Onboarding

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business—making sure that your pool of prospective talent stays warm should be of the utmost priority. 

The hiring and onboarding processes are never without hiccups and a substantial time commitment. This becomes even more true when your business relies on the services of subcontractors and freelancers. 

Hr Manager Hand Hold Cv Resume Of Construction Worker Over Group Of People Different Professions Choose Candidate

Building a better and more efficient hiring process takes time, energy, and yes, money. Investing in your employees and their well-being begins before they officially sign on—it starts with the hiring process itself.

The good news is that your talent acquisition solution doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of relying on costly sites such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn to manage your hiring processes, you can (easily and cost-efficiently) handle it internally. Better yet—most of the process can be automated.

Beyond cost savings, you’ll be able to find candidates that truly match your organization’s needs.

The best contractor management software solutions offer an integrated HR portal that handles everything you need to attract, hire, onboard, and retain top talent. Create job postings, store background checks, resumes, and other documents, and automate recruiting workflows by position. 

Operational Overview

While delegation and trust are important qualities of being a business leader, it’s still just as important to maintain an accurate, informed overview of all of your business operations.

Though you may not be directly involved in certain aspects of a project lifecycle, it’s still crucial to be able to access all of that information at a glance. 

Let’s take a look at this example:

A customer drastically changes their mind about the direction of a project. In the beginning, they were looking for something “simplistic”, but things have changed—new decision-makers have been appointed, and they have their own vision of how things should look. They’re signing the checks, after all, so you do your best to accommodate.

Your project manager comes to you for input about the client’s requested changes. 

“We’re going to need a bigger daily budget, more highly-specialized contractors, new materials that need to be shipped from halfway across the world…”

As you’ve probably witnessed firsthand, the list of variables that change during the lifecycle of a project is seldom only three items long. If your processes are disconnected and disorganized, the logistics of making these changes a reality will be a major headache.

Double-checking figures, searching for missing documents, scouring through old text messages and emails, manually taking inventory—in all reality, these few hang-ups only scratch the surface of what you’ll need to account for.  

Project managers, and employees in helmets

Contractor management software keeps the small details neatly organized while never losing sight of the big picture. Create interactive workflows, organize tasks for each employee with smart labeling technology, and easily adjust job scopes and timelines.

Not only will this make you and your workers’ lives easier, but it’ll also provide your client with up-to-the-minute, fully transparent information. 

Even after the contractors are done, it’s important to remember that they’re not the only people involved in the business surrounding buying, selling, and maintaining it. It’s important to make sure that the software you choose to help increase efficiency and boost profits also acts as software for real estate development teams that are affiliated with this property.

Contractor Management Software Keeps Your Business Moving

Contracting is never a one-size-fits-all industry. No matter the project, there will always be changes, updates, and hurdles. This will never change. As a leader, your job is to navigate these choppy waters with planned precision and professionalism. 

Contractor management software helps immensely—it allows you to plan ahead while being able to make adjustments with ease. It allows you to intuitively remove inefficiencies in order to cut costs. It also allows you to plan for the future by ensuring that your pipeline of contractors and subcontractors is skilled and plentiful. 

all in one contractor and construction management software

If you find yourself consistently looking for a better, less stressful path to completed jobs and sustained success, contractor management software will allow you to accomplish just that.

10 Signs That It’s Time For An All-In-One Business Software

Is your business prepared to grow by 50x in the near future? 

The answer is yes—if you’re prepared. A profitable business model and hardworking employees are baseline requirements, but it takes more than that to push your business over the top—it takes an all-in-one business management software platform.  

In the spirit of preparation, take a minute to assess what a 50x growth would logistically entail:

  • Hiring new employees (and onboarding them)
  • Purchasing new materials and equipment (and cataloging them)
  • Expanded remote capabilities and office space
  • Keeping track of 50x more documents
  • Expanding your CRM capabilities
  • Increasing your accounting workload
all in one business management software growth

The list above is surely incomplete in terms of the new costs, challenges, and variables that come into play as a business grows. 

Many of these challenges can be addressed by utilizing all-in-one business management software. It’s understandable that your first thought may be “I don’t need that, at least not yet.” 

The key word? “Yet”. Though business management software can help businesses of all sizes, it’s absolutely imperative to organizations that are poised to expand their business. So, don’t be behind the 8-ball—here are 10 signs that it’s time for your business to enlist an all-in-one business management software solution.

