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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

What The Experts Think of Technology in the Workplace

ByDave Stopher

Mar 7, 2018

As the world becomes more digitally focused, we have brought together some of the biggest experts in the region to talk about how technology and business can work hand in hand. With some businesses needing technology to streamline production lines or become more autonomous, it is important to remember that even though technology is a great thing sometimes it can never replace the human workforce.

We spoke with large number of directors and managers, renowned as experts in their field, to reveal the benefits of technology within their business.

Eamonn Wall, Managing Director: Robson Scott

“Cloud based accounting has allowed the business’ growth to be carefully budgeted and planned for, whilst being accessible wherever I am. Having our own internal CRM working from a cloud based solution has meant we can all work away from the office, giving us greater control, and freedom in our lives.”

Laura Sharpe, Managing Director and Tech Specialist: Sharpe Recruitment

“Tech has dramatically improved recruitment processes for us over the nine years we have been in business, and significantly reduced costs from the days of placing adverts in papers.”

Anth Fitches, Managing Director: Flow Digital

“One of our best investments has been Basecamp. It’s a communication tool which allows us to keep track of various client projects and organise tasks between team members. Whenever a new client comes on board, we give them access to the project. Before Basecamp, everything was done via email, which can sometimes get confusing.”

Michael Blakeley, CEO and Founder: CLiKD App

“The online dating world is a competitive space. We rely heavily on being innovative, and it is important that we keep up to date with the latest trends. We have a recommendations algorithm and up-to-date tech for data security.”

Chris Bone, Managing Director: Erik Juhler Recruitment

“In the past, we couldn’t measure how we were performing with clients, or whether our performance was improving. We wanted a tool that put a little more rigour and science behind our approach to collecting this data. Net Promoter Score (NPS) was the software that we settled on, providing us with a ‘score’ to measure and track our customer service performance. This software has allowed us to be much closer to our clients and deal with any potential problems quickly.”

Andy Thompson, HR Manager: Bede Gaming

“We introduced Slack as a communication and collaboration tool at Bede Gaming, and it has transformed the way we work. It allows our teams to unify their communication and brings our distributed teams together, creating a culture of openness and collaboration. It also integrates nicely with a lot of the apps we use on a daily basis.”

John Cave, Director: Shoptimised

“As your business grows, you constantly need the help of technology. In 2017, we spent so much time developing technology to improve our business internally that it spun out into a new SaaS business in 2018. What started as a way to use technology to improve our business, ended up being used by businesses all over the UK.”

Raman Segal, Founder: Ramarketing PR

“In the run-up to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical exhibition in Germany (CPhI), we wanted to make life for the global trade media as easy as possible. Our creative, digital and PR teams worked closely together to build an online press portal that gave busy journalists access to exclusive news, comments and images from industry leaders on the eve of the three day event.”

Ian McIntosh, Operations Director: Evolved Digital

“We began using Pipedrive as our CRM system in the new year after using several of the larger CRM platforms in the past. This has all of the features we require from a good CRM. It also integrates with our software, the most useful for us being Xero, Google Drive, Trello and Slack. This integration helps us ensure that all the teams at Evolved Digital are aware of the pipeline in real-time.”

Dave Stopher, Founder: North East Connected

“We aim to use tech to expand our exposure in other areas. Hopefully, this will allow the platform to become more relevant. Taking a look at businesses, I personally think that 2018 is going to be a year of development for the North East. Nissan investment is a prime example of confidence and faith in the region.”

Marie Brett, Chair of the North East Region: Society of Chief Librarians

“The development of digital services, skills and access underpin 21st century library services. Beyond this, public library services are now offering free access to e-books, digital subscription services, apps to encourage children to read during summer holidays, self-service machines and online search and renewal facilities to streamline the process and help customers access digital information.”

Ashleigh Wright, Commercial Director: Westray Recruitment

“We have used analytical tools to identify new talent on the market who have shown excellence in their current roles, and who are looking to take the next “step up”. Online profiling has enabled us to be more efficient with our talent spotting, and has allowed us to deliver a higher calibre of candidate to our clients.’

