This article is a contribution by Ong Kai Kiat.
PwC conducted a survey in May 2020 to check the prime concerns of companies due to the coronavirus.
As it turns out, productivity was at the top of all concerns for businesses after government support for a record S$7.1 billion loan for 7,600 businesses removed cashflow as the top concern for SMEs in Singapore.
As busy entrepreneurs, while there might be a lot of technologies out there, you might only have time for the proven solutions. In other words, for viable business with cash in their pocket, their prime concern would be to improve their productivity to make up for lost time.
Singapore might have entered Phase 2 of releasing the lockdown restriction, but workplaces still have to adhere to safe-distancing measures. This means that only half of the workforce might be able to turn up for work for the foreseeable future.
For businesses to remain viable for the long-run, they will have to integrate new technologies into their workflow to be able to generate output within the given constraints of their revenue.
Double Robotics As Physical Communications Aid
If you are in the services business, communications is the key element of success. Examples of communication intensive service business includes lawyering, accounting and medical consultation.
The reality of the coronavirus outbreak is that most businesses are not able to meet their clients in person anymore.
One of the key productivity breakthroughs would be Double Robotics which allows you to adjust the height and angle while talking to your clients or colleagues.
As most experienced communicators would know, body language accounts for 80% of the message. This explained the willingness of companies to spend thousands on airfare and days of travel to meet important clients overseas before the coronavirus struck.
This medium-sized accounting firm of 45 people saved 20,000 man-hours over the past four years as they increased their revenue by a significant 175%.
Their productivity gains helped not only the accountants, but also allowed their clients’ senior management such that they were willing to pay a 33% premium for their accounting service.
The implementation only took less than an hour and costs $5,000 for them. As a bonus, the double robotics helped in the enforcement of safe-distancing measures.
New Data Analytics Tool: Qlik
Foxconn is the famous Taiwanese companies that manufactured for Apple. They migrated from traditional Excel and SQL database to Qlik Sense.
For a major company like Foxconn, such transitions are not easily made, and productivity is a key consideration for manufacturing companies.
Qlik Sense is the enhanced version of Excel. While Excel has the limitation of over 1 million entries per spreadsheet, Qlik Sense does not impose such restrictions. Even better, their data analytics tools allow you to see different dimensions of your data.
For Foxconn, it meant that they have the capability generate new dashboard on their products, shifts, teams and suppliers with work that used to take six hours in just 15 minutes. The best part is that it is user-friendly, and they don’t have to contact their IT department.
For your business, it means that you can work smarter to identify the products that sell most or uses the least amount of cost to produce. You don’t have to engage pricey data analyst which used to be reserved for MNCs and can simply do it yourself after a free WSQ Qlik Sense course using your SkillsFuture credit.
We all know the benefits of cloud solution from the moment we start using Gmail on our phone.
For companies, such public cloud infrastructure might not be feasible for sensitive information. Therefore, the more established companies would set up their own servers and force employees to work from the office.
Indeed, the Singapore National Employers Federation noted that such constraint is a key productivity barrier for their members. Today, private clouds exist as a service to replace physical servers.
Private clouds are gaining traction as they provide reliability, security and data sovereignty at a fraction of the cost of starting up and maintaining private servers.
Just by saving on the physical servers, companies saved $310,175 on average for the first year and $1.29 million over the first three years.
On the other hand, the productivity gains over the first three years was $6.28 million. The typical investment would be at $2.72 million for such savings over three years, so it would be reserved for a medium-sized SME.
Bringing Your Business to The Next Level
We are living in the world where the cost of money is low, but the opportunity cost of lost productivity is high.
As the new norm of work gains traction globally, business models will evolve as out-dated business models are replaced by agile new business.
For those who survive, they will be well placed to commit to new productivity drives to lift their business to the next level.
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images / iStockPhoto