The exclamation, “hooo-boy…” was made for this moment. Working from home, which initially seemed like a short-term measure to prevent people from getting sick with COVID-19, is starting to look like it might become permanent. At the very least, it’s going to last a lot longer than anyone expected. It’s fair to assume that nearly all information workers will be remote for at least the next six to twelve months.
This change in circumstances is creating a fair number of challenges for businesses. Some of the issues are cultural and organizational. It’s not easy for people to work remotely when they’re used to being in the same office. Technology can be a problem, too.
Most companies have the basic elements of a remote work policy in place. Information workers tended to have smartphones or tablets in addition to corporate-issued laptops. They had broadband at home, for the most part, along with productivity software life web conferencing and email that enabled people to collaborate from a distance. If people lacked these things, they could be easily provided by the business.
Where some companies had difficulty adapting to the new state of work was in the more subtle fulfillment of business processes that required interaction with multiple corporate systems. For example, a sales rep working at home might have to engage with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, a sales management system, an order management system and warehouse management tools to take a sales order from quote to delivery. He or she would get the job done, but it was an inefficient process.
New, cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools can make a big difference in easing these kinds of troubles. Acumatica cloud ERP, for instance, keeps everyone simultaneously connected to the same, web-based software. With its cloud-native architecture, it was designed to treat every user as remote, regardless of where they are actually located.
Integration with Microsoft products like Office and Teams enables home-based workers to conduct meetings, collaborate and share information without having to toggle between multiple applications or manually re-key data from one system to another. Common workflows can be automated to make it easy for remote workers to remain productive. These include automated approvals and notifications.
Acumatica enables all remote workers to share information and documents across any combination of users, teams and departments. Acumatica Portals extend the connection and collaboration to customers, partners and suppliers.
The Acumatica mobile app gives remote employees the ability deal with time and attendance along with expense reporting. Field technicians can use the app to access service routes and customer account information. The app provides technicians access to troubleshooting guides when they are in the field. Techs can also print invoices, upload images of the work area and more using a smartphone’s built-in capabilities.
Security is another challenging aspect of the new work-at-home policy that Acumatica is able to handle. Unfortunately, the move to remote work has led to an increase in social engineering and phishing attacks that unintentionally allow malicious actors into companies’ private work areas. Acumatica offers countermeasure to mitigate these risks. The system was designed with cloud security in mind. All data transmitted by Acumatica is protected through the use of robust data encryption techniques. The solution also includes built-in roles and privileges to keep unauthorized users out.
We can help you navigate the challenging new way of working. Success requires rethinking a lot of assumptions about how people work, both individually and in groups—and how they interact with software. Our experience gives us insights into how you can make the most of a trying situation. For a demo of Acumatica cloud ERP and a free consultation, contact us.