It seems every conversation these days contains one clear theme: everyone’s busy. And unless you’ve discovered a way to slow down time, the only way to get through that to do list is to work smarter.
Work smarter, not harder
It may have become a bit of a cliché but the sentiment behind this statement makes so much sense. When you can find efficiencies and better ways of working, more can get done in less time with (crucially) no need for increased effort.
While merchanting is a hard-working and busy sector, there should be no need for ridiculous hours and overworking. The dangers of high pressure, relentlessly tough environments on our physical and mental health are very real: if the long hours, constant pressure and lack of relief continue, they will end in burnout, exhaustion, ill-health, family and social issues, or worse.
So introducing efficient ways to boost productivity at work makes a whole lot of sense. There are countless advice articles on this very subject available online, so do read around more if it’s something you’re interested in - from addressing procrastination to increasing focus, there's plenty of guidance available. But for a quick starter for 10 that's relevant to you, here’s our take
10 ways that Merchanter boosts productivity
Working in a volatile market will always require a certain amount of responsiveness. While being proactive is definitely preferably, being reactive is an unfortunate reality for the vast majority of merchants. So how do you create an environment with enough scope to flex when demand suddenly goes through the roof, without over-extending financial resources with temporary staff or expensive stopgap solutions?
The secret really is to optimise your day-to-day productivity. It makes perfect sense that if the same number of people can perform every task more quickly and easily, they can get through more tasks with no additional effort or need for extra help.
This isn’t a euphemistic way of saying “just pile the work on.” It’s a very real way of addressing the increasing need in today’s workplace to work smarter but not harder.
Using a cloud-based software system for your merchant business is a great way to boost productivity. Here are just 10 of the ways that Merchanter can boost your business productivity – but there are countless others!
1. It’s easy to use.
A system that is easy to use speeds up every process, from inputting data to raising a quote, processing a sale to doing a stocktake. That means fewer obstacles to overcome, fewer hoops to jump through, just simple processes and easily accessed information. It’s a winner all round.
When people can achieve more in less time with less effort, a rise in producitivty is inevitable. Plus, it reduces frustration and time wasted on irritating, complex searches and digging out key information. When it's right there at you gfingertips, the world is a hppier place.
2. Alerts help you to focus where you need to.
Don’t waste time scouring every product line for the gaps – let your system do the hard work for you with stock, credit, delivery or invoicing alerts (and a load of others!) Getting low on a particular stock item or product range? Have customers at their credit limit, or suppliers not delivering on time? See what you need to know faster and avoid the wasted time (and stress) of seeking it out.
3. Automations save enormous amounts of time.
You can save a truly staggering amount of time through automation. Invoicing, chasing payments, delivery notifications, stock updates – anything you can do to reduce the repetitive, time-consuming tasks which can take over your day.
"Our staff love using Merchanter. The system makes every task, quicker, easier and that bit less painful... We are saving at least three working days per month on invoicing and invoice issues alone! It makes a huge difference." ike Tregunna, Build Supplies Ltd
4. Track team performance easily.
If you manage a team, it can be time consuming to monitor performance, but Merchanter makes it easy for you to track team performance against your chosen goals.
This isn't about keep tabs on individuals; it's about having targets clear and visible so you can quickly identify the gaps and find solutions before the issues really hit. Being able to do that instantly saves time ad helps manager be more effective in leading and supporting teams to deliver the results the business needs.
5. Customised dashboards keep everything close to hand.
Personalise your experience by adding the KPIs relevant to your specific role to your dashboard so you can see the business-critical information YOU need at a glance. It saves a lot of time digging around collating info!
6. Work from where you are.
Because it’s cloud-based, your sales reps, delivery drivers or managers can work from where they are, making sure information is up to date across the business. No more delays in keeping the info current, because it’s accessible from anywhere online.
7. Spend time on the right customers.
Understanding which customers are most valuable to your business is important and can save a lot of time and resource. Your system can help you identify the customers who warrant your time and focus, and those who are a drain on your resources.
8. Keep track of targets more clearly.
Having individual (or team) targets well defined and clearly visible can be a big help in driving performance and productivity, helping people to see where the gaps are more clearly and focusing attention where it’s needed.
9. It integrates easily with other platforms.
Whether that’s your digital accounting package or your eCommerce solution, Merchanter is designed to be highly interoperable, letting your teams use the best tools for them more easily.
10. Increasing self-help and training resources.
We know (because we asked!) that more and more of you want to use online, self-service help and training resources to troubleshoot issues, learn new processes and optimise your system usage. That’s why we’re constantly adding to our bank of knowledge base collateral to help our customers access the information they need faster.
To give Merchanter a try for yourself, totally free and without any hard sell, just register here for login details and you’ll get 30 days to play with the online demo system.