4 Tips for an Effective Enterprise Mobility Strategy

The nature of the workforce is rapidly changing and this new wave of employees is not only getting accustomed to a mobile and agile workforce but are starting to actually expect it. And with the advent of the gig economy, being able to organize your mobile and increasingly global workforce is a priority.

Business leaders also have to change their leadership style in order to still be able to drive a sense of connection and community within their organization. There are also significant security issues that come from allowing your workforce to have uninterrupted data access from anywhere and from any device. Let’s take a look at the challenges workforce mobility presents and a few tips on how to implement an effective enterprise mobility strategy.

The Challenges

One of the biggest challenges of the mobile workforce is being able to maintain cohesive teamwork and a real connection between team members. More freedom and autonomy has a tendency to drive team members apart unless you take concrete steps to still maintain a sense of community. Co-location facilitates collaborative teamwork and innovation, so companies have to find a way to balance the needs of their employees with these core fundamentals.

A mobile workforce is inevitable and will become essential if you want to attract and keep employees. Not embracing enterprise mobility will also inhibit you from tapping into a global talent pool. Globalization equals dispersion and addressing these challenges should be central for any business leader today.

Let’s take innovation, for instance. We’ve always been told that teams need to work in close collaboration and take advantage of organic opportunistic interactions to drive creation. We’ve also been told that silos can stifle innovation and should be avoided at all costs. But is there are a way to still drive innovation with an increasingly decentralized lifeforce?

The answer is yes. By implementing a set of strategies and using the proper set of tools, it’s possible to create a virtual collaborative work environment that will work just as well as the traditional whiteboard. With the advent of new apps and agile frameworks, mobile collaboration is becoming easier by the minute. Let’s take a look at what it will take for you to organize your mobile workforce better while driving innovation, cohesiveness, and active collaboration.

Change your Communication Style

In order for a mobile work environment to work, you have to change your approach to communication. You have to let go of the “from the mountaintop” communication style and make sure that top to bottom communication becomes an integral part of any action and is always considered. You should start adopting a “snacking” communication style where you deliver steady, easy to digest bite-sized information with a steady cadence. This style works much better to keep your employees engaged and updated.

You’ll also have to start adopting new communication tools as well. Business leaders need to not only get accustomed to advanced communication tools like video, social media, and blogging, but they also have to enable their teams to use these same tools so that they can work and collaborate seamlessly wherever they are.

However, you have to still remember that personal interactions aren’t completely obsolete and are still very much needed. And even with globalization and dispersion, they can still be made possible.

For instance, MobileIron employs over 900 people from all over the world and operates from more than 100 locations. Their employees interact using Slack and other tools, which allows them to get a sense of proximity. But their Indian engineering staff still meet once a year in the Bay Area to interact and build connections.

They also make sure that their marketing teams on the field meet at least once per quarter for interactive strategy and planning sessions.

It is up to you as a leader to identify which teams would benefit from regular meetings in order to work better when they’re separate.

Listen to your Staff

One big mistake is assuming that the tools you like will also automatically resonate with your staff. While you might think that the tool you’re using is state of the art, it might be seen as completely outdated by your younger or more tech-savvy workforce, which could cause frustration among them. Thankfully, all of this can be avoided if you simply listen to them. Find out what tools they are using to fill in communication gaps and implement them. Do not try to shove old school solutions down their throat that might have been pushed on you by your current software vendor.

Streamline your Processes

With increasing dispersion, having clear and concise work processes becomes more important than ever. Don’t assume that old models will easily migrate to completely new work styles. They won’t. New working styles means new processes and you should start looking at a few Lean approaches that will provide you with a centralized management system with built-in collaboration and communication tools.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Don’t be hesitant to ask your peers about the challenges they face and how they changed their mindset and approach. Ask about the tools they’ve been using and how they’ve been working for them.

You should also consider working with an enterprise workforce mobility management team that will help you analyze pain points in your organization, conduct risk assessments, functional requirements, and come up with an enterprise mobility management strategy that will empower your employees, while allowing you to keep control over information, content, security and device management; both at the personal and corporate level.

And don’t forget to always keep your employees in the loop as well. They are sometimes better positioned to give you advice on which new tools could be beneficial for your organization or discuss issues they might be facing. You’ll then be able to use their feedback to implement new solutions and continually improve processes.


