SOLID Business Automation Blog

A Beginners Guide: Why Automate Your Business

Posted by Annette Gardner

09-Mar-2016 08:00:00

You can’t seem to read an article these days without bumping into terms like ‘Business Process Automation’, ‘BSS/OSS’, or ‘Automated operations’. These terms are popular because they describe real solutions to problems such as operational visibility and process complexity.

So, it’s clear that automation can actually help, but the most pressing questions you have are ‘how’ and ‘why??’.

To answer your questions we’ve written this guide. It runs through automation from A-Z, explaining how it gives you the information and infrastructure you need to propel your business forward - and why you should automate your business.

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Topics: Business Automation, Benefits, Advice, Beginners guide

The Best Tips for Automation Success

Posted by Annette Gardner

20-Jan-2016 09:27:00

Embarking on an automation project is never undertaken lightly. Business operations and processes affect almost every part of your business; from Agents on the ground, to Engineers, to Finance and Technical Support. Adjusting the processes that form the backbone of these functions can be daunting to say the least - even when it is for the ‘greater good’.

Customers usually seek us out once they’ve hit a critical point in their business operations where current processes are no longer manageable and their bottom line is being affected (aka Revenue Leakage).

So - when you’re at a pivotal moment in your business operations history - and you’re kinda NEEDING your automation project to be a success - how do you go about making it happen?

I asked our team of engineers who work daily on automation projects from South Africa to Uganda and everywhere in between, to come up with their best tips - and this is what they said:

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Topics: Business Automation, Process Automation, Advice, Tips

Customer Service Advice: How to Outsmart Your Peers

Posted by Charles Musto

16-Sep-2015 10:02:29

“The customer is always right”. “The customer is king”. “Make the customer feel at home”. “Smile and nod”. “Think happy thoughts”. You’ve heard all of this advice before but are you really heeding it?

 

With consumers enjoying a much wider range of choice and no longer forced into lengthy contracts, customer service has become the battleground that determines growth or stagnation for ISPs. Thanks to the internet, consumers are more empowered than ever before, with instant access to a wider selection of product offerings, social media reviews and access to a wealth of background information on companies and their service levels. Customers are quick to judge your level of service and will be more inclined to post a negative review on a public forum if your service is not up to scratch than they would be posting a positive review if you’re doing a good job. This negative public criticism could be crippling to your business, especially in the competitive ISP market.

 

In this blog we’ll take a look at some simple yet effective customer service advice that will help you outsmart your peers and elevate your customers’ experience.

 

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Topics: Advice, Customer Service

4 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Customer Churn

Posted by Annette Gardner

16-Apr-2015 08:00:00

Losing customers is as natural to business as gaining them. ‘Customer Churn’ is a measurement of your customer gain-to-loss ratio. Low churn indicates a well performing business in a stable environment, whilst high churn can be a sign of bigger business or environmental challenges.

A certain amount of natural customer churn is to be expected as people grow, change preferences or pass-away. And a business might experience a relatively high rate of churn that is standard for their product or industry.

It’s the rate of ‘un-natural’ churn that you need to monitor closely. This is when your numbers creep above what YOU deem to be regular or acceptable. 

A higher than average churn rate can be a result of a number of factors - here’s our list of the top 4 things to keep in mind if you notice any significant changes in your customer base.

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Topics: Advice, Business Metrics,, Dashboards, Tips, Customer Churn

9 Signs You Need Help With Efficiency

Posted by Annette Gardner

02-Dec-2014 08:00:00

Efficiency is your biggest challenge. It’s an ever evolving behemoth that includes numerous departments, moving parts and duct-taped together processes. But you’ve got it under control and things work like a well(ish) oiled machine. So, do you actually need help?

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Topics: Advice, Efficiency

3 Key Elements of an Effective Collections Process

Posted by Annette Gardner

08-Oct-2014 08:00:00

The best way to avoid bad debt is to adhere to a simple yet fundamental collections practice - keep the account good. But exactly how to do this is a challenge that businesses face on a daily basis.

So if you're wondering, "How do I set up an effective collections process?" We can help. We've combined some of the most successful strategies we've seen with advice from our own Financial Manager, Nadine Wong Ho, to build the following 3 key elements.


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Topics: Benefits, Advice, Statements & Invoices, Bad Debt, Collections

Business Automation: Off-the-shelf or Customised?

Posted by Annette Gardner

20-Aug-2014 13:22:52

Business automation offers an increasing array of benefits. As businesses need to perform ever more complex and labour intensive tasks, it becomes essential to automate manual processes. This requires specialist and highly functional automation software.

To achieve the highest rate of success, you need to be sure that you're investing in the right (a) software, and (b) software provider. Especially as that solution provider will soon become an integral part of your businesses future.

We've recently published a new eBook which details the '6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing your Business Automation Software' (download it here). It focuses on the key questions you should ask yourself and your potential supplier before making your final business automation decision.

One of the most important questions to ask is whether an off-the-shelf or customised automation solution would be better or you.

An off-the-shelf solution is one that already exists as a fully functioning package that you buy into. A customised solution is built for you, around your business requirements.

There are pros and cons for each which we've detailed below.

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Topics: Business Automation, Process Automation, Advice

10 Common Habits of a Bad Developer

Posted by Annette Gardner

01-Aug-2014 08:30:00

There are loads of posts out there telling you how to be a great Developer, we've even written one here and here. But, what if you're not great? How do you know if you or your colleagues, or the guy/gal you just interviewed are not all they’re cracked up to be?

Here's our guide to spotting 10 common bad habits: 

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Topics: Developers, Advice

Problem Solving is the #1 Skill Every Developer should Learn

Posted by Annette Gardner

23-Jul-2014 10:30:00

What's the one skill that any new Developer should focus on learning? Yes, actually learning to code is pretty high on the list. But how would you even know where to start without being able to understand what you've got to build?


Now, being a Developer is like being a Business Analyst, or a Marketing professional - it's a pretty broad term. There are a number of different types, and an exponentially increasing number of disciplines that you can specialise in.

You cannot possibly know everything there is to know. And you're not expected to. But what you do need to know is 'how to figure something out', or, 'how to solve the problem'. And therein lies the rub.

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Topics: Recruitment, SOLIDitech, Developers, Advice, Career

11 Pieces of Advice for New Developers from the SOLID Dev Team

Posted by Annette Gardner

17-Jul-2014 08:00:00

"The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself." ― Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

As a new developer trying to launch a career, you've got a challenging but rewarding path ahead of you.

You need to make sure you remain knowledgeable across a large number of technologies and disciplines, in addition to networking your way into a few job opportunities. You've also got to decide what type of company you’d like to work for - startup or established, or even if you'd like to strike it out on your own.

Regardless of your choices, everyone needs a few words of great advice to help them on their way.

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Topics: Developers, Advice, Career