Blackink IT hosted “Doing More With Less,” an event featuring a panel of four business leaders discussing how businesses can maximize their resources. The panelists – Carla Downing, VP of Talent at ML Talent Strategies, Randie Dial, Principal of Forensic and Valuation Services at CliftonLarsonAllen, Ariana Meiser, Business Banking Sales Manager at Merchants Bank of Indiana, and Doug Allgood, President and CEO at Blackink IT – led an insightful discussion covering technology and automation, allocation of capital, talent and workforce, and more.
Here are a few of the questions asked during the event, along with summaries of the speakers’ responses:
Doug Allgood of Blackink IT emphasized the importance of understanding your standard operating procedures (SOPs) before you can begin searching for new efficiencies within your business. And if you haven’t yet outlined your organization’s SOPs, it is worth investing time to do so – because once SOPs are outlined, you’re able to identify where your organization may be wasting time and resources. Doug states that defining your processes is an essential first step in increasing efficiency.
To help reduce technology costs, Doug recommended searching for overlap in the tools that your organization is already investing in, because organizations often pay for multiple tools that accomplish the same goal. By developing a deeper understanding for your entire toolset, you can begin to identify this overlap. One common example is for companies to utilize Microsoft Teams as a file sharing and collaboration tool, but to utilize Zoom for video conferencing. A simple, but often overlooked cost-saving would be to cancel these Zoom subscriptions and begin leveraging Teams' video-conferencing feature. According to Doug, organizations are surprised with how many of their existing tools accomplish the same goals.
Throughout the event, Randie Dial of CLA stressed the importance of companies collecting, understanding, and utilizing data to make informed decisions. To assist with this, it is worth the investment to create dashboards of your most important data. Once your data is organized in a digestible format, organizations can begin to make more informed decisions. Randie emphasizes the importance of becoming a predictive organization: how can you look forward and predict industry growth, as well as the performance of your company?
Ariana Meiser of Merchants Bank of Indiana had a few recommendations for navigating inflation. Her first recommendation, and what she calls the “low hanging fruit,” is to be strategic with your excess cash. The example she provided referred to banks paying interest on deposits; “if you have excess cash, there is real money to earn there.” Ariana also discussed the importance of not relying solely on a price-driven supplier strategy, but having diversified supplier relationships. Periods of economic uncertainty and high inflation create greater potential for supply-chain issues, and a diversified supplier strategy goes a long way in mitigating these risks.
Randie returned to the idea of real-time data, and suggested looking at which employees are overachieving their hours, missing hours, or missing more than 10% of their hours. From here, not only should discussions be had with employees who are missing hours, but the overachievers should be closely monitored, as well, to ensure they do not experience burnout.
Carla Downing of ML Talent Strategies discussed the importance of meeting with your team on a regular basis. “If you’re not meeting with team members on a regular cadence, start adding those meetings. A regular cadence will help gauge employee well-being.” Carla also discussed talent retention, because “hiring is tough right now.” Carla says that “stay conversations” go a long way in retaining top talent: “make sure that you are having stay conversations with employees.” In these conversations, leadership should be expressing to employees why they value them, the role they play in the success of the company, and why leadership wants that employee to stay with the company.
With four panelists sharing their expertise on technology and automation, allocation of capital, and talent and workforce, Doing More With Less provided valuable insights into how businesses can maximize their resources. If you're interested in learning about how Blackink IT can help you do more with less by optimizing your technology investments and improving business operations, read this article about how IT providers help businesses do more with less, or contact us today!