As a business leader, you cannot afford to be left behind and retreat to outdated legacy approaches. Leaders who are successful in the future are those who will see this as an opportunity, not a problem. Embracing the mobile workforce is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

3 Lessons All Small Healthcare Clinics Can Learn From Large Hospitals

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Productivity|3 Lessons All Small Healthcare Clinics Can Learn From Large HospitalsWhen running a healthcare clinic, the chances are that you will focus primarily on running the best clinic you can run. You will read advice on marketing your services, improving productivity in your business, and similar guidance, all with a specific focus on the small clinic setting.

Of course, focusing on advice for clinics makes complete sense – but it is also worth thinking a little bigger, and considering the lessons you can learn from larger establishments. After all, if a large, monolithic hospital that provides services to thousands of patients every day is making a particular decision, or using a specific technology, it’s fair to assume they are doing so because it works. By implementing the same ideas into your clinic, you can enjoy the same benefits, and significantly improve the service you can provide to your customers. Here are three ideas that most larger hospitals will use, all of which could be hugely advantageous if incorporated into your smaller clinic setting…

Full focus on navigation

Hospitals are huge buildings, which means they have to focus on ensuring patients can comfortably navigate from one area to the next. While a smaller clinic is, of course, more modest in terms of the size, the same focus on navigation can be hugely beneficial. With good signposting and floor line systems, you can ensure your patients always know where they need to be without having to ask staff for directions; as a result, patients feel more at ease, and staff are free to focus on routine tasks.

Embrace tech advances

Large hospitals have to embrace tech advances across every aspect of their service; from ensuring they have a top-of-the-line appointment scheduling system to installing the best hospital pharmacy inventory management system currently available, hospitals know that they have to be at the cutting edge of innovation in order to provide for their large patient base. It’s therefore helpful if you bring the same willingness to embrace technology to your smaller clinic, continually seeking new solutions for every operational area of your business. It should then naturally follow that the more tech you can introduce, the more streamlined and efficient your clinic will be.

Expansive opening hours

Certain aspects of a hospital are available 24/7; the ER, for example. However, many hospitals now offer standard appointments with specialists outside of the usual daytime-Monday-to-Friday arrangement scheduling. If you are looking to expand your potential patient base, offering the same, wide-reaching approach to appointment times could be hugely beneficial. After all, if you only offer appointments during the day throughout the working week, patients who work the same schedule are less likely to be able to attend appointments.

It’s therefore worth experimenting with evening and Saturday appointments and then assessing the results; if the uptake is good, consider extending your opening hours further in order to better meet the scheduling requirements of your patients.

In conclusion

By incorporating the above, you can enjoy the advantages of a large-scale hospital in your smaller clinic setting – much to the benefit of your staff, your patients, and ultimately, the clinic’s overall success.

Important Changes That Improve The Efficiency Of Your Shipping Operation

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | Shipping Operations | Important Changes That Improve The Efficiency Of Your Shipping OperationOnline shopping has completely changed the face of retail and customers are increasingly buying products online and having them shipped directly to them. That means that people’s expectations are incredibly high when it comes to shipping times. There are a lot of big companies like Amazon that can offer next day shipping and, in some areas, even same day shipping. As a smaller company, you’re not necessarily going to be able to match that speed and efficiency, but you do need to make sure that you’re getting products out to people in a timely manner.

As well as speed, you also need to consider the cost of your shipping operation. If you’re not very efficient, you could end up spending a lot of money shipping products out and that’s going to seriously affect your profits. That’s why you need to make an effort to improve the efficiency of your shipping operation. These are some of the best ways to do it.

Improve Inventory Management

This is a step that a lot of people forget but it’s so important. Before you can ship anything out, you need to find the products in the warehouse and package them up first. If you’re not managing your inventory properly, it’s going to take longer than it needs to organize and pack all of the products ready for shipping. In some cases, you might find that you don’t have enough inventory to fulfill the order at all and that means you’re going to have a huge delay and you’ll probably lose that customer. It’s absolutely essential that you’re using good inventory management software instead of trying to do it all manually because that’s when you’re going to start making mistakes. You also need to set minimum stock levels so you can be sure that you’ve always got enough stock to fulfill any orders that are coming in. When you’re managing your inventory properly, you’ll find it a lot easier to pack and ship orders fast.