1. When Growth Is Imminent

Growth is exciting. It can also be nerve-racking, stressful, and full of growing pains.

upward growth trend of Bitcoin superimposed over a gold bitcoin token

In a hopelessly-romantic, Hollywood-esque way, it can be easy to believe that growth will hit in one tsunami-like surge—a big “aha” moment, a mega-deal with a corporate giant, or an upward profit chart akin to the likes of Bitcoin.

Not featured on the big screen, however, is the groundwork that is laid slowly behind the scenes—years and years of trial and error, finding the right employees, and testing the waters of various markets.

Albeit slowly at first, growth can actually materialize in an instant—that marketing campaign you launched went viral thanks to some verified retweeters and suddenly, you’re fielding calls from what will end up being the largest accounts your business has ever managed. 

The point here: growth is built slowly, but can unfold all at once. Don’t be unprepared for that moment. You’re confident in your business—be just as confident in your ability to produce results.

As the old adage goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Look at business management software in the same light—invest in an ERP for the company you want to grow into, not for the company you are at this very moment.

2. When Customer Relationships Need More Attention

Customers are the backbone of your business. Attaining a loyal customer base is hard work—it’s easy to become wrapped up in the exuberance of an influx of new customers.

Before your customers are customers, they’re leads. Is your sales staff equipped to not only handle managing additional customer relationships, but the additional amount of fresh leads coming in?

Help your employees assess the profitability and priority of each opportunity with an automated sales funnel. With an influx of new leads and customers, you may think hiring additional sales staff is the answer. While that may be a step you want to take at some point, it’s important to focus first on maximizing the efficiency of your existing employees.

Some of the biggest benefits all-in-one business management software brings to growing businesses lie in its CRM processes. 

customers enjoying all in one business management software

Automating marketing campaigns, visual dashboards to track the entirety of your sales pipeline, instantaneous synchronicity with the rest of your finances, and customer feedback portals are some of the tools that can help you attract and retain a loyal customer base. 

3. When You Find Yourself Making “Educated Guesses”

Going with your gut is a natural instinct. In the early days of your business, it was probably even profitable. Heck, you’ve probably made a gut decision today. But as your business grows, decisions will require more than just a hunch.

Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) will enhance your productivity and profitability across the board. Every business contains nuanced differences in its approach—analyzing the data that is relevant to your business is what counts.

ERP systems with customizable dashboards and report-generating functionality bring you the information you need to make an informed decision at a glance. Your business is unique—the business management software you choose needs to mold to your needs, not the other way around.

4. When Tedious Tasks Eat Up Your Day

Some days, work might not even feel like work. On other days, an hour might feel like a lifetime. The reality is that not every part of your job is thrilling—those mundane tasks you dread are often some of the most important (crunching numbers, taking inventory, etc.)

While these are important tasks, it’s just as important to not let yourself spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on them. 

Automation is the key to working smarter—automate the tasks that eat up your time, and use that time to focus on the bigger-picture goals that will help bring your business to the next level. 

All-in-one business management software will help you do just that. From accounting to inventory to sales, many parts of the process don’t require immediate and constant attention. 

Aside from automation, delegation is important, as well—monitoring the status of all assigned tasks without filling your inbox with unnecessary back-and-forth “confirmation clutter.” 

5. When You’re Spending Too Much On IT Systems

Repair costs are a necessary evil. Laptops bear the brunt of coffee spillage, and interns overestimate how many monitors they can carry at once. It happens. 

colored networking cables plugged into back of equipment

But what about the cost of non-accident-related expenditures? Software updates, new servers, and backups for those can chew up a budget very quickly. 

With cloud computing, you’ll be able to exert more control over your finances. A cloud-based ERP removes the need for excessive hardware spending, costly software upgrades, and backup costs. All of these needs are handled off-site—and at a flat, fixed, predictable rate—so that you can focus on your business, not the tech behind it. 

6. When You Need To Double Down On Regulatory Compliance

Regardless of the industry you operate in, you most likely have someone in your organization tasked with monitoring compliance. Whether you’re a manufacturer, contractor, consultant, or educator, rules are rules—and it pays to follow them.

Most of the work of a compliance manager will come in the form of keeping track of documents and ensuring on-site traceability. Checking off boxes may seem mundane, but it’s arguably the most important part of the job.

Another example, construction managers are responsible for overseeing the safety of their crew and all associated subcontractors. Before the job begins, OSHA compliance needs to be taken care of. If these certifications and qualifications are not met, it could set a problematic ripple effect in motion—delays in compliance could cause a project to go over budget and disrupt your timeline for other jobs (including the schedules of your subcontractors). A bid could also be lost outright due to a lack of compliance, causing an unpleasant impact on your bottom line as well as negatively impacting the trust your employees and subcontractors have in you.

