It doesn’t matter at what stage your business is at, looking for methods to boost your productivity should always be at the forefront of key areas to improve in your business.
However, maybe increasing productivity isn’t as easy a fix as it might sound. Perhaps you’re a maker operating independently and are running your business in between your other commitments.
This is when, and even if you do have a team and your business is quickly scaling, integrating the power of automation into your business might be the best approach to tackle the issue of increasing your productivity levels.
It could be as simple as finding a tool which can take over for you when you’re away from the office to answer customer queries and take their details, so you don’t miss out on quality leads.
Or maybe you have a team, and you’re struggling to manage production operations at the same time because you’re spending most of your time stuck in administrative duties or chasing up lost documents and emails.
Regardless of your particular issue, these three awesome tools are sure to help you boost your business’s productivity and take it to the next level.
Intercom is a messaging platform provided by an American software company that allows businesses to communicate with your current and prospective customers within your app, your website, and across social media or via email.
Since October 2018, Intercom has helped 30,000 customers get more control over their business.
So, how has Intercom helped companies boost their productivity?
Intercom gives you access to their chatbots to increase conversations and allows you to use live chat to help you capture your more promising leads, there and then, with the potential of converting them.
But, not just that, Intercom allows you to:
1. Use Business Messenger
You can live chat with valuable leads that land on your website when you’re online, and when offline set up automated messages to capture their details so you can get back to them later.
2. Send Outbound Messages
Set up targeted messages to people visiting your website, in any of your apps, and via email to generate interest, increase conversions and provide great customer service.
3. Use Team Inbox
If you have the resources, Intercom allows you to route leads to other team members so they can respond to customer questions, but you can also interact and see the messages too.
4. Get Reporting
Be able to get a comprehensive breakdown of opportunities, pipeline and deals won by individual team members or the team as a whole.
5. Get Customizable Bots
Best of all, with Intercom, you can get yourself chatbots to automatically qualify leads on your website at any time of the day, assign them to your customer success teams, and make the necessary arrangements for when you’re back in the office.
Better still, you don’t need to be a computer Wizkid to be able to use this advanced lead targeting system, since bots can be customized code-free.
ProofHub is a centralized project management tool built to improve team collaboration for businesses of any size, offering a workspace for task lists, workflows, discussions, Gantt charts, calendars, and documents.
Using ProofHub allows you to review and approve files and documents being sent around the company or to clients while managers can get a birds-eye view over the business to know what the status of projects are and have a clear channel of communication to team members and clients.
On top of this, ProofHub can integrate with other tools such as file storage, accounting, and invoicing software, giving you complete control from one place.
So how does ProofHub go about getting you increased productivity in your company?
You can create discussion topics based on projects or client’s specific orders so you can keep messages in one place and eliminate long email threads between team members.
2. Kanban Boards
Keep your entire team in the loop by dividing tasks into workflow stages (backlog, in progress, or finished) and decide who works on what task. This allows managers to know the status of a task and team members to self-manage by knowing what needs to be done next.
With just a single click, get detailed resource and project reports to stay ahead with ProofHub’s online project management tool. Additionally, create customized reports with your own parameters to accurately track specific areas within your business.
4. Gantt Charts
Easily plan and visualize the workflow of your projects via a timeline view. This helps you avoid critical tasks missing its deadline and allows you to plan work changes or shift deadlines.
5. Project Management
ProofHub allows you to choose who manages a project, which will give that nominated team member all those important notifications for missed deadlines and overdue tasks.
6. IP Restriction
ProofHub offers you the chance to avoid unauthorized access by granting access to IP addresses that you select. Meaning that you can easily and safely access your account whilst on the move or changing locations.
Katana is a production scheduling software built by manufacturers, for modern product-making businesses.
It’s an all-in-one solution for any maker looking to boost their businesses productivity by centralizing your sales, manufacturing, scheduling, and order fulfillment to one, ridiculously easy to understand, visual dashboard.
So how does a maker get total control of their management by using this tool?
1. Finished Goods & Raw Material Inventory Levels
You’re able to monitor your finished goods and raw material inventory levels from one screen.
However, best of all, your inventory levels are updated automatically in real-time, so inventory is tracked as it is added and subtracted from your stock, and when a sales order or manufacturing order is generated, inventory is automatically allocated to orders helping you fulfill them as soon as possible.
2. Your Bill of Materials (or Product Recipes)
Have a place to save your bill of materials (BOMs) which can then be used to automatically make inventory adjustments, calculate manufacturing costs, and see the availability of materials every time a manufacturing order is created.
3. Priority-Based Production Planning
The innovative drag-and-drop feature offers you a way to prioritize your businesses production workflow, meaning you and your teammates can easily stay on top of your deadlines.
Have you got a VIP order you need to get out the door as soon as possible? Just simply drag-and-drop to the top of your priority list, which will adjust your workflow and even reallocate all the necessary raw materials
4. Multichannel Sales Support & Location Managemen
Selling from a physical store, and across several online platforms? No worries! Integrate your e-commerce platforms to easily monitor and even separate inventory levels for each selling point to get complete control over your business.
Also, if you’re manufacturing from more than one location (or even outsourcing), you can track and monitor your production at different locations.
5. Manufacturing Cost Calculations
Finally, have an automatic breakdown on your manufacturing costs based on your BOM’s and production operations defined for specific products.
When looking into productivity-boosting tools, you need to uncover which areas of your business are in most need of improving:
- Have you been losing quality leads;
- Has important information been lost due to poor infrastructure; or
- Have you been struggling to manage your business and production operations?
Asking yourselves these questions is going to help you figure out what is slowing down your business’s progress and help you determine which tool is best for you.
However, regardless of the size of your company or the amount you produce as a maker, finding a tool that can provide you with automation and integrate with other tools/sales channels is going to lighten the burden of managing everything manually, saving you time, increasing customer satisfaction, shortening manufacturing lead times, and, most importantly, improving your business’s productivity, which will help you scale and manage the challenges you encounter as you grow.