Better Communication With The Warehouse

Communication is the key to a successful business and it’s especially important when it comes to shipping. Good communication with the warehouse will help you with inventory management because they can let you know if you’re running low on certain things. It’s also incredibly important that they have a good idea of how sales are going. If you see a sudden sales spike and they’re not prepared for it, things are going to slow down and your products won’t go out on time. But if everybody is on the same page, they’ll be prepared for a sudden increase in orders and they can hire a few temporary staff members to help cover the extra workload. You should also have regular meetings with your warehouse staff to ask about any issues that they’re having. If they can help you to identify areas that are slowing things down, you can come up with solutions and improve your shipping efficiency.

Barcode Scanners

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | Shipping Operations | Important Changes That Improve The Efficiency Of Your Shipping OperationIf you’re running a large warehouse with a lot of products, finding the right products to ship is often the most difficult part of the process if you haven’t got a good solution. If you’re just handing somebody a list of products and asking them to find them, they’re going to be walking up and down for ages and that’s not efficient at all. The easiest way around that problem is to use barcode scanners. If you catalogue all of your products and assign them a barcode, it’s easy for people to scan lists of products and find what they need right away.

Consider Your Vehicles

The vehicles that you use for shipping make such a big difference so you need to consider them carefully. If you’re using delivery trucks that don’t get very good mileage, you’re just wasting a lot of money for no good reason. It’s worth looking into hybrids or electric vehicles that are a lot more cost effective to run. It also reduces your impact on the environment which is incredibly important to a lot of customers these days. If you can cut down on the amount of fuel you’re using, you’ll make some serious savings.

As well as finding more cost effective vehicles, you need to make sure that they’re well maintained. Take your vehicles to the mechanic and find an off-highway drivetrain service center to make sure that your delivery trucks are always in good working order. If your vehicles break down halfway through a route and your customers are left waiting for their delivery, they’re not going to be happy. They won’t be interested in your excuses and you’ll probably lose those customers for good. So, always keep on top of maintenance and make sure that you’ve got backup vehicles on hand to take over so you’re not missing any deliveries.

Use Route Planning Software

Route planning software is absolutely essential if you want to increase efficiency in your shipping operation. People don’t realize just how much difference it makes if you’re not planning routes well, but it can really slow things down. Trying to plan the most efficient route is a big job and you’ll struggle to do it manually. That’s why you should always invest in route planning software to help you out.

Use Standard Box Sizes

If you’ve got a lot of different box sizes, your employees will have to spend time finding the right box for each product when they’re packing them. It doesn’t seem like a big issue but if you add up those extra few seconds over the course of a day, it does actually waste quite a lot of time. You’re far better off using a few different standard box sizes so it’s quicker to pack products. It’s also cheaper to buy simple, standard box sizes rather than a lot of different custom made ones. Most large companies do this, that’s why you always receive things in oversized boxes when you order something from Amazon. The only downside is that some people might worry about you wasting resources but as long as you’re using recycled materials, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Decentralize Shipping

If you just have one large warehouse that handles all of your shipping, you might be making things harder than they need to be. When you’re in the early stages of your business and you don’t have that much money, having more than one shipping location probably isn’t viable. However, if you’re doing well and you’re looking at expanding the business and reinvesting some of those profits, you should consider decentralizing your shipping operation. If you’ve got multiple shipping locations that each serve a different region, you make things so much more efficient.

It cuts down on any long journeys which means you can get products out quicker and you won’t be spending as much money on fuel costs. Serving one local area rather than the entire country also means that your drivers will know the area better and they’ll be able to plan more efficient routes.

Manage Expectations

This is so important because customers are not going to be forgiving if their products are late. People won’t mind waiting a few days if that’s what they’re expecting, so you need to manage people’s expectations properly. It might be tempting to try to get more customers by offering unrealistic shipping times but it’s not going to work. You might get a few sales but you’re never going to keep those customers long term because you’ll let them down. You’re actually a lot better off over estimating how long your deliveries are going to take. That way, people are going to get a nice surprise when things arrive a day early and if there are any issues, you can still get things there on time.

