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Getting To Grips With GDPR

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 19, 2018

GDPR, or the newly actioned General Data Protection Regulation, is the data protection law that came into effect in 2018 and applies to countries in Europe. The change from the old law has many business and website owners confused, as there are changes which need to be made to the way data is collected in order to comply. If you are wondering how GDPR affects you, then this guide will help you get to grips with it.

What has changed with GDPR?

The main difference that the GDPR laws have brought about is the way that permission is obtained for collecting the personal details, such as names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers, of both clients and customers. Businesses often keep these details, and websites often have a mailing list that people subscribe to.

However, the introduction of GDPR has given more power to the person whose details have been collected, in that it cannot be obtained without express permission, and a company must remove the information from a database on that person’s request.

Businesses and websites are also required to state the reasons why they collect personal detail, for example, for marketing purposes.

How do I make sure my business complies?

To make sure you follow the rules regarding GDPR, you must make sure you get the correct permission from people who are on your mailing list, or for whom you hold their personal details.

To do this, you should change your opt-in forms on your website to have a box that people tick to give their permission, and also a statement as to how you will use their information. If you have irrelevant or unused addresses on your database, then they should be removed as there are no clear reasons why you should have them.

Re-sorting a database and setting up new ways of collecting personal data can seem like a daunting process, but there are professional IT services that you can hire to help, such as Torix.co.uk who can help protect and secure all the sensitive data you collect.  

What about the people already on my database?

If you already have an email list or a database of business clients, you might be wondering if you have to get their permission again for you to be able to store their details. The good news is that you only have to do that if details were collected without their permission or knowledge. That means that most email subscribers should be fine to keep because they entered their own details to become part of a mailing list. For businesses with physical clients who have not given express permission for their data to be stored, it means that clients will have to be contacted for fresh consent.

GDPR is a law that will help protect the public from having their details used by unauthorized parties, but it also helps a business build trusted relationships with customers. For websites, their database will be of people who know exactly why they are being emailed, and are likely to be an engaged audience as they have chosen to be contacted. Getting to grips with GDPR now is a must for any business or website, so take action to make sure you comply, or the result could be a hefty fine and loss of a hard-earned good reputation.

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The Role of Technology in Business and How it Can Boost Growth

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The introduction of technology in business is not a new thing, but in the past decade, it has seen huge advancements in how companies operate. The implementation of software and systems is seeing considerable improvements in productivity and the way people manage projects, which in turn in boosting growth and increasing profit margins. On a basic level, technology is brought into a business in the form of new computer systems and advancements in order processing, but there are many other aspects that need to be considered to ensure your business stays abreast of technological changes. In each sector, technology has been able to make tasks efficient while improving reliability and accuracy. This, in turn, is helping to boost the skills of workers that are working with the technology to promote skills and knowledge internally. 

Technology plays a huge role in how a business operates no matter how small or large the systems are. It’s vital for all companies to take advantages of the ways in which it can help to improve practices across the board and gives everyone more accountability for their actions in the whole process. If your business is considering technological changes, take a look at some of the main reasons why it should sign up to change today.

Improving efficiency

One of the main reasons that technology was introduced to the world is the improvement it makes in efficiency across simple tasks. This, of course, isn’t limited to the help it provides to businesses but for personal consumers too. Improving productivity and efficiency in business practices is one of the most critical steps in sustaining a successful business model. In a traditional sense, it used to be the job of a manager to monitor everything that a department undertook, but now with the help of technology, this process is made so much easier to allow managers to focus on others elements of the job. Top software and computer systems such as project management software have enabled companies to implement strategies based on project levels and can monitor the whole process from start to finish. These fast and efficient methods can help speed up the process and make people accountable for their work at every stage of the project. This information can also be accessed in real-time to ensure maximum capacity is reached and time schedules are met.

Increasing accuracy

There’s no doubt that technology is smart, and this intelligence can help support your teams in providing accurate and timely information every time. The number of software options available can help build impressive reporting structures and undertake complicated computations at the click of a button. Some of the most popular use of accurate software is in finance and inventory systems. This technology can handle everything from processing orders, monitoring stock levels and generating reports based on sales and stock. For retailers, point of sale software is also vital for accurately calculating customer purchases and providing sales reports based on goods sold. Although the skills and experience of traditional methods has worked for decades, the improved speed and accuracy of technology in this area help to serve more customers in the same amount of time and pushes more detailed information through to inventory and logistics.

