Making up the numbers

Many small businesses lack the dedicated personnel necessary to handle the extensive administrative duties their business requires, neither do they have the budget to go about recruiting additional staff. This will often result in the entire workforce lightening the administrative load and tasks being shared equally amongst the most senior and junior employees alike.

In such examples, difficulties often arise when trying to establish shared practices and attempting to ensure all employees follow the correct procedures. Even when this is possible, mistakes still often occur, especially when employees are unfamiliar or unpractised at performing certain tasks.

In this regard, multi-functional assistive technology devices can be of considerable benefit for small businesses and can ensure the most efficient practices are followed by all. By limiting the possibilities for variation and mistakes, they can also play a decisive role in any business’ operational effectiveness, enhancing efficiency and consistency in equal measure.

Organisations such as dental practices and pharmacies for example, can often run with a skeleton staff and will operate much more effectively as a result. However, this does not mean that their administrative duties are any lower as a result. Indeed, as both types of organisation deals with order forms, prescriptions and strictly regulated and controlled substances, there may ultimately be a much greater volume of administrative duties than businesses of a much greater size. These challenges are not unique to the health industry however, and each business sector is likely to have its own unique problems and areas where technology can make a similar impact.

In the case of the dental practice, one of the most common problems is the long, incredibly complex order forms and invoice codes used in the communications between the dentist office and the laboratory, which still happens mostly in the form of printed text on paper. Many forward thinking practices are now utilising technology to get around such issues and the use of digital scanning pens and highlighters is becoming standard practice within the sector. Rather than typing out each order form by hand, which often results in costly mistakes and errors, laboratory assistants will simply use these digital highlighters to scan and input selected text into the system. Given a wide range of customisation options available on many of these devices, this can automatically be done in the format designated by the user or organisation once programmed.

Finding the correct business management solutions for your business

Business management solutions can be defined as any form of business practice which can increase operational effectiveness. The largest organisations in the world will spend many millions of pounds when researching, refining and implementing such strategies but this need not be the case for small businesses. Instead it may simply be a matter of isolating the most time-consuming elements of your business’ operational procedures and utilising existing technologies to address them – in some cases using the same device to perform a variety of functions.

The improved accuracy, reliability and speed at which these administrative tasks can be completed using assistive technology means any small business can optimise the efficiency of current operational procedures as well as open up new practices and procedures to businesses. With a wealth of online applications and software at every business’ fingertips today (much of it open-sourced or available at minimal cost), there really is no excuse for not looking into the potential devices and applications to boost your business’ effectiveness.

It is unlikely that your business will be facing any problems with its administrative procedures that have not affected other organisations in the past, or currently. Seeing what other businesses are doing in these areas should be a first step in defining operational procedures regardless of the size of your organisation. Companies that fail to address these elements of their current operational procedures or overlook the appropriate technology aids may find itself slipping behind the completion without a clue as to why, and this is entirely avoidable.