Signature Capture from Mobilize – More Efficient Mobile Workforce Management

Electronic signatures work just like a signature on paper, indicating that a person agrees with the content, or confirming that they wrote the message. In the age of e-commerce and mobile workforces digital signatures are incredibly important, but the concept is nothing new. Telegraph signatures were being used in the nineteenth century and faxed signatures were all the rage in the 80s. Today mobile devices are able to capture signatures digitally, and it’s a great development for mobile workers who need to get signatures from customers, partners or clients on the go.

It’s just one of the features offered by MoCo Software Solutions in their Mobilize mobile workforce management system. Moco were established in 1985 as a mobile phone solutions company, and Mobilize is their complete solution for mobile workforce management, offering users access to a range of services including signature capture, job scheduling, timesheet administration, asset management, barcode scanning and a full reporting suite.

Using a mobile workforce management system enables managers to keep a closer eye on remote workers, as the device can even report on signal outages and time changes.

Mobilize was designed to help business improve service levels and reduce cost, and is being used by many different types of organisations who see the value in terms of efficiency and cost-saving. Mobilize takes paper-based processes and integrates them into one, paperless system, improving real time communication and reducing the amount of duplicate work and form-filling for everybody involved.

The division between business and consumer IT applications and devices is shrinking, and an increasing number of people are using personal electronic devices for work, including tablets and smart phones. Mobilize is an ideal way for managers to ensure the security, immediacy and accuracy of data.

MoCo are offering a free one month trial to those who want to try out the Mobilize system. The MoCo Group are experts in bespoke mobile solutions for blue chip clients, with over twenty five years of experience in delivering tailor made software solutions, surpassing client expectations.

To find out more about the Mobilize free one month trial visit http://www.gomobilize.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
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Preparing Your Business For The Olympics

Unless you operate out of central London, it’s highly likely that any disruption to your business caused by the Games will be minimal, if non-existent. However, for many businesses based in and around Greater London, London 2012 presents a number of challenges – challenges that do have the potential to affect businesses across the country if left unchecked.

“We’ve experimented with a few scenarios to help us maintain our operations”, explains Chris Skarratt, co-founder of Silversun, a small TV production firm in Soho. “We know courier services will be disrupted, so we’ve invested in technology to send many of our projects securely online and upgraded our broadband capabilities to cope”. “We’ve also talked to staff about working from home or doing flexible hours – we’re just trying to cover all bases”, continues Skarratt.

They’re wise to be doing so. According to the British Council for Offices, fewer than 1 in 10 employees will be allowed to work from home during the Games. This statistic does not bode well with findings from recruitment specialist Badenoch & Clark, who have revealed that nearly 16% of staff will consider taking a ‘sickie’ to watch the Olympic torch relay that will be travelling around the UK throughout May and June, as well as the Games itself. As Matthew Wallace, head of workplace at BskyB, comments: “the Games should be acting as a catalyst to remind businesses of the benefits of working flexibly”.

The Games – in dates and numbers:

Olympic Games: 27th July – 12th August 2012
Paralympic Games: 29th August – 9th September 2012.
• £11bn price tag to host the Games
• 10,500 athletes and 8.8 million tickets issued
• 37 competition venues across the UK, 27 of which are in London
• 636 competition sessions across 26 sports
• 500,000 visitors to London everyday throughout the Games
• 24% temporary ‘Games Lanes’ to be created by sharing bus lanes
• 1% of London roads incorporated to form part of an Olympic Road Network
The organisers of London 2012 have produced a document to help businesses prepare for the Games. To make the most of this information, we’ve summarised the key considerations for your business below:
• A reduced workforce
How many of your employees have confirmed their holidays over the Games period? Worse still, they may consider ringing in sick. Introducing more flexible ways of working will limit disruption for your business – it may even increase productivity.

• Slower internet services
Some of your employees are working from home during the Games: will their internet service be fast enough if an increased number of people are accessing the internet? Ensure that if your employees are working remotely, they have the resources to work effectively.

• Slower mobile networks
Which business doesn’t operate without mobile phones these days? It’s worth noting that at times of peak demand, the networks could run slower, making it difficult to stay in touch and access information remotely. Plan to upload and download larger content, such as files or images, outside peak times.

