With just over 60% of the working day spent on productive activity, businesses have never been so focused on improving processes and procedures to deliver key efficiencies. A more productive and proficient workforce is a common goal for every business and with 57% of office workers spending an hour a day looking for missing documents. The transition from paper to digital to equip employees with data, information and the knowledge that they need to do their jobs effectively has never been more important. This transition can be achieved with the introduction of a Business Web Portal.
What is a Business Web Portal?
A business web portal put simply, is a central location where information is uploaded, viewed and edited. Based in an online environment it can be accessed anywhere and on any device. Employees, suppliers, subcontractors or customers, where relevant, will have access with varying levels of functionality based on the tasks that they need to complete on the portal.
A business web portal can come in many different forms, including but not limited to, a supplier or subcontractor portal, a customer portal or a company intranet. Although the functionality of each of these will be different the overall goal is the same. To improve communication and create centralised access to information, whilst streamlining everyday admin tasks.
Types of Portals Available
Let’s have a look at the three main portals and the common problems and frustrations they will overcome once introduced into your business.
A Supplier/Subcontractor Portal
If your business manages a large range of suppliers or subcontractors. From a management perspective, you can see that your staff are feeling frustrated with the admin work associated with managing suppliers. They spend a lot of their time dealing with queries from your suppliers via email and phone calls. Not only this but as most information is being held in employee’s inboxes you are, therefore, unable to get a bird’s eye view of how the business is performing. A supplier portal eliminates the need for back and forth emailing with your employees as information is available online. This enables improved day to day productivity for your employees. The portal also provides a central location for dashboards and access to vital information. This empowers your employees as well as allowing managers to make data driven decisions based on reliable information.
A Customer Portal
The expectations of your customers are constantly rising. Customers are now frustrated if they are unable to find a resolution to an issue or information online. A staggering 92% of consumers in the UK expect an organisation to offer a self-service customer support portal or FAQ page. Customers want responses to their queries almost instantly. Providing them with an online portal where they can track and update orders and read FAQs helps to deliver instant access without putting extra strain on your employees. Research concludes that in the UK 97% of consumers consider customer service to be important in their choice of and loyalty to an organisation. This means providing excellent customer service is vital for you to remain competitive within your market.
As your business grows and expands it can become more difficult to manage internal communications. Combined with a shift towards remote working this problem can be worsened. 54% of office workers are now currently able to work remotely. Addressing this issue many companies have chosen to introduce a company intranet to improve internal communication. Your intranet may include bulletin boards, dashboards for reporting, calendars and staff polls. Introducing a company intranet ensures everyone is kept up to date and can also encourage innovation with the increased sharing of ideas and knowledge. There are many advantages of introducing a web portal into your business. The three key benefits I am going to talk about, however, are compliance, efficiency and reduced costs.
The Top Three Reasons to introduce a Business Web Portal
Improve and streamline the processes involved in ensuring that your business is compliant with all regulations in your industry. Storing all information in one place, gives increased visibility making it easier to guarantee that all compliance regulations are being met. Central storage of information also allows for easy access in an audit situation. Within the portal, actions can be traced to the username of your employee, therefore, you have increased accountability throughout your operations. Actions can also be set up in the software as mandatory or it can include prompts and reminders about regulations to your staff. In the example of the supplier or subcontractor portal. Compliance can be enhanced with your subcontractors by providing all the necessary health and safety forms and processes that need to be followed. These forms are completed and uploaded back to the portal so a full record is maintained.
Increased efficiency will be achieved by automating your basic administration tasks through the portal. For example, with the introduction of a business portal, the need for data re-entry can be completely eradicated. Improving communication with the introduction of your business web portal will also increase efficiency. On average, an employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. That’s by far the most time-consuming work activity at 28% of their work time. By offering self-service access to information you reduce the need for emails from suppliers and customers. This frees up your employee’s time. Allowing them to focus on more productive tasks rather than answering basic queries.
Reducing the admin burden means that employees can complete all their tasks efficiently and therefore eliminates the need for overtime. Training time and costs will also be reduced. If you choose to purchase a custom developed portal, it will be built based upon your current procedures. Therefore, it will be a quick training period to get your current employees comfortable with your new portal. Not only this but moving to a more intuitive online portal will decrease the time spent on training for new employees.
Microsoft Office Personal Productivity Challenge
Unlocking the UK’s ‘Daily Savings Time’
Microsoft, Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report
YouGov, Working Remotely
McKinsey Global Institute ‘The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies.’
A Guide to Transitioning from Paper to Web Portal
Download our free guide on transitioning from Paper to Web Portal. The guide considers the main business advantages of introducing a business portal, the type of portal suitable for your business and the key steps for successful implementation.