by Diana Berryman
Published on 26 June 2015
Working together does not equal effective collaboration. You work with your colleagues, with customers, with suppliers, contractors, etc. but are you really collaborating? Are your clients really up to speed with the status of their project, and do your colleagues really understand what you're working on and how that affects their projects?
Effective collaboration is a building block of innovation, but it doesn't just happen. Sharing ideas, working towards a common goal, building relationships of trust across departments, locations, and companies: these are all key components. Not quite there yet? Here are five ways workflow management software can help.
Collaboration on team projects and having all of the information in one place for all to see is the new black. Emailing back and forth with your team and having one-to-one conversations is yesterday's news. Today we are way more efficient than that because we all use apps to manage our joint projects, collaborate with staff (and clients), check progress of tasks,and store all of our files in one place - don't we? Chirag Ahuja, head of marketing at WorkflowMax, says: "As a leader in your business, it's up to you to set the tone for collaboration in your team."
We've all had a sneaky peek at Facebook when we're supposed to be focusing on a task. Most people do it, but what if those five or ten minutes every hour are costing you money? Using a time tracking app which lets you know when your allocated time is about to run out sure makes your team get on with the job in hand. You can use stopwatches and mobile time trackers to accurately cost out projects and jobs and pay the people who work the hardest, the most money, it's only fair!
How many of you business owners out there have had trouble with invoicing in the past? Mistakes are easily made and doesn't your blood run cold when you have invoiced the wrong amount, especially if you have undercharged! Invoicing both clients and employees is now easier than ever with workflow management software, which generates its own invoices from time tracked and which you can customize perfectly to match your brand.
If you are a serial emailer you will forgive your team for losing important information from time-to-time. After all it's easy to do when they get 100+ emails a day from you. Stop all that to-ing and fro-ing on long email threads and put all the information in one accessible-to-all place so nobody will ever have an excuse to lose that crucial info again.
It's not easy introducing new technology to your team, Monica Shepherd, a marketer at WorkflowMax, says: "Sorting through and dealing with emails can become a time-consuming and unproductive task. While 'Inbox Zero' may seem like an unattainable goal, a clean and manageable inbox is within everyone's grasp."
So it might look like you're streamlining communications but where's the proof? You need an app with a powerful reporting tool which lets you know exactly what is coming and going in your business. On top of that you need to be able to have accurate performance management to be able to reward the employees and the clients that are generating the most income for you.
WorkflowMax can help you manage those important projects as a team, and it integrates with other cloud-based apps to make your life that little bit easier.
Steelcraft, an engineering, fabrication and machining company, streamlined its processes and saved $50k a year through using WorkflowMax solutions. When its business expanded, WorkflowMax allowed it to keep tabs on its cash flow, and create invoices and reports in a timely and efficient way. Darren George, director of Steelcraft, says: "When we grew rapidly huge problems started cropping up. Luckily, WorkflowMax came along."
IT services company Conquest Solutions cut its quoting time by 66% with WorkflowMax templates, which handles its quotes, leads, and purchase orders.. Lance Retter, co-founder of Conquest Solutions, explains: "WorkflowMax is the core of our business."
Then GWA uses WorkflowMax to create an efficient administration system that allows for transparency and accountability in its Sydney-based architecture practice. Georgina Wilson, director and lead architect at GWA, says of WorkflowMax: "It's not complicated; it's very user-friendly and intuitive. You don't feel as though there's an enormous training exercise to get familiar with the product."
Whether your team is in one office or all over the world, your communication, collaboration and project management needs to flow smoothly and work for you, your employees and your customers. Having clear goals, excellent communication with the whole team and accurate time tracking and invoicing can really make you stand out from the crowd, whatever business you're in. Choose your project management software wisely and your business will bloom. Happy teams plus happy customers equals successful, profitable and happy you!
This post is brought to you in conjunction with workflow management software provider WorkflowMax.