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Speeding up productivity: Take your foot off the brakes

|Dec 2|magazine11 min read

Written by Richard Barrie, Acrobat Business Manager, Adobe ANZ

 

Productivity is a critical measure for any business. It’s a factor in determining long-term economic growth and can influence everything from living standards to the country’s ability to weather global economic shocks. Unfortunately, it seems Australia’s fast-paced business world is slowing down. According to an inaugural report by the Australian Productivity Commission, productivity growth has slowed over the past decade.

Improving productivity and efficiency may be at the top of every business’ list, but what are the simplest ways to tackle the problem head on? It turns out the answer is easier than you think.

Simplify those tedious, everyday tasks that eat up your time

It’s an all too common scenario: You spend time writing a document, forward it as an email attachment to undergo a slew of edits and “tracked changes” and end up waiting on colleagues’ feedback, searching through emails and comparing revised documents side by side to ensure consistency.

Productivity is about simplifying processes and creating user-friendly and efficient ways for staff to work together to contribute to the overall success of a company. Businesses can promote collaboration and help teams gather feedback more quickly and easily with tools that speed up day-to-day document management. These tools allow employees to edit directly onto PDF files, turn PDFs into Microsoft Office files and create, edit and view documents across any device without needing to track down the original. Time once spent retyping and reformatting information stuck in PDFs, sending emails and sitting in meetings to review documents can now be focused on more important objectives such as lead generation and strategic planning.

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Streamline your approval and quality assurance processes

Approval processes and sign-offs can turn a fast-tracked project into a bumper to bumper traffic jam. Waiting on signed agreements to be received, scanned, and returned can mean days or even weeks of lost work time.

With technologies that support E-signatures, you, your boss and your clients can say goodbye to the frustrating days of print, sign, scan and send, and make a few clicks in order to get things signed and moving, even on mobile devices. E-signature tools allow you to type, draw or even inset images of your signature and keep a hold of copies and receipts electronically for easy and secure record-keeping. E-signatures make it easier to meet your deadline and also save money on paper, ink, postage and couriers – a benefit that can really add up for any-sized business.

Make sure your tools are as “on the go” as you are

Smartphones and tablets have a strong presence in today’s work environment and companies are gaining more value from them than ever before. In fact, a 2013 global study by Avanade found that employees now use smartphones and tablets for advanced business functions such as CRM, project management, content creation, data analysis and most importantly, collaboration.

Companies that invest in tools that promote mobility and collaboration will see better business results and more productive employees. In fact, the study found that businesses that utilise collaborative tools and strategies are 73 percent more likely to report improved sales and new customer acquisition and 54 percent more likely to report increased profits than businesses that don’t. Document management tools that allow employees to store documents online and access them across mobile devices help create a productive “always-on” work culture.

Big changes are not required for big improvements in productivity. Businesses that take simple steps to better manage time, money and resources will achieve better business results and enhance collaboration within their teams.