Consider Outsourcing

Making all of these changes and improving efficiency in your shipping operation can be difficult. If you’re struggling, you should consider outsourcing to a professional courier instead. They’ll have all of the infrastructure in place already and they’ll have more experience in shipping so they can often do it better than you can. Outsourcing is a good solution for smaller businesses or new start ups that can’t afford to implement an efficient shipping operation.

However, there are some downsides to outsourcing. You’re not the only company that they’re dealing with so you aren’t going to be their priority. They may also not be equipped to deal with your products if they’re particularly fragile. In most cases, they’ll have experience but if you have any specific shipping needs, they might not be able to match them. That does mean there are more likely to be breakages and issues with products and you’ll be covering the cost of that. But outsourcing is still a way more cost effective way of handling your shipping operation.

Your shipping operation is one of the most important parts of your business. Customers have high expectations when it comes to product shipping and there are plenty of big companies that can get parcels out in a day or two. If you can’t compete with that, you’re really going to struggle to keep your customers.

Why Every Business Should Outsource

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | OutsourcingOwning and running a business is not a 9-5 role; it takes a highly committed, dedicated individual who will strive for success every hour of the day, whether that means working until 9pm on a Friday evening or waking up early to take a business call on a Sunday.

However, running a business is not a sole effort for the majority of the time. It takes an army, especially if the business owner lacks the necessary skills for marketing, web development, or even accounting.

When you need an additional skill set in your company which you currently do not have, outsourcing is your best option. This increasingly popular practice allows a business owner to receive the talent and workforce they need, but without requiring bringing a new member of staff into the business permanently.

Why Outsource?

As a business owner, if you currently lack a number of skills which could see your company grow and succeed, it can be daunting to begin the recruitment process. Plus, recruitment takes valuable time and valuable resources. You may end up spending a number of weeks trying to find a suitable candidate only for them to reject the job offer. In this event, it’s back to the beginning of the process.

An alternative path is to seek the assistance of a contractor or freelancer and outsource the role. This person will hold the qualifications and skill set you need to get the job done, except they won’t be hired for a full-time position. This way, once the task is complete, you have the option of working on another project together, or exchanging payment and thanking each other for their contributions.

When you choose to outsource, you reduce the risk of losing time, resources and money into a stressful recruitment period. Instead, you gain the experience and expertise your role requires with minimal fuss and effort.

What’s more, it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement — the business owner benefits by getting a project completed on time and within budget; the contractor benefits by earning a paycheck, boosting their experience and their reputation. After all, reputation within outsourcing is highly valuable.

What Should You Outsource?

Now you know why you should outsource, it’s time to learn what projects and roles you should outsource, including:

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a specialist skill on its own; you need to understand the many factors, such as SEO, PPC, copywriting, editing skills, social media, and so on. It’s also a rather time-consuming role, one which needs constant monitoring and measuring of which methods are successful, and which you need to change. Outsourcing digital marketing means you get the knowledge and expertise from a reputable marketer who can help drive your campaigns to success. For a fledgling business, it’s an essential role you cannot be without.


In the modern age, security is extremely crucial for all businesses. With so much private data being held on our systems, it’s critical that it’s protected at all costs. A data breach or ransom can be devastating for enterprises of all sizes, and even be the reason why a company fails. However, an experienced Chief Information Security Officer is an expensive role, something brand new businesses can’t always afford. Therefore, opting to outsource CISO is a cost-effective solution.

Web Development

If you don’t have a website, you won’t get very far in today’s digital world. It’s your virtual storefront, and as such, it needs to be attractive and easy to navigate. Website development and coding is a specialist skill, but your website isn’t something to cut corners over. Choosing to outsource your web design needs means you receive a visually stunning and technically correct site from the experts without the high price tag.

8 Easy Ways Any Company Can Improve Inventory Management

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution ArticleProper inventory management is one of the keys to keeping your business running smoothly and remaining profitable. Make mistakes here, and you may run out of best sellers, buy products you don’t need, and waste resources you can’t afford to lose. Here are eight essential inventory management tips every business should follow. We’ll focus on universal advice that almost any firm can implement.

Manage Inventory via Software

Don’t rely on spreadsheets to track software. Spreadsheets can be deleted. Cell values could be deleted or overwritten. Formulas may be altered, scrambling values elsewhere in the spreadsheet.

