Technological advances in the past few decades have greatly increased the competitive nature of the economic business world. Companies have used software, computers and the Internet to transform their businesses from local places of business to national and global market competitors. Many companies have responded to these changes by automating their business processes and capturing industry-related information and using it to their advantage. Technology has also forced businesses to remain flexible, adapting their operations to newer and better technological advances.
Better Reporting Functions
Companies that have multiple locations, whether nationally or globally, have used technology to implement better communication services and software modules that communicate to a home base via the Internet. This allows companies to penetrate new economic markets without sacrificing the needs of communication or financial and operational reporting. Additionally, companies can improve their management information system (MIS) to capture information for specific locations when making business decisions.
Financial reporting has also benefited greatly from technology; rather than sending external auditors to multiple locations, it is possible to create a centralized accounting office to record and report financial transactions. This improves financial reporting and lessens the expense related to external audits.
Increased Employee Productivity
Computers and business software packages have exponentially increased employees' productivity by allowing them to provide data entry functions or review automated reports. Companies have automated several traditional manufacturing processes; instead of using manpower to manually create and assemble goods, machines and/or robots now complete these functions. While these improvements may increase capital expenditures, they lessen the impact of consistent labor expenses related to productions. Fewer employees are needed to monitor the machines and ensure they are working properly.
Other areas, such as customer service, accounting and administrative support, have also seen an increase in employee productivity. Employees now review and report electronically collected data to ensure they are accurate and timely, rather than manually gathering information.
Improved Business Mobility
Technology has also improved companies' sales and service departments by allowing employees to use personal electronic devices to create sales displays and transmit orders and customer information to the home office. These electronic devices shorten the lead time companies spend on receiving and delivering goods or services, creating an instant competitive advantage in the industry. Companies can also send sales representatives to multiple markets at the same time, allowing them to penetrate multiple markets with few overhead costs. Companies may allow their internal employees to work from home using a company Internet connection, reducing the fixed overhead expenses from a large corporate office.