In short, it pays to stay on top of regulatory measures by keeping all pertinent documents in one centralized, easily accessible location. 

7. When You Need To Back Up Your Data

These days, data security isn’t solely the responsibility of your tech-savvy staff—it’s everyone’s job. Having a data security infrastructure in place is key, and probably something you already do to some degree. But how much of your data is backed up? And more importantly, where and how?

all in one business management cloud erp

If you are not currently leveraging any ERP solutions, the odds are your data is not sufficiently backed up. Sure, you may have redundancy measures in place on your local system, but more can be done.

In 2021, global cybercrime damage costs around $190,000 per second. Cybercriminals are everywhere and are unrelenting in their efforts to undermine legitimate businesses. If your data is stored in a singular, localized location, you may think it’s safer. But in all reality, this is not the case. If this one data center is breached, your systems will cease to function.

By utilizing a cloud software system, your data is not only decentralized and duplicated across servers, it’s backed by world-class cybersecurity professionals. Sure, your computer’s firewall is great—but having that firewall and a cybersecurity infrastructure tailored to your business needs will prevent any malicious actors from disrupting your business. 

8. When Working Remotely Isn’t Efficient

Remote work is here, and it probably isn’t going anywhere for quite some time. In many respects, that’s a good thing—workers are achieving higher productivity levels, both companies and employees are saving money, and every organization’s talent pool has gone global.

There are many prerequisites to achieving successful remote work habits. Deploying proper management strategies, project management techniques, and a new kind of HR department are some of the adjustments that need to be made. But the common theme here is what lies underneath the human-based element of successful remote adaptation: using better technology.

The right all-in-one business management software doesn’t just need to be able to crunch the numbers and track your inventory, it needs to enable your people to be more effective in their roles. Track the status of projects, customer leads, and even new hires all from one place.

If your employees are able to have a centralized location where they can both find all of their work-related data and chat with their co-workers, they’ll be able to be focused and efficient no matter where they’re working from.  

9. When You’re Unsure Of Your Employees’ Day-To-Day Schedules

Managing is a tricky job. On one hand, you want to be actively involved in your employee’s work. Their success is often a reflection of yours. On the other, most managers are savvy enough to know that micromanagement is not typically a successful method.

If you’re unsure about what your employees are doing on a daily basis, that’s a problem. Now, you don’t want to go breathing down their necks and asking them what they’re up to every day—that wastes both your time and theirs. The answer lies in the middle.

While you and your employees almost certainly use some sort of calendar app, are these calendars synced? Do you have a uniform, master calendar to access? 

Not only should you have access to a universal calendar, but you should also have access to all of the tasks and projects that your team is working on. Instead of sending a dreaded “Hello! Just circling back on the status of this project! Kind regards!” type email, look to your software system for the answers. This way, you and your employees can be less focused on updating each other through emails and chats and be more focused on producing high-quality work. 

10. When You Can Tell Your Employees Are Stressed

Hearing employees complain is never easy, especially when it comes to things beyond your control. Sure, there are some things that you wish you could provide them, but not every request is feasible or grantable.

One request that is feasible? Upgrading your software systems.

Stressed office worker with too much demand on thier time

Duplicate data sets, missing files and links, incomplete financial records, chicken-scratch notes strewn across an office—all of these problems slow down employee productivity. Even if your employees don’t verbalize their complaints, read the room. Frustration bubbles to the surface in different ways for every individual, and some may be more prone to silence than outward voicing of complaints.

At fixed monthly payments with top-quality customer support included as part of the base package, an all-in-one ERP is a much better solution to employee complaints than to Frankenstein together with various software that may or may not communicate with each other.

The best part? Most top-quality software is free to use at first. 

It’s Always The Right Time For All-In-One Business Management Software

No businesses are alike. Products, customers, strategies, and everything in between all vary to a large extent depending on your industry’s specific needs.

However, people are a lot alike—we are stronger when working as a unified, coordinated front, climbing towards a common goal. While it’s people that allow your business to be successful, it’s software that allows them to reach their full potential.

The world is becoming increasingly digital, synchronized, and competitive. Enlisting the right all-in-one business management software for your business will help you stay ahead of the curve. 

Striven Hosts #MFGHour: Keeping Your Digital Office Organized

A special thanks to #MFGDay organizers CVT Plastics, DSCS, Inc., and Social Success Marketing and to everyone else who spent the day chatting with us on Twitter about manufacturing!

