“It is amazing what is out there. It can sometimes be hard to determine what is the best money spent.” ~ Technology Survey Respondent

Many thanks to all who participated in last month’s PBA poll on Technology. The sheer number of innovative tools, apps, and automated solutions to your business challenges can be daunting.  What processes have you automated successfully?  What are the challenges?

Here is what you said:

More than half of all respondents (58.3%) feel confident they utilize technology solutions effectively and more than one third (37.5%) indicate they use it only for select processes.
Do you feel that you utilize current technology effectively to automate processes and make it easier to manage your work or business? Response Percent
Yes 58.3%
No 4.2%
For some things, but not others 37.5%
Not sure 0.0%

 

Respondents most often utilize technology to help with Payroll (83.3%), followed by Scheduling Appointments (75%) and Managing Customer Data (75%). Activities least affected by technology solutions are Project Management (16.7%) and Human Resources (25%).
What work tasks or business processes are easier because you utilize an effective technology solution?
Response Percent
Scheduling appointments/booking 75.0%
Budget Management/Accounting 70.8%
Payroll 83.3%
Human Resources 25.0%
Managing Inventory 66.7%
Payment Processing 70.8%
Invoicing/Accounts Receivable 54.2%
Paying Expenses/Accounts Payable 62.5%
Managing Data (customer database) 75.0%
Marketing Communications 66.7%
Intracompany and/or Intercompany Communications 54.2%
Project Management 16.7%
Public Relations (media database) 54.2%

Other comments from respondents on effective technology solutions:

  • Utilizing a closed Facebook group page for the salon has maximized communications easing up the time spent in huddles and staff meetings.
  • The computer system we have can generate all types of reports from customer retention to sales by zip code. Very helpful. We can also view our schedules online. Each staff has a user id and password. We are working on the online booking but have not figured that out yet.
  • (We utilize) Sales Order Entry from remote areas, i.e. DSCs in the field.
The cost of implementing a technology solution is the primary challenge most often cited by survey respondents (26.1%).
What is your primary challenge related to implementing a technology solution? Response Percent
Finding a solution: what’s out there? 8.7%
Making a decision: which one is right? 13.0%
Funding the solution: money, money, money 26.1%
Human resources: lack the expertise to implement and manage 17.4%
Changing environment: don’t want to invest today 13.0%
Other (see comments below) 21.7%

Other comments from respondents on technology challenge(s):

  • The correct answer is all of the above
  • It was little scary going from “The Book” after all these years
  • Time
  • Integration into existing technology(s)
  • Money & using a company that does what they say

The last question invited respondents to share their general comments on business technology solutions:

  • We utilize wireless technology to create signage communication in real time at the station, along with using an iPad to control our large screen TVs remotely. (Apple TV). Using iPads for consultations has been very effective as well.
  • The system we have & utilize is Salon Boss. The register, cc processing, Client info, schedules , daily reports, quarterly sales reports, sales by zip code inventory, so many more helpful reports. I am very pleased with our switch over.
  • Just started with Demand Force. Can see the money saving and money generating advantages already.
  • Managing online criticism is the hardest challenge. Also, people think you are sitting there monitoring everything all the time so if they email a cancellation, you need to be sitting there to get it.
  • Research the companies used to help businesses with tech/media solutions. Ask for references & that they do what they promise. Be aware of what your actually signing up for is worth the cost or monthly fee.