Companies, which need to keep track of various projects, services and customers at the same time, are increasingly benefitting from technological advances and new types of software. So, the use of four or five different platforms might seem like the best way to take advantage of technology’s potential benefits for your business. But, are they really worth it and does such a mix of systems actually help? After all, there is rarely any use in merely adding new procedures and systems without performing an in-depth analysis of their costs and benefits, while considering how, or whether, they will help you achieve your objectives.
According to a survey by Gartner, worldwide spending on business software and the modernization of business applications will reach $201 billion by 2019. By now, we all know that companies must accelerate their digital transformation, moving away from traditional resources and opting for collaborative tools and management software.
However, adopting disparate platforms, whether they are for communications, work management, storage, time tracking, business intelligence, or others, can involve higher outlays than one might imagine. If the use of a suite of different tools ends up becoming difficult from a management point of view, while confusing your personnel with multiple inputs, all of that investment will have been a waste, needlessly misusing your company’s hard-earned money. That is in addition to wasting the time of everyone involved, from low-level employees to management. It often happens in these cases that company employees get stuck trying to navigate the disparate systems, searching for scattered information, while trying to keep track of a jumble of demands and tasks.
Therefore, one of the first steps that you should take is to establish your goals when evaluating possible software solutions. According to a global survey by McKinsey Consulting, the most relevant point for managers who are planning to implement social technologies in business processes is the need to organize workflows and facilitate team communications.
Therefore, when looking to manage data, automate workflows, formalize communications, improve time management, and increase staff productivity, the best way forward is to replace a number of different systems with a single alternative. The switch brings immediate and undeniable benefits to companies, such as cost savings from streamlining systems and the amalgamation of the company’s data into a single location.
The Cost of Tools
Now, moving from theory to specifics, let’s take a look at the various possible types of software that may be in use in your company and how much they cost.
When using these six types of platforms, a company would spend an average of $55.16 per month per user. A firm with five employees would pay a monthly total of $275.80. One with ten employees would pay $551.60 per month.
However, swapping these disparate, stand-alone, systems for one intelligent, strategic and integrated work management tool such as Runrun.it brings an immediate and clear reduction in costs. This tool allows you to centralize your internal communications, manage projects, share files, organize documents, utilize automatic timesheets and generate management reports, complete with performance indicators.
Runrun.it has an estimated monthly cost of $10* per user, so, a company with five employees would pay a total of $50 per month. Ten employees would cost just $100 per month.
Too Many Systems Lead to a Loss of Information
Replacing a number of distinct platforms with a complete solution brings benefits that are not limited to a reduction in costs. Another key point is that it avoids the dispersion and loss of information that occurs when using multiple systems. Software centralization makes it easy for managers to structure projects, providing productivity gains.
According to this report by the McKinsey Global Institute, workers spend an average of 28 percent of their workweek managing their e-mail. What’s more, they lose almost 20% of their time looking for internal information and seeking out the help of their colleagues with specific activities. This research provides further evidence of the need for a comprehensive, intelligent system that can track your team’s time and effort.
Centralization in a Single Tool
Using an excessive number of systems can be detrimental to your team, requiring significant effort to keep track of and update the required data. In such cases, the sum total of the efforts needed to maintain the systems are incommensurate with their potential benefits. There is also the important possibility of errors occurring when attempting to manage so many platforms simultaneously.
Therefore, implementing a complete and unified management tool is key to facilitating team communications, measuring personnel performance indicators, calculating project expenditures, and tracking your business metrics. All of these capabilities can be found in one place, without having to extract and compile data from a number of different tools.
In fact, this report by Experian points out that the two main causes of problems with informational quality are human error and multiple points of data entry. These types of difficulties can be avoided by automating your reporting in a single management system. In addition to the practicality of using a centralized tool, thereby minimizing errors and saving time, management can dedicate itself to more strategic tasks.
Return on Investment
As we saw earlier, the expenditures associated with a single tool are considerably lower than when using a disparate group of separate systems. However, the change becomes even more advantageous when seen through the lens of the returns generated for companies.
When analyzing financial indicators, ROI, the return on investment, is a key metric for establishing the relationship between an investment and its associated profit or loss. With this data, managers can, for example, measure the share of marketing campaigns’ contribution to the company’s results in a given period, identify the financial return for customer service and relationship management actions, and make decisions about new projects.
Saving Time by Using Just One Tool
If you still harbor any doubts regarding the benefits of replacing multiple tools with one comprehensive software solution, you need to understand the potential gains in time and productivity for your teams. Keep in mind your staff’s needed efforts and the amount of work required to manually control and adjust the flow of data from one system to another.
By trading that costly, almost operational workload for an intelligent, automated software solution, your firm will inevitably reap gains in efficiency, while boosting those gains with the introduction of the agile methodology. This method allows you to, as the name implies, streamline the development of projects, tasks and services, making your management more dynamic.
Among the existing agile methods, there are three that are worth highlighting and can be easily implemented in your business, along with a tool for automation, delivering markedly better results:
1. Stack methodology: the goal is to fit diverse activities in your teams’ day-to-day, prioritizing more relevant tasks and optimizing your time management, while guaranteeing continuous deliveries.
2. Kanban: originally of Japanese origin, helps in controlling workflows and facilitating the visualization of the various steps in each process through the use of cards arranged on a visual panel.
3. Scrum: based on periodic project development sprints and the monitoring of tasks through daily meetings. Sprints usually last between two to four weeks.
Rapid Integration with Other Applications
The integration of our management tool with other applications can be done simply and rapidly, cutting costs and increasing productivity. You can thus combine other systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), along with web applications. There are also two possible avenues for such an integration: API and Zapier.
“Application Programming Interface”, or API, has an interface used by developers/programmers to integrate different systems. Runrun.it allows you to incorporate a series of tools into its system. The codes and requisitions that clients need to use to integrate Runrun.it with their internal tools or other financial controls or business management platforms are available on API’s documentation site.
Zapier, in turn, also permits the integration of web applications. In this case, you can link Runrun.it to over 1,000 different apps, including Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, Pipedrive, and others. The wide range of apps can be easily and intuitively linked, without the need for programming experience.
In this way, a new entry in Google Spreadsheets spreadsheet can be automatically turned into a new task on Runrun.it, saving time. To learn about all the possible integrations and to get access to full suite of existing “Zaps,” click here.
You can count on Runrun.it, a comprehensive work management software solution, to show itself to be a worthwhile investment that will allow you to achieve real gains for your company. The tool, which provides fundamental support for managers, will supply the functionality you need to help manage your business. You will no longer need to employ a confusing array of disparate systems in your operations, just replace the existing ones with Runrun.it.
Need to manage projects, organize workflows, distribute, monitor and approve tasks, while delegating a sequence of task-owners? Then Runrun.it is your work management automation tool. Want to formalize your company communications, facilitate your teams’ dialogues, share files and comment on tasks? Runrun.it will be there to streamline your communications.
Want to control and manage the hours worked by your staff, monitor the time invested in specific projects, learn how much time your employees spent working for individual clients, map the total hours allocated and make your team more productive? Runrun.it will take care of time management at your company.
How about collecting data on your company’s performance, tracking key indicators, generating managerial reports of the hours invested per project, and monitoring the costs generated per project or customer? Runrun.it will help you manage your KPIs and your costs, improving your profitability with each customer.
Take your management to another level and get real-time access to all the metrics you need on a single screen with Dashboard.