One of the best ways to manage inventory is by using software designed for this task instead. The ideal case is switching to inventory management software that integrates with your accounting system. Then the inventory is automatically updated as you sell items or buy more. That is why a QuickBooks Inventory management tool is invaluable – it is already tied to software you already use. QuickBooks lacks serial numbers, scanning barcodes and shipping. An inventory management tool can handle all of this. There are several tools that will allow you adjust stock levels in inventory checks and automatically remove inventory from stock when you receive orders so you don’t accidentally sell more than you actually have on hand. They will also help you track items reserved for sales orders and you can track inventory status, such as when you’re waiting for products to arrive so you can fill outstanding orders.

Have Clear Product Names

If you want to avoid problems with customer orders and internal inventory management, have a clear product naming system. You could use manufacturer part numbers, though this may be confusing if different manufacturers use similar part numbers for very different products. The ideal situation is creating internal part numbers that make it very obvious what someone is picking up. Instead of CRAY008 and CRAY016 for crayons in boxes of 8 and 18, label them “crayons, set of 8” and “crayons, set of 16”.

Set Minimum Stock Levels

Nearly every inventory management system allows you to set minimum stock levels, and most have reorder points. This ensures that you won’t run out of items. The best inventory management systems allow you to calculate reorder points based on historical data so you can order items based on how quickly you actually consume the product. You can still set low inventory alerts to ensure that you never run out.

Implement FIFO

FIFO is first in, first out inventory management. This is one of the oldest inventory management techniques, and it remains one of the most popular. A major reason of this is that it minimizes spoilage and the associated waste, since you’re selling the oldest items first. This isn’t limited to perishable goods that can spoil; it is applicable to other products, as well. Move your oldest products first so that they don’t become obsolete due to changes in packaging or industry standards. It simply requires setting up inventory so that the oldest items are on the front of the shelf and picked by employees, though you’ll want to train people to check expiration dates. You’ll also have to train staff to ensure that the FIFO system is properly maintained, instead of someone hurriedly stocking the front of each shelf with the newest products.

Keep the Warehouse Organized

If the warehouse itself is disorganized, how can you reasonably expect your staff to keep your inventory organized? Don’t let crates of packaged inventory pile up in aisles; have them immediately emptied and the shelves stocked. Keep work surfaces as clean as possible. Make certain that items are clearly labeled.

Also, make sure that you have formal processes for each task. Document how people perform tasks like placing purchase orders, receiving items, fulfilling orders and checking stock levels.

Do Regular Checks

Inventory management systems don’t eliminate the need to do inventory checks. People may make mistakes when checking in deliveries or in their data entry. Theft, spoilage and property damage may erode your inventory, too.

There are two main ways to check inventory. One way is with a complete physical inventory – checking all inventories – usually done at the end of the month. The other way is with cycle counting, counting small sections of the inventory on a particular day. You can mix and match with these tactics, such as doing surface area cycle counts for particular aisles in the warehouse each day but checking large physical item inventory every quarter or year.

Prioritize with an ABC System

An ABC system allows you to prioritize inventory checks and product maintenance. The “A” items are high value items that have low turnover. “B” items have some value and sell at a steady rate. “C” items have low value but sell in large numbers. “A” items should be checked for spoilage, maintenance and theft regularly, since you have so much money tied up in them. “B” items are a lower priority, since they don’t cost you as much but do move steadily. “C” items require little attention since they move quickly and cost very little, though you’ll want to make sure you have enough in stock.

Only Order with Purchase Orders

Only place orders via purchase orders. Don’t let employees place orders over the phone with your vendors. They may order items you don’t really need or can’t afford to buy at this point. By requiring people to order via a purchase order, it forces every purchase to be checked against inventory levels and the budget. No one orders an item that’s already on its way from the supplier. It creates a paper trail so that no one is surprised by a delivery of widgets. There’s no confusion regarding the payment terms or rush to figure out how to pay for something that just hit the dock. It ensures that inventory knows when to expect delivery and gives management a chance to negotiate purchase prices.

You cannot afford for the gap between accurate inventory numbers and bookkeeping to grow. This knowledge gap prevents your firm from being able to plan for the future or know the true state of operations.