We can all agree that the inflation rate in Australia is skyrocketing and the chances of that spaceship returning to earth are slim at best. We always hear about the Reserve Bank or how economists are stressing over the consumer price index (CPI).
There’s a lot of jargon and numbers that affect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) everywhere. Inflation can negatively impact companies in several ways, from disrupting supply chains to boosting interest rates. Thankfully, there’s a way for companies to show inflation who’s boss! Anybody who has stumbled across our site in the wild west of the internet will know where we’re going.
In our experience as a managed IT service provider, there are 5 awe-inspiring ways information technology (IT) tools can aid SMEs in their quest to protect themselves from inflation while achieving their business goals:
1. Greater visibility over the supply chain
Quick commerce lesson: the supply chain refers to the resources and processes involved in transforming ideas into goods and services. As business owners, we have to understand every aspect of our supply chain to achieve greater optimisation of our manufacturing and distribution capabilities.
Only 6% of businesses report complete visibility on their supply chain, with 69% only having partial visibility. We don’t even want to think about what’s going on with the remaining 25%! Thankfully, recent innovations in the technology space have gifted us with tools that make managing our supply chains as easy as pie.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are connected to the internet and can collect, exchange, and act on data. Businesses can invest in a managed IT service provider to help them configure and use these devices to monitor their supply chain in real time, which is valuable for keeping track of its performance and layout for more strategic investments.
2. Prioritise caution
Running a successful business is a lot like going for a hike. High-quality services and a stellar reputation as an industry innovator are at the top of every company’s wish list. But no one can reach the top of the hill without careful planning and a couple of granola bars. Effective supply chain management needs to account for inflation to ensure quick response times to customers.
Technology solutions such as digital twins give users the ability to leverage machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and IoT devices to create virtual models of real-world assets. Companies can implement scenarios into the digital twin to analyse their performance and identify weaknesses.
SMEs can use digital twins to test hypotheticals related to their supply chain (e.g., if there was a natural disaster that shut down a production facility or if aliens appeared and abducted a delivery truck) and plan for them accordingly to reduce their impact.
3. Cultivate strong business-customer relationships
Organisations and customer loyalty are like peas in a pod. However, 50% of loyal customers have turned away from a business for a competitor who was more responsive to their needs. Customer satisfaction should always be a business objective, but when prices go up and companies have to increase the costs of their services and support to meet them, it can be a long (and awkward) call for the customer service team.
This is where technology becomes the star of the show. We’ve got four words and an acronym for this: customer relationship management (CRM) software. These programs can be cost-effective solutions that help businesses manage their customer relationships.
CRM software enables companies to organise customer data and feedback, and track the progress of customer service issues. When combined witha unified communications system and an omni-channel contact centre, SMEs can stay connected with customers with a personalised touch, keeping them informed of business changes, and turning them into brand ambassadors to mitigate rising costs.
4. Automate business operations
That age-old saying of “time is money” is kind of a cliche nowadays but it still holds weight for organisations dealing with the inflation rate in Australia. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that companies have hundreds (and possibly thousands) of backend processes that keep them running. Many of these necessary actions, such as data entry, require high levels of accuracy and speed.
However, we get tired and make errors, which leads to more work for teams, miscommunication, and an image that doesn’t represent an industry-leading company.
This is where automation can become an organisation’s secret weapon. By investing in technologies that support automation software (we’re thinking Microsoft 365 – don’t worry, we can explain the details another time), businesses can automate repetitive tasks to give their teams better opportunities to focus on other assignments and keep labour costs down.
5. Leverage technology to enhance agility
It doesn’t matter if a company is a managed IT service provider or an organisation dealing with finances, agility is incredibly important to businesses operating within a climate of rising inflation. In business, companies that operate faster than running cheetahs can meet and satisfy their goals in the blink of an eye.
Business agility stemming from technology can come in various forms. From cyber security and disaster recovery solutions to service desk and technical support, reliable technologies (and any corresponding services) can aid organisations by ensuring processes can continue like all’s right in the world. But our personal favourite piece of tech – the cloud – is where companies can set themselves up as Rihanna and shine bright like a diamond.
Cloud computing is a type of technology that enables people to store and access data, software, and other resources through the internet. Here’s a crash course on how the cloud enhances agility and, ultimately, takes advantage of technology solutions to reduce the costs related to running a business (aka digital deflation):
Keep inflation at bay with Atarix’s IT specialists
The rising inflation rate in Australia is sure to stick around for a while and it’s something organisations will need to keep in mind moving forward. Technology solutions provide businesses with the opportunity to keep costs down and stay competitive in the market.
The managed services experts at Atarix have assisted business leaders in supplying their teams with a wide range of technologies that promote efficiency and productivity.
Companies can contact us if they want to become the Backstreet Boys of their industry. Our team can streamline business processes, keep costs down, and ensure organisational longevity.