Keeps a company relevant and competitive

With the number of companies coming into the market every day, it can be hard to keep up with competitors in your industry. This can be made harder if these competitors outstrip you in regards to technology and upgraded customer experiences. Staying relevant in your industry is one of the toughest jobs, as the investment that is required can sometimes be unobtainable for smaller companies. Making small steps towards this is better than none at all, and there are many ways that you can do this. Small changes such as creating an email database are inexpensive but help you target customers with promotions relevant to what they like buying. By targeting the right customer at the right time can help in leaps and bounds towards making you more competitive in the market. Using digital technology, you can also open up a new sales funnel to global customers and start to increase your presence in the international market. Training your employees regarding relevant advancements is also key for your business.

Boost communication

Another great way that technology can help both small and large businesses is the improved methods of communication tools available for both internal and external uses. Connecting in real-time is much easier and sending instant emails is ideal for anyone that requires a fast response. Social media is also playing a huge part in how companies communicate with customers and building a presence on popular platforms is opening up new ways to market and target customers based on their lifestyle and shopping preferences. This open line of communication between people also creates an avenue for increasing your networking and partnership opportunities with people across the globe. One of the most critical factors that technology helps to improve in this area is how you showcase your brand. Consumers want the personal touch but without the need to talk directly to someone, so building a personable and positive presence can give your brand an identity, which people can relate to. This two-way and open communication is also ideal or gaining real-time feedback, so your business can improve and respond directly to customer requirements.

The improvement in technology is ever changing and keeping up to date with the latest innovations is vital for businesses of all sizes. There are many ways that your company can start to build upon these strategies to help forge development in your sector, and while some require huge investment, others only take a small amount of adaption to implement. By taking control of your processes and striving to improve all aspects of your business plan with technology, it will help you reap the rewards in better business performance and increase your sales for a healthier financial future. Take a look at what you could start changing today to stay ahead of the game. 

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Four Reasons It’s Always a Good Idea to Offer Training to Your Employees

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 6, 2018

No matter what their position in your company is, offering additional training opportunities to your employees tends to lead to a workforce with increased motivation, satisfaction, and purpose. Additional training can be directly related to an employee’s role or it may be for the purpose of improving their growth and building new skills towards future progression. Here are the top five reasons why every employer should consider offering new learning opportunities to their workforce.

#1. Better Motivated Workforce

In most cases, employees who have something more to work towards than simply earning their monthly wage tend to be more satisfied at work, leading to higher levels of motivation and productivity. Offering additional training in the workplace gives employees the option to broaden their skills and aim for progression, which can often lead to employees working harder in an attempt to prove themselves to management in pursuit of a higher role.

#2. Improved Performance:

Offering training programs which are specific to employees’ roles will make it easier for them to fully understand exactly what is required from them at work. Whilst there’s a lot to be said for on-the-job training, workers who are only given the opportunity to learn during their normal working hours may find that they don’t take in information as well, in addition to developing bad habits due to no prior knowledge of how to complete tasks. Instead, a standard training program will ensure that all employees are aware of not only their job description, but also the specifics of what the role entails. Although employees can learn more about what their job entails at sites such as jobdescriptions.net, training will provide them with more in-depth and company-specific knowledge, enabling them to fulfill the role to the best of their ability.

#3. Improved Employee Turnover:

Today, one of the biggest issues for companies is keeping employee turnover down to a minimum. Having employees leave the company regularly can be very disruptive to a workforce, in addition to racking up business costs significantly. The cost of hiring new employees and training them to do their job can quickly add up if it is happening too often. Since training and development opportunities are one of the main things that today’s employees want, the option to learn more, develop their skills and work towards progression is often key to keeping workers loyal to your brand.

#4. Better Customer Service:

If your workforce is based in mainly customer-centric roles, training and progression is often even more important. Regular customer service training can keep your employees up to scratch on what customers want and the latest shopping trends, enabling them to provide the best level of service to the people that keep your business going: your customers. In addition, access to additional training can often lead to increased motivation and productivity amongst employees; this will shine through in the service that they provide.

Investing in your employees will always pay off, regardless of your business industry, size, or yearly turnover. Offering job-specific and additional training programs leads to better productivity, motivation, performance and customer service. 

