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Here are 10 sure signs that your business would benefit greatly from using an intranet.
1 You can never find the right document
Whether a business is small or large there will always be hundreds of documents to file and manage. This can be a source of great frustration if your document management system is inefficient, making it hard, if not impossible to locate the right document. This is especially the case if documents are locked away in different software in different departments.
An intranet is the perfect solution to this problem as it provides one central place for all staff to manage and locate documents. A comprehensive search system means intranet users can use advanced search criteria to pinpoint the correct documents. Plus sensitive documents can be protected so that only users with the correct authorisation can actually access them online.
2 You keep ‘reinventing the wheel’ when work is reproduced unnecessarily
Apart from being frustrating, it is a waste of money and resources when time and effort is spent working on something, only to find that it has already been done by someone else. If your current software systems aren’t synchronised staff are probably entering the same information into multiple databases when it could just be entered once. And if there is no platform for checking if someone in the company has already carried out a similar project to the one you are about to start, how would you find out?
Imagine a central platform where staff can enter data into one database that everyone can use, search for a solution to the problem they are trying to solve, ask colleagues questions via a staff forum, post documented solutions to issues they have resolved and generally share their knowledge as they gain it. That’s what an intranet can do for you, saving money and making everyone’s life a whole lot easier.
3 You have a form for everything, and nobody can find them
Forms are great, all business need them for a multitude of reasons. But keeping track of which form is used for what, which department is responsible for them and where to store completed forms can be a major headache.
A fully searchable intranet allows each department to store and manage their own forms in one central place. This allows staff to find the right form quickly, process it and submit it to the right place within minutes. You can even create new forms online within the intranet, eliminating the need for additional software or outside resources.
4 Basic admin tasks are taking too long and draining resources
That monthly newsletter you send out is great but how many hours did someone spend working out exactly who should receive it and getting it mailed out? This and similar admin tasks can be laborious and often involve more than one software system to complete.
Many businesses don’t realise how much of their admin burden can be automated, leaving more time for staff to be engaged in more productive activities. An intranet can perform repetitive admin tasks significantly faster than a human and can incorporate data from other sources to produce information in bespoke formats for you to use in different departments within your business.
5 Valuable information and knowledge is hidden
The longer a business is trading, the more experience, knowledge and information is gathered which quickly becomes its strongest asset. If this expertise is not documented and distributed properly, it can get locked away among various departments, forgotten or disappear with staff when they leave.
With an intranet you can protect this asset and take full advantage of it. All that valuable data and expert knowledge can be stored safely in one place, fully searchable and at your fingertips 24/7. Staff can impart their knowledge via documents or forum threads and it will be stored for as long as you need it, in the way you want it to be. Plus experts within your business can be located quickly using a phrase or keywords in a search within the intranet.
6 You’re spending a fortune on staff training for different software applications
When you invest in commercial software the learning curve for staff can be quite daunting, especially when each department uses different software to perform specialised tasks. Courses can be expensive and time consuming.
You can avoid most of this overhead by having one system, an intranet that performs all the tasks your business needs. That’s one intranet, designed for you and your business, with a user interface that is easy for everyone to pick up.
7 Staff find it difficult to access information about basic company procedures and policies
How many days’ leave do I have left? What is the company policy on maternity leave? How do I claim my expenses? Staff will always need answers to these basic questions, and whilst they are easy to answer it takes up time to answer them all.
If staff were able to find these answers easily on a clear and concise page on your intranet the need to bother management with these regular questions is eliminated. Everyone is happy!
8 Staff ‘out in the field’ constantly have to call the office for information
Not all your staff will be in the office, and while they are out in the field they can be cut off from vital information and rely on phoning colleagues to gain access to the information they need.
Since an intranet can be accessed from any internet connection, your staff would be able to find all the information they need instantly, without waiting for people to call them back while customers or suppliers are waiting impatiently.
9 Secure information is being accessed by unauthorised personnel
Ensuring that sensitive material is only seen by authorised personal can be tricky. You need it to be online but you can’t be 100% sure that access to it is protected.
Document archives within an intranet platform can easily be managed using a simple or complex security structure. Documents can be secured so that only logged in users with the correct access permissions can view and edit them, and access history can be recorded so that you know exactly who has viewed it.
10 You don’t have time to pursue new ideas and opportunities
You’ve got a head full of brilliant ideas to grow your business, and you keep meaning to get on with that project that will take your business to the next level, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
It’s time to streamline your business, get those repetitive tasks automated, make life easier for everyone in your business so that every staff member has more time to make more money and explore new opportunities for your business.
If any of these signs apply to you, a bespoke intranet is the solution you are looking for.
Insights from Achorda is full of examples of how bespoke software solutions can help all organisations improve their efficiency.