Enabling Efficient Communication Is Vital to Achieving Business Efficiency JD March 11, 2015 entrepreneurship 84 By HPHalo (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Communication for businesses is all-important that failing to make it efficient also makes the rest of the business inefficient. There is hardly business operations efficiency without communication efficiency. Even automated systems still employ communication methods to work. So how do you make communication in a business more efficient? The following pointers should help: Enable secure and consistent access to communication and information channels. In addition to telephone, if your business requires the putting up of a network, it’s important to maintain its reliability and security. This entails the use of quality equipment and dependable and updated software. The network should also be manned by a highly knowledgeable IT technician. If a company relies on a self-developed email system for internal communications, it is important to be sure that the platform used is highly secure. Otherwise, it would be better to use established services like Google Apps for Work. Ensure information access anywhere and everywhere. It’s always preferable enabling 24/7 access to information and communication resources from anywhere. Going mobile and online is advisable. Official business communication should not be limited to traditional telephone and mail correspondence. Employees should be easily reached through mobile communication devices. Also, it is recommended having a system for transmitting and receiving vouchers, invoices, statements, and other business documents should the Internet to make everything faster. Facilitate efficient collaboration with the help of technology. With the abundance of collaboration technology solutions available at present, there’s just no excuse to be limited to offline systems or the traditional collaboration sessions held in one room. You can easily find effective webinar software like ClickWebinar to run web based training or host webinars for company education purposes. Collaboration is not something only employees and managers in a company can benefit from. It can also be used with current or prospective business partners, suppliers, and customers. If you want something free, using Google Drive is not a bad idea. Using a collaborative platform like Co-op is another effective method to get your team synced and create synergy for better overall performance. Let people help each other through providing a great platform that allows easy and effective interaction. Lastly, once your team is truly unified, use them to spread the word out to become brand advocates. Consider using a managed service provider. There will be cases when hiring an employee to take charge of network management is inefficient. There’s the need for training and guaranteed expertise, along with the network maintenance required that may not be properly undertaken by the employee you hire. That’s why using managed services could be a more sound solution. Providers of managed services are expected to have the appropriate hardware and software to deliver the best solutions possible. They also have the expertise and up-to-date know-how in handling the different issues that might be encountered in deploying and managing networks. Ascertain that communications with business partners, suppliers, and customers are consistent and reliable. Ensuring reliability and efficiency is not just about internal company communications. It’s also important to make sure that there is an established way of communicating with business partners and suppliers. It’s important to avoid instances when the other party refuses to acknowledge that a certain document has already been transmitted or that actions on certain requests or orders have been greenlighted but actually were not. Moreover, it’s also important to maintain consistent and reliable communication channels with customers to establish good long-term relationships and obtain quick feedback that can be used to improve or address complaints. Adopt a long-term technology plan for your business. The use of technology in business is no longer just an option. It’s already a must. That’s why it’s important to come up with a solid plan on how technology will be integrated with business processes. Soon, electronic or online payments will become the standard. Internet-based communication will likely become the norm. Being too late to adapt will most likely harm your business competitiveness. Efficient communication is not just an internal business concern. It also involves the improvement of communications with business partners, suppliers, and customers. You can have a very efficient manufacturing system, for example, but if you don’t observe efficiency with your internal and external communications, the productivity will amount to nothing as it may not be properly coordinated with demand and the flow of raw materials. In the case of service-based businesses, communication efficiency is even more important. There’s a need to properly coordinate operations and communicate with clients clearly and in a timely manner.