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Security Factors To Consider With Your Business

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 21, 2018

There are security risks for any business, and they each need to be addressed and assessed on a regular basis. No matter your industry or sector, you should always attempt to limit your exposure to potential threats and avoidable risks in order to minimize the possibility of losses or damage. If you’re researching ways to limit your vulnerability, then there are a number of areas where you should be prioritizing. Exposure to risk can be seriously reduced with the implementation of a number of basic key essentials, but there are three important areas that can be all too easily overlooked.

Protecting your business plan

As your business continues to develop its standing and improve its competitive edge, there grows a risk from your competition. Although your ideas and upcoming strategy implementations are somewhat intangible, they do remain part and parcel of your business development. That’s why you need to ensure that confidentiality is an ongoing concern. This will come down to not simply your employees, but also in terms of your suppliers and board of directors. One of the simplest ways to protect your future growth is by implementing the use of non-disclosure agreements, which will protect you if staff are poached by competitors. By having legal protection, you are protecting your assets.

Physical protection

It can be all too easy to overlook your physical security when you're looking for ways to protect your business. So much of the business landscape has become digital, and the threat of cybercrime is ever present, so it’s no surprise that most companies prioritize online security over anything else. This is as much a mistake now as it always has been, and your business should always ensure that it is protected from vandalism and burglary as well. Having a good quality HD CCTV system from professional CCTV installers Bristol will go a long way to not only deterring criminals, it can also be beneficial when it comes to prosecuting those that have attempted to cause your business harm. While you should of course make your online security as robust as possible, never forget the need for offline security as well.

Device Security

As more and more business makes use of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture, too many are neglecting the security concerns. While BYOD can be a fantastic way to reduce costs and training time on new technologies, allowing employees to use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops carries with it a number of additional security concerns that you need to be aware of. Lost or misplaced phones can allow hackers potentially unlimited access to your business systems, so you should always make sure that any access that has been permitted on employee devices is password protected with two-factor email verification in place. Stress the importance of only using secure networks to access work-related information, and your BYOD office will be much more secure from threats.

Keeping your business secure is a necessity if you have any hope for success, and overlooking or failing to address the potential issues can leave you exposed to loss of revenue, loss of customer trust, and unlimited damage to your company. Keep aware of the potential threats, and you stand a much better chance of keeping your business safe.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Business Process Management Software

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Business process management is a system whereby businesses seek to align their goals and processes as their business evolves. In doing so, businesses are able to much better organize themselves and will find it considerably easier to define exactly what is required in order to complete specific tasks. Once these steps have been identified, they are mapped to existing processes, which are then customized to suit the task at hand.

The ultimate purpose of BPM software is to facilitate this process, and in doing so, it greatly boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes. For businesses who have begun to implement business process management, these efficiency gains can often become a key performance indicator.

The mistake that many businesses make after deciding to implement their own BPM policies is that these processes are often developed in isolation from one another. This means that businesses often find themselves in a situation where, individually their process management policies are effective, yet when they are all put together, shortcomings and incompatibilities are revealed.

Dynamic Processes

Businesses are dynamic entities. This means that the goals and processes of a business are in a constant state of flux. Just as businesses are constantly evolving, so should their processes and procedures. Immobility and resistance to change can both be crippling for a business's future. You need to approach your BPM strategy as something dynamic from the very beginning.

In years gone by, the primary focus of BPM was as a cost cutting exercise. While BPM can still be used in order to achieve cost savings, and add efficiency more generally, the focus has recently shifted. The emphasis of BPM is now on the customer, specifically how it can be used to improve their experience.

Development

Now that the ultimate priorities of BPM have shifted towards customer-facing applications, many vendors are now investing in technologies which are designed to allow for the rapid development and deployment of customer-facing applications that are intuitive to use and therefore easy for customers to get to grips with.

There are two key technologies which are used in order to achieve this. The first is known as “low-code” development tools. These are tools that are generally used by individual developers working from home, sometimes known as ‘citizen developers’. They may also be used by professionals who are not trained in software development. In either case, the BP is designed to allow a non-technical and untrained user to interact with your internal systems.

Can BPM Help Me?

Any business will benefit from implementing more efficient processes at a lower price, this is what BPM allows. BPM software makes it easier to achieve these goals, regardless of the type of business you run. Whether you are operating a direct-to-consumer ecommerce site, or an informational site like Consumer Charts, BPM can help you achieve your goals as efficiently as possible.

If your business hasn’t implemented any BPM policies of their own yet, why not take the initiative and help lead your business’s efforts to implement such practices?

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