Technology helps businesses in a number of ways that generally center on doing things bigger, better or faster than you could without technology. Different industries and companies rely on technology in different ways, but widespread uses include business communication, optimized production, inventory management and financial record-keeping.
Technology expands the reach and efficiency of many forms of internal and external business communication. Field sales representatives and technicians, for instance, no longer have to return to an office to receive assignments. Instead, they take calls or mobile messages while in the field, alerting them to the next scheduled appointment. Business reps traveling for work can stay connected to the office and colleagues. E-mail enables mass distribution of messages to people across geographical boundaries.
Externally, technology enhances opportunities for marketing communication. Social media, e-mail and mobile phones allow companies swifter and more interactive communication platforms relative to traditional, one-way media options.
No matter what your industry, business size or primary activities, technology allows opportunities to optimize production beyond what you could produce without it. Small companies can often compete with larger firms in operational efficiency, thanks to access to high-tech equipment and tools. Manufacturers constantly look to upgrade equipment to compete with industry leaders on production efficiency.
In a retail business, technology makes the process of selling to and servicing customers much more efficient as well. Scanning barcodes at a checkout is faster than finger-punching numbers in a cash register. Also, as items get scanned, companies capture important data for precise marketing.
Raw materials suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retails and B2B providers all have inventory management processes. Technology is used to organize items systematically in a warehouse or storage room. Matching computer information to inventory storage spaces helps associates pull stock as quickly as possible. Companies can quickly compare inventory when it comes in the door to order sizes on the computer screen. Many inventory processes are automated. Retailers, for instance, often use vendor managed inventory approaches where suppliers automatically send replenishment when alerted that stock is low at a store. Organized, efficient inventory control helps minimize inventory costs while meeting customer demand.
Companies small and large use advanced software programs to manage accounting and finance tasks, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. In fact, companies often use programs that sync accounting with point-of-sale terminals and bookkeeping programs, such that each purchase or sale transaction is automatically captured in an accounting platform. Using technology to manage financial record-keeping minimizes manual processes, reduces costs and helps protect against human error.
Using technology for communication that is better facilitated face-to-face can be problematic for a business.