No matter what kind of business you’re in, there’s mobile workforce or communications technology that can help you function more efficiently, gain greater visibility of your operations and cut costs. The challenge is finding the right technology for your unique business needs. SMART goals is a method many business leaders are embracing in order to overcome this. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Let’s look at what these mean in the context of your business.
Specific goals are the key. You need to ask yourself exactly what you want your team to do, and how you can harness their potential from a managerial standpoint. Sometimes knowing what you want comes from awareness of capabilities that are lacking. For example, you may notice that tracking the working hours of employees on the road is cumbersome and tedious, or that their ability to work on the road is hampered by outdated mobile devices or poor software. If you’re a fleet manager, you may be frustrated by route scheduling because you don’t always know where your vehicles are and you often find yourself routing one vehicle for a new delivery, only to find out later that there was another vehicle already in the area. Operations managers might feel hampered by not having the right data at hand at the right time in order to make better, faster decisions.
It’s from these considerations that you derive specific goals that might look like this: “I wish it was easier to track hours and manage my payroll,” or “I wish we had better visibility of our company’s vehicles.” The next step is to ensure that your goals are measurable. In other words, do you know exactly what it will take to achieve them? If you want to ramp up your vehicle tracking capability you will need to adopt a robust solution (such as GPS tracking and telematic software platforms from Actsoft). If you want to improve payroll management you could adopt a cloud-based timesheet system. Wanting to gather and gain insights from data across all aspects of your organization might require a suite of solutions that leverage Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.
Are your goals attainable? This is the next thing to consider. Are there software solutions or management techniques available to solve your specific problems? And can you afford them? In this sense, attainability is related to the next SMART point, ‘realistic.’
‘Realistic’ is an important point because it goes beyond the issue of affordability and can involve complex variables such as staff expertise and disposition. You might be able to afford new mobile phones and Tablets for your staff, but are they technically inclined enough to use them, or the new software you’re planning to adopt? If the initial answer is ‘no,’ then you may have to reconsider this solution or consider a training program that will help your staff adjust. In fact, some solution providers might include training for their technologies.
Another aspect to think realistically about is whether you have the reliable internet and cellular connections that a lot of these technologies require in order to run properly. What good is being able to track your company’s vehicles from your Smartphone if you can’t get a signal?
As for being timely, your goal of upgrading to a vehicle tracking solution may not be feasible if you did not budget for it this year.
Using the SMART system is a handy way of developing thoughtful goal-setting practices, and is an overall benefit for strategic planning. Just because a goal isn’t attainable this year, doesn’t mean it won’t be attainable or realistic next year.
There’s no time like the present to start evaluating your business and setting specific goals to address shortcomings or pursue new opportunities. U.S. Cellular can help you tailor the latest mobile workforce and communications technology to improve your business, and work with you to develop a roadmap to achieve it all. Powered on the network with a stronger signal in the Middle of Anywhere, these are business solutions you can rely on day in and day out.
Categories: Optimize Operations
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