• Journey times across London
Your business may not be based in London, but are any of your suppliers? Getting across London to visit clients or attend meetings may require a little pre-planning: london2012.com/traveladviceforbusiness

• Road network disruption
Don’t forget, 10 competition venues are outside London, with significant activity also taking place in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset; Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire; Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; and Hadleigh Farm, Essex. The Football competition is also being played in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

Via EPR Network
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Protect Your Business From The Unexpected With Moneypenny

Depressed economies. Worldwide rioting. Exploding PIP breast implants. Cursed cruise liners. And before you even think about consoling yourself with the thought that Spring is just around the corner, bear in mind that, apparently, we’re facing the worst drought for more than 30 years.

Yes, we do have a morbid fascination with all things doom and gloom (without doubt, fuelled by our overly accommodating media). Nonetheless, the fact remains: bad things do happen. And without fail, they will always, always happen at the worst time possible.

Planning for the unexpected is cynical. It’s tedious. And it’s potentially a huge waste of time. But for the occasions when the unexpected does occur, planning is essential. David Bruce, commercial product manager at Aviva comments: “Given the current climate, it’s understandable that business owners are focusing on the day-to-day aspects of their business. But that doesn’t mean they should ever take their eye off the business planning side of things.”

According to the Federation of Small Business, 80% of businesses affected by a major incident will close within 18 months. This alarming statistic is probably due to the fact majority of SMEs believe it would only take them one week (33%) or one month (31%) to return to normal trading after a major incident. The reality however, is very different. According to Aviva’s team of commercial specialists, a return to full normal trading can often take a business more than a year.

We started this discussion with our glass half empty, so let’s not get bogged down in the disheartening detail. Endeavoring to minimise disruption to your business makes good business sense. With a continuity plan in place, you’re more likely to be up and running quicker, and face fewer cost implications. In no time at all, your glass will be brimming, without a doom and gloom statistic in sight.

Top 10 business continuity tips for your business:

Depending on your business’ specific circumstances, here are some top tips to keep your company open for business, no matter what happens:

1. – Create a “battle box”. It should have the following in it:
– Copy of your continuity plan
– Copy of insurance policy (scan it in)
– Company statutory documents
– List of key advisers including bankers, lawyers etc.
– List of key staff and their contact details
– List of debtors and how to chase them
– List of suppliers
– Bank account details including key banking contacts
– Details of IT backup company (if appropriate)
– Company credit card
– Copies of computer software disks and license keys
– Back-up pay as you go phone(s).

This doesn’t have to be a physical box, though it can be (some elements such as backup CDs need to be kept off-site). The best option is to email the ‘soft’ contents of your box (i.e. computer files) to your home email address and also to other key members of staff.

2. Establish reciprocal relationships with your neighbours.
– Talk to companies, who you can agree to share office space, facilities etc. in a disaster. Ensuring you have access to a place you can operate in a calm and controlled way will get you through your disaster.

3. Determine what are the most important aspects to your business.
– Consider what would happen if you lost them. Then, determine simple and manageable contingency plans e.g. I must collect my cash. Always keep up-to-date copies of debtors list etc.

4. Make sure you know how to switch your telephone lines in a disaster.

An event as seemingly trivial as a gas leak in the street can mean your phones will ring off the hook – having telephone answering service support from an outsourced provider in place may worth considering.

5. Consider using laptops in your business and take them home at the end of each day.

This gives you inherent resilience with data off-site, but also and more importantly mobile communications.

6. Set up a call-cascading system so that you can communicate well in a disaster.

For example, you speak to three people and they each speak to three people etc. until the message is spread to everyone who needs to hear it.

7. Consider the day-to-day use of document management software.

Many software systems automatically store your emails and key documents off-site. This software is not as expensive as you might think.

8. Agree extended payments terms with your key suppliers in the event of a disaster.

Ensuring you are automatically granted extended payments terms will take the pressure off you, should the worst-case scenario ever occur.

9. Be ready to communicate in a disaster.

Particularly to employees, who will be worried about their jobs. Talk to them regularly. Their loyalty is everything in a disaster.

10. Keep your plan up-to-date!

Any plans or practices that you put in place will only be effective if they’re still accurate and everyone is aware of them.

As the UK’s leading telephone answering service, Moneypenny looks after calls for businesses of all shapes and sizes as well as offering virtual assistants support – from sole traders right up to multinational corporations. For larger companies, Moneypenny can either support an existing reception team or become their fully outsourced switchboard support service.

Via EPR Network
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