You need to be fast, efficient and flexible to survive in logistics. How do you do this when you’re constantly trying to keep everyone up-to-date, in different locations and time zones, all using different devices to communicate? Some have access to computers and a desk phone, while others are constantly on the go, using only their mobile or a tablet.
Today, almost everyone uses video calls and group chats outside of work, so it makes sense that they would expect to communicate in the same way at work. So why are we so far behind in the technology we use to collaborate in the workplace and why should businesses care?
Why is collaboration important at work?
One of the biggest factors that contribute to the success of any business is whether or not employees are able to communicate effectively. This is particularly important in logistics, where everyone needs to be informed of changes and updates that happen constantly throughout the day. With an increasing number of employees working from different locations and more of the younger generation (Millennials) entering the workforce, we need to ensure our communication technology is keeping up with the changing needs of our staff.
Increase in remote and flexible working
Whether you are trying to keep employees that work from home connected or ensuring your teams in different locations across the country or globe are communicating effectively – a new wave of technology has been created to help keep your staff, suppliers, and clients connected. 70 percent of communication is non-verbal, so remote-based workers often miss out on cues received from facial expressions, voice tones, and eye contact. This is even more important if you are discussing sensitive issues, such as HR discussions.
Sharing documents in real-time
If you need to make sure everyone is on the same page, literally, then being able to share content in real-time is a must. With the right video conference solution, it is easy to screen share and maintain the integrity of the video call, giving you complete control over how and when your content is shared.
Future proofing communication for younger staff
For younger generations, chat through instant message is the norm and often a medium they are most comfortable communicating through. By adopting technology that enables one-to-one instant messaging, group chats, and the ability to escalate any chat to a video call, staff will be more productive and collaborate with ease.
Things to avoid when selecting a new collaboration tool:
- Investing in a complicated system
One of the biggest barriers to effectively implementing a system that uses video, voice, and instant message is ensuring that it is intuitive and easy to use for your staff, suppliers and clients. If your staff find it complicated or are required to use a number of systems and devices, adoption will be low. In terms of collaborating with clients and suppliers, make sure you invest in a tool that provides you with guest logins and integrates with your suppliers’ or clients’ existing video conferencing systems, as many of the free web conferencing solutions won’t enable you to do this.
- Purchasing separate systems for video, voice and chat
By investing in a single system for your video, voice and chat needs, you will save time and money by not having to pay for, install, manage and use three separate systems.
- Using free systems
Does your free platform enable you to share content in real-time, collaborate with multiple parties, guarantee call quality or offer ease of use for your team and clients? These things may not matter for a personal call, but when you are speaking with your clients, suppliers and partners, you need a system you can rely on, with features and quality that reflect your brand. Making a call easy for a client makes a great first impression and indicates that you will be easy to work with, and can collaborate anytime, anywhere.
- No ongoing service agreement
Whether it is poor performance or unexplained service downtime, with a free service you can’t expect any level of support. Clearly, this is a major difference from paid services that provide a high level of support and full redundancy, and can have a profound impact on your ability to do business.