Join Up Your Resources With The Right Connections
From car dealerships, retailers to office services – there are certain businesses that do very well when they are spread over a locality such as a county. But when you run a business like this, communications and IT connections between sites and for customers, are everything. Get it wrong and you lose sales.
Car dealerships provide a classic example of a company model that can make the most of shared resources, or products, if only communications are handled collaboratively. Take for an example: a couple come to a forecourt looking to buy a car – they see one but it’s not exactly right – say too old or the wrong colour. The Manager then has a choice – try and sell them something else unrelated on the forecourt or connect with the other regional businesses to see if they have the sought car in stock – this being the option most likely to succeed in meeting the couple’s needs and making the sale. To do so – an effective communications system is needed to quickly connect up and check with the other forecourts. Or if the couple say, phoned ahead with their query – the receptionist could locate via a computer, the best of the regional garages to find the right car in stock, whilst dealing with the query on the phone. Even better, the couple are browsing on a smart phone and the right car appears from the search – they then send an email asking to check it out. Businesses need to wake up to connectivity like this to stay at the sharp end and to not lose out to competitors.
Another great leap that is making business communications more accessible to SMEs in particular is cloud computing. Cloud computing is already responsible for providing huge off-site memory storage – thus freeing up your own IT resources and at the same time, protecting information from being destroyed physically in an accident. Cloud can also help your staff share a common platform that can be accessed on any computing device from a smartphone, to office computer to tablet. Embracing cloud means that your IT management on site is scaled down as service providers’ deal with any issues. It’s an ever more competitive area, and you’ll need to ask the right questions to understand your requirements, but it is feasible on some level for every size of business.
If your business has more than one site – selling products directly from those sites – you owe it to your customers and to your own margins – to make sure information on what you have in stock ‘as a business’ – rather than a location, is readily available.