The topic: Organization is key. The importance of keeping an uncluttered physical workspace is apparent, but have you been able to tidy up your desktops and data storage systems too? In today’s fast paced environment, it’s important to have accurate, complete, and organized information at your fingertips at all times. Time spent searching for lost files, sifting through duplicate spreadsheets, and hoping old hardware and software will somehow begin to run faster will take a toll on your businesses efficiency, and in effect, your bottom line.

File Organization

striven MFG hour Q1

“My computers are squeaky clean. I keep a very neat and well-organized file system too. I find a tidy work environment, both physically and digitally, makes for better productivity. It’s a code I live both, both and work and in my personal life.” –Foxmere Technologies

Believe it or not, I began working on this project in mid-December and ran into a little snafu when my external drive had a mechanical problem. It’s certainly a timely question. #USAMfgHour” – Felix C. Nater, CSC

I start but then I get sidetracked. I really do need to do it though. #USAMfgHour” – DCSC, Inc.

Striven’s answer: When working on a project, I try to set up my organization’s infrastructure ahead of time (file locations, team member coordination, etc.) Since I’m only human, I like to take a look at the end of each week to make sure everything is neat and tidy.

Old Technology

“Your guess is as good as mine. I would like to think somewhere around 5 years old. Still runs well though! #USAMfgHour” – Crescent Software, Inc.

“A client of mine in the technology space changes their computers every two years. #USAMfgHour” – Ruby of Social Success Marketing

“Well, since we all are working remotely and have laptops, they are brand spanking new. We got to pick what we wanted! #USAMfgHour” – Dar-Tech, Inc.

Striven’s answer: The average age of an office computer in 2020 is about 4 years. Converted into human years, that’s pretty old. In fact, it often costs businesses more money to keep their outdated computers than it would be to replace them with newer models.

Workplace Efficiency

striven MFG hour Q3

“We use 5S and other lean management systems. We are such fans that we have free guides and infographics to help others use it easier.” – Graphic Products

“We visit this every week at our staff meeting. We ask the question: How can we do better than last week? It works! We typically find 1-2 things we can make more efficient. #USAMfgHour” – Dynamatic

“I look at things I do all of the time and how long it takes to do those things. If I can find ways to shorten the time, I do whatever I need to in order to cut out wasted time.” – CVT Plastics

Striven’s answer: A method that I practice regularly is to assign tasks to employees and groups of employees. Some tasks take a day, some take a month, and some may not come to fruition until years down the road. Setting goals and sticking to them leads to optimal efficiency.

Organizational Skills

striven MFG hour Q3

“Organization is a huge asset. It helps keeps the entire company working efficiently. We do have a written organizational system in our Company Policies and Procedures document. #USAMfgHour” – NJMEP

“I place a huge priority on organization. When starting a project, I set folders up that I will need to keep everything in proper order. When adding to the project or if I need to reference something at a later date, I know exactly where to go. #USAMfgHour” – RICO Manufacturing

“Organization is key for me and I guess I’m kind of a perfectionist about it. I really am quite organized even though my answers today are appearing that I’m not. I am always striving for better! We are in the process of writing policies for organized data.” – Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc.

Striven’s answer: For me, it’s a huge priority. When someone shows extreme attention to detail, it really demonstrates how much they care about their work. In software, it’s huge. In manufacturing, it’s even bigger considering how many moving parts there are in any one organization.

Employee Feedback

striven MFG hour Q5

“I talk to myself…make a few notes then discuss it with my co-director. By the time we have finished, we’ve had some great outcomes. When dealing with clients we guide their facilitation. #USAMfgHour” – Nigel T. Packer, Pelatis

“We are supported by a good IT department off campus, and we have a dedicated IT person in the office. #USAMfgHour” – SpaceGuard Products

“This is where deep business empathy plays a huge role. Understanding the needs of the business and partnering to meet those needs. When people with strong technical skills add that perspective, they have a tremendous impact.” – Dondi Scumaci, Best Selling Author & International Speaker

Striven’s answer: I always let my staff know that their opinions are welcomed, there’s no such thing as a bad suggestion. Innovation is messy, ideas should always be flowing. Employees can talk to their immediate supervisor as well as request an IT support ticket from the appropriate party.

Achieving More

“Me. I’m in the way of myself. I’m the bottleneck in my business so I will have to find a way to scale. #usamfghour” – Jen Wegman, Insight Information Solutions

“What a great question. #1 Build the best sales team. #2 Money has always been something standing in the way.” – SCTools

“From a personal point at work I want us to grow (I’m working on that) become more efficient (capital investment for new machines, software & training), and be the local “go-to” for CNC machining! #USAMfgHour”- Neil Hussey, TruTurn Precision Engineering

Who Benefits from Business Management Software?

