How technology enables human empowerment

| Tuesday October 8

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: 8 October 2019

Generally when presenting and someone combines the terms artificial intelligence and jobs into one sentence (particularly in certain sectors) people run for the exits. For years and across numerous industries we’ve associated AI with robots taking our jobs, downsizing staff numbers and general misery to small business. And for some people, Terminator.

But over the last few years the fear has turned into curiosity and now, excitement. Hope that for most of us and our businesses technology might actually support, enable and ramp up the efficiency in our business to help us get back to what we love.

Today’s guest is Jeremy Biggs; an expert in Intelligent Process Automation & Customer Relationship Management (CRM). And we’re going to learn how to make AI and tech our friend to enable and empower us as humans, not simply take over.

Welcome to the show Jeremy.

Topics we’ll be covering:

Empowering humans, helping humanity with technology enablement - what we see in the world already:

  • Common examples on how Technology already helps you be more productive with your time
    • Technology enablement for health
      • Fitbits and step-counters
      • Future enablement through body sensors: Example Advanced health sensors Ketogenics– burning fats instead of sugars – knowing when your body is doing what & switching between the two. This goes into everything from hydration to the correct balance of nutrients for optimal living.
      • I also think that this ties into technology enabled shopping - Using Google/Alexa to create shopping lists that automatically ship groceries to your door means that we will shop on purpose.
      • Not so far off future will be fridges ordering the best food to meet your specific nutrition.
    • IN the workplace we already have tons of technology enablement that helps us do more with less. The Simplest example would be to Access to email and digital workplaces:
      • Work remotely, from home or anywhere - this means less travel time to (Sales reps example)
      • Significant benefit to environment (less paper = less trees used)
      • More time to spend with Family & doing the things we love
      • Addresses a big issue in Australia around skills shortage

Technology for efficiency & building happy teams, the age of in individual

  • Empower people with tools and systems at the lowest common denominator, understand the pain points and scale up to management.
  • The priority for businesses is to enable people with systems and tools that help to save time and drive more value for the company. This is not done by the carrot and stick method - but rather one of empowerment so that an individual enjoys a happier work environment and the financial rewards for the business are a by-product of positive business culture. TEAM PERSONAL GROWTH & ACHIEVEMENTS = COMPANY GROWTH
  • Help staff achieve personal goals - technology enables advanced remote learning, time freed from work hours invested into development.
  • Avril Henry - If individuals aligned with a business culture - then they are more likely to grow (Keynote last quarter)
  • Example of a Sales Rep - using tech to capture all data onsite (note: voice to text for data capture)
  • 80 / 20 RULE - The minority of work delivers 80% off the output - we can use AI and advanced technology to assist with the mundane.

The future: how technology enablement enables human potential for your business

  • At the core - Data is the new Gold for business, Put your customer in the centre! You need to aggregate everything into a central core of information. No matter what your industry the future of the world is moving more and more to a global economy. For you to leverage this opportunity you will need to be able to connect into multiple systems that will help take you to a larger audience
  • Unique client information is another critical step when investing into innovation. As an example if you run a plumbing business and recorded all the houses with tree root problems for a period of time then you can do predictive sales calls on houses that are likely to require roots to be cleared out in the future. Secondly, you can also leverage this data in a Joint Venture with an Arborist to manage tree growth.
  • Acquisitions historically are driven by the Net Profit multiple, but when you consider that the purchaser is looking for a future value return on investment the Data layer and access to a larger market becomes more of a priority and can increase the business valuation.
  • Connecting to international markets = all data led. Ultimately I see a future where we are connected to a more global market that will help the redistribution of wealth in the world.

Barriers to technology adoption

  • Cash - businesses should be investing 20% of Net Profit into innovation
    • Government programs (R&D, EMDG, EP Program etc…)
    • More cash from efficient operations driven by innovation
  • Skills shortage - another reason to leverage technology
    • Unemployment rate currently at 5.2% - could drop towards 4%
    • International talent

Practical tips

  • Setup a CRM - automate customer data capture, emails, texts, calls, onsite images, videos… (Really cost effective Core data repository)
  • Schedule recurring tasksS to stay ontop of important dates (Birthdays)
  • Go digital - change to paperless (use CRM data to populate forms & contracts, use digital signature)
  • Build a Key Performance dashboard - customer insights, days to complete work
  • Net Promoter Score: Internal & External - make this public (Google reviews)

Efficient use of using technology & down time! (A good and bad side)

  • The challenge is that we are fixed in a connected world with the average household now having over 18+ internet connected devices. This number is likely to grow.
  • Impact of technology on sleep cycles
  • Impact to kids - ipad, antisocial behavior
  • Bottom line: we should technology to empower ourselves and others to our best potential but always remember to take time away to connect with family, friends and enjoy life.

Alexi Extra questions:

  1. What do you see happening at government level to enable innovation, are businesses embracing the tools available?
  2. What are some of the other barriers to technology adoption?
  3. Outside What are some of the other priorities from small business?
    1. Where would you say technology adoption and innovation rank?

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