Why use a database? – Repeat After Me!

Let me give you a real world example about how a well constructed database system can take the strain of your business and improve your productivity at the same time!

Every Friday, one business I know used to have to generate specific personalised reports for around 40/50 clients. Even though they were using a database system this took on average four hours every week.

They would create a report for the first client, save it to a folder with a unique name. They would then, using Outlook, create a new email for this client, locating the email address and backup email address from within Outlook. The body of the text would be modified to personalise it for the client.

After clicking “send” they would repeat this process for each other client!

It did not take long to create a system where the operator opened a form listing all clients and then clicked a box next to each specific client needing a report that week. That took around sixty seconds to do. They then clicked on one more button and the system took over automatically creating each personalised report and emailing it directly to those who needed it using a personalised email. The system logged the email and saved copies of the reports.

This upgrade also helped in other ways as the original system meant that email addresses were being used from two different sources and I have already explained in a previous blog why that is not good business practice.

This one simple update to an existing system saves around TWO HUNDRED HOURS each year. Put another way, that is more than a month’s salary for one person who could now be put to work elsewhere in the business.

So when was the last time you reviewed your work processes? Have you ever reviewed them? How many repetitive jobs do you undertake every day, week, year? Sometimes it can be very difficult to see what is right in front of you!

So you undertake a review and discover several processes that you just know you can streamline but you say to yourself that it is going to cost too much to sort out.. or is it? Many will fall into the trap of just looking at the cost of developing such enhancements and ignore the full benefits both in financial and productivity terms.

Then there are the intangible benefits! Think back to my earlier example, two hundred extra hours to work on getting more sales or adding value to existing sales. How much extra revenue could that produce for your business? You could soon find that the cost of development has been more than covered by the extra revenue!

So if you find in your business processes that you continually have to repeat it might just be worth considering ways you can boost your efficiency and in doing so…. your bottom line profit!

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