All-in-one business management software benefits everyone, right? At a glance, that should be your logical conclusion. A system that runs core business processes while connecting company-wide data should involve every employee at the companies who use it. 

But benefit and use are two very different things. Many employees of SMBs feel that when their companies choose new software, they make decisions to improve executive-level jobs. Meanwhile, other employees are left to learn new systems that don’t necessarily aid their workflows. Given the core benefits of all-in-one business management software solutions, this problem feels especially acute. With integrated software suites, executives and upper-level management can:

ERP Connected
  • Track employee progress on tasks and projects
  • Report from complex and dynamic data sources
  • See real-time financial information

These benefits are crucial for enabling company executives to make informed decisions more strategically. But where does that leave lower-level employees, whose job functions might entail customer support, data entry, and the completion of project-based tasks? There are major consequences for executives (and businesses) who can’t answer that question for employees who are going to spend most of their time in a new software system. Company culture, productivity, and morale are all going to suffer.

So how can executives help employees understand how a new all-in-one business management software will make their jobs easier and more efficient? How can they tap into the core benefit for employees: more time spent on meaningful work and less time spent on menial work? It’s all about the process of communication.

Developing a Communication Strategy

Given the abstract thinking that can go into the implementation and onboarding of all-in-one business management software, it may not be realistic to expect your employees to understand the benefits of your new system immediately. And learning to navigate new software that is directly tied to their performance will probably stoke fear about their ability to do their job well.

Here’s how to communicate the benefits of all-in-one business systems to your employees in a way that will make a positive impact. On a higher level, your communication strategy will make everyone feel good about your adoption of new software. And rightfully so.

Involve Employees Directly in Training

erp business management software

A 2020 report by the Panorama Consulting Group notes that “no matter how much organizations communicate with employees before selection, employees need to actively be involved in selection activities in order to feel confident about the project.” According to the study, only 16.7% of employees in companies surveyed expressed buy-in support for an ERP implementation project. Compare that with the 83% of respondents who showed some to strong buy-in after implementing.

Ensuring that employees who use the system can play a direct role in “selection activities” like training has several benefits. On a practical level, it allows them to develop buy-in on day one. Your vendor can help you communicate how the software addresses the many different roles your employees occupy. On an emotional level, your employees will see that you value their input. Give them a chance to ask questions and voice concerns. It’s okay to lean on your vendor in order to come up with great answers.

Speak to Their Fears and Values

When adopting new all-in-one business management software, think like your employees. What do they value in their jobs? What are they afraid of? You can be absolutely sure they’re asking themselves many questions:

  • Will this new software system eventually replace me?
  • What if it takes too long to learn and my boss thinks I’m incompetent?
  • Does getting new software mean my company isn’t doing well?
  • Will this software free me up to work on something more interesting?

All of these questions point to the same feeling: wanting to be both essential and included. Having a conversation where you address these questions on an emotional level will make employees feel at ease. Further, they’ll be excited about the possibility of new software instead of fearing the unknown.

Share Support Resources

erp business management software

Assuming your software vendor has provided training materials to supplement hands-on sessions, make sure employees have easy access to them. Those valuable resources may include certification courses, video walkthroughs, and user documentation. Let’s face it: your employees will certainly have questions about the procedural aspects of using your new software suite. By providing clear and easy access to those materials, you’ll make their lives much easier.

If your vendor offers a support plan, make sure your employees are taking advantage of it. Live chat, ticket submission, and phone calls are all appropriate ways for employees to get help quickly. Again, the key is to make sure they have a clear path to access vendor support.

Keep All Divisions in the Loop

Not every division of a company adopts an all-in-one business management software at the same time. In fact, most companies adopt a phased approach. If that process reflects your plan, you’re likely to have employees for whom the new system will seem like a future abstraction. They may only know what they’ve heard in the office break room. Don’t let that be the case. Instead, involve them in all of the ways discussed above. You might also consider assigning partners so that employees who have adopted can train members of other divisions. There’s simply no substitute for users to educate each other through hands-on methods.


All-in-one business management software doesn’t exist to benefit companies. It exists to benefit people. Of course, companies are beneficiaries on an abstract level, but the people who work in the software every day are the ones who actually live those benefits. It’s important that you don’t keep your employees in the dark when you’re preparing to adopt a new software solution.

Keep the lines of communication open. Address questions and concerns head-on, and involve everyone in the process. A comprehensive software system touches all employees of a company. Make sure that you’re just as clear about defining and explaining how it will help them as you are about how it will help you.