The concept of technology as an enabler has been around for a long time but is still as relevant today as it ever was. The key question to think about is: is this technology increasing the profitability of the business?
There are several key areas where the effective use of technology can improve business performance and ultimately increase the profitability of your business.
Business planning is not just about financial forecasts but should include all parts of the business from purchasing and production to sales and human resources. External economic and political developments need to be considered as well as the business trends in your industry.
You will never be able to predict everything in business, but scenario planning tools make it possible to anticipate and model the effects of a range of different outcomes that will enable your business to make the most of any opportunities that may arise.
Every business can benefit from e-commerce. It can break down geographical barriers of sales, provide the opportunity to enter new markets at a much lower cost, and offer access to customers that have never been reachable before.
Any company not maximising the use of online channels as a route to market runs the risk being left behind by its competitors, as the use of social media and mobile phone apps are increasingly becoming the information tool for purchasing decisions.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions help you to systemise your sales activity and maximise the effectiveness of your sales teams. As well as helping to win new customers, they also enable you to tailor your relationships with the customers that you already have.
If you can develop clear approaches in these three areas you have begun the journey of effectively utilising technology to drive and improve your profitability.