Propane Articles Sponsored by Cargas


Leverage Current Technology to Improve Productivity

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is sponsored by Cargas Energy, which also sponsors Propane Intel. This is the second of two posts on the topic Productivity Redefined. (See the first post here.)

Energy marketers that are not using technology to their maximum advantage often have low productivity. Here is a quick look at factors that contribute to poor productivity. Managers who learn to identify and address these issues are moving closer to solving productivity problems.

  • • Unhappy employees who have to work overly hard to accomplish simple tasks
  • • A distributed workforce that cannot stay connected to one source of data
  • • Task Switching; this alone accounts for a 25 percent reduction in productivity

The more information employees can access in one location, the less task switching they do. This is especially important for CSRs. Data silos literally promote and require task switching and its disadvantages, including:

  • • Failure to provide mobile access to your internal systems
  • • Clunky outdated software
  • • Software that was designed around ineffective legacy processes

Great technology, especially back office software, is the key to maximizing the productivity of your workforce. Here is how that happens (leaving out silly buzz words).

Work Together Even When You’re Apart. Collaboration is essential to business even when team members are not working in the same building. Mobile computing for delivery and service allows office and field personnel to communicate in real time. A true Web-based software application provides access to your system from any device anywhere. This breaks down the silos, makes your employees more productive, and improves the customer experience.

Provide Access to Information. Endless hours can be wasted searching through your back office system for information about customers or business performance. Investing in a solution that allows everyone on your staff to easily access actionable data pays for itself quickly over time. Delivery drivers have up-to-date information about customers; service techs can be more productive by having full access to work order details and history; and CSRs know exactly what is happening in the field in any given moment. No more running down the hall or screaming over a two-way radio.

Give On-the-Go Employees “Anywhere/Anytime” Access. Make sure your field employees (including traveling managers and key staffers) are provided with mobile devices and the ability to connect to your back office system over any Internet connection. Seamlessly taking the business on the road ensures that no one misses an important event, people stay connected, and your customers benefit from a consistent level of professionalism.

Improve Employee Satisfaction. Aging software systems can frustrate your employees and annoy your customers. Employees are confused by the unfamiliar look and feel, it takes too long to learn, and it is designed around outdated processes. In some cases, employees will decide to quit because of how slow adoption of proven technology reflects on your organization. To ensure that employees are productive and satisfied, your business needs a modern, intuitive system that is easy to use and reliable.

Productivity and technology improvements go hand in hand. Part of your business strategy should be to continually analyze the effectiveness of your organization, quantify potential improvements, and actively seek out new software systems that can deliver these untapped internal cash opportunities. Failure to do so will stall your company on a plateau and stagnate profits, all while you watch more progressive competitors gain the upper hand.

 

To learn more about how Cargas Energy can help improve productivity, visit: www.CargasEnergy.com.

To see Cargas Energy in action, visit the Demo Center for dozens of self-run videos featuring the software

 

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