Kim Scott, Founder: These Girls Can Run

“Social media has enabled the rapid growth of our community, to over 5,000, but with that has come the recognition that we need technology to help us maximise that growth. Google Drive and Skype have improved collaboration and communication between our Run Group Leaders. However, in 2018, we’re aiming for a bespoke website with functions for our leaders and customers to further improve what we offer. I’m hoping this year is the year we move forward with a bespoke platform for our customers which will bring us closer to them.”

Kevin Richardson, New Business Manager: Zenos

“At Zenos, we specialise in finding security flaws in business networks. As the cloud computing world grows ever more complex, we have developed an in-house system that enables us to perform what were previously laborious security analysis tasks in quick time, enabling us to pass on savings to clients and make us more competitive in the marketplace.”

Anna McCormick, Marketing Assistant: Heritage Healthcare

“To improve business over the last year, we enhanced our CRM system to plan out our interactions with potential franchisees. This technology works for our office as it makes it easier to offer outstanding customer service, as well as targeted marketing materials based on our customer’s habits and preferences. We keep all of our customers’ contact information in one place, alongside detailed information on the products they have purchased, the feedback they’ve given us, and the marketing materials we’ve shown them, helping us be more proactive.”

John Bunyan, Marketing Manager: Profound Services

“The use of technology within the Profound Group is constantly evolving to improve services. The Group has moved away from paper-based portfolios to an E-Portfolio system called Smart Assessor, which enables trainers and learners to communicate and develop portfolios independently. This also allows learner progression to be monitored closely. We’ve also seen the benefits in other software, enabling an efficient classroom delivery that is accessed by learners across the country.”

Jonathan Prest, Managing Director: Communicator

“Technology is core to what we do. Last year we implemented the use of Atlassian’s collaboration suite, which has allowed for greater visibility and control of our product roadmap delivery. This enables us to release the best in-class technology to our customers as quickly as possible. This technology has massively helped our business and our customers; it complements our email marketing technology and allows us to really live by our values of customer centricity, collaboration and accountability.”

Aman Sehgal, Consultant Solicitor: Keystone Law

“We at Keystone Law have grown from a start-up law firm in 2002 to the leading law firm of its kind with over 250 lawyers. This simply would not have been possible without the firm’s investment in technology. We have invested significant sums to aid efficiencies, including app-based digital dictation, time recording, file set up and invoicing. In addition, the use of signable document technology helps us to minimise delays and keep our client’s costs down. The incorporation of smartphone technology for email, communication and documentation review also allows us to remain agile and responsive.”

Ben Hall, Founder and Managing Director: Interpolate

“As a startup, it is important that we save as much money as possible. This is why we’ve tried and tested several tech solutions to ensure that we pick the right one to improve our efficiency.
Pro Workflow allows us to manage clients, staff, projects, invoicing and much more. Interpolate Twitter Tool is one we’ve yet to name, but allows us to keep track of Twitter profiles. Finally, AdWords Automation & Testing is a huge benefit. Always look for tech that can save time and money.”

Sammy Sadler, Agency Marketing Manager: OPR

“We’ve seen many clients branch out with technology. In 2017, Global iced drinks manufacturer Polar Krush implemented new A.I. and technology which has allowed them to increase their output and productivity dramatically. Last year, North East dental and orthodontic clinic Queensway became the first UK practice to offer Dental Monitoring, an A.I. technology that allows specialist orthodontists to monitor Invisalign patients much more closely but with fewer visits to the clinic. These changes show how all types of industries are utilising the power of technology to influence their consumers.”

Andrew Cawkwell, Director: Newtons Solicitors

“Information technology can be used to innovate and streamline unwieldy business processes, thereby leading to significant cost savings and improved margins. This can establish a proper baseline for improved profitability and business performance, provided that the changes necessitated by information technology are mandated from the leadership team within the business, and change management processes are used to integrate those changes within the business.”

Source: Business Rescue Expert – https://www.businessrescueexpert.co.uk/