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Will business EVER be truly digital?

  At times in business, there can be a disconnect between what we want right now and what is possible. Yes, it would be fantastic if we were all able to operate in a completely digital environment, surrounded by the kind of technology Robert Downey Junior gets to play with in the movie Ironman… And yes, it would be wonderful to be paperless immediately and avoid the time, cost and administrative burdens that come with printing. However, particularly if your business has been around a while and has accumulated a lot of archived files, records and reports, achieving a truly digital business probably seems out of reach, not to mention costly. How can you get there? At ESP Solutions Group, we specialise in two core offerings: a paperless software platform and print audit and management. Wait, that’s a strange combination, isn’t it? On the one hand assisting customers to achieve a paperless business and on…


Resistance is Futile!

Resistance is Futile! Ok, so maybe it sounds a little dramatic and possibly a bit reminiscent of Star Wars (or is it Star Trek..?) but the message within is clear – and likely to become relevant in all aspects of our lives; particularly when it comes to technology. Our world is one of rapid change and, to survive, we must change with it. As George Bernard Shaw wrote “A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment. An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself.” Of course, it pays to be selective and choose your timing when it comes to surfing a technology wave. No firm wants to back a dud or get stuck with a technology that is fast to become obsolete, so being a ‘fast follower’ can be a clever way to embrace technology without the roulette. So, once assessed, how does a Smart business move from making…


The Age of Automation

Survival of the Leanest? Whether you are in the legal industry or mining and gas, the signs are clear. Customers want more for less, competition is at full saturation in many industries and employee tenure decreases with Gen Y and Millennials entering the workforce. Offshoring to reduce costs, outsourcing to specialists and automating non-core business processes will become the competitive differentiator between companies of every industry and, in most circumstances, will determine if that company survives or not. Will your business be one that survives in 10 years? Age of Automation If ever there was a trend impacting business today, it would be business process automation. Spawned during the Ages of SixSigma and Lean Manufacturing in the 80s and 90s, minimising waste and tightening up every element in a process has evolved parallel to immense advances in technology. An open market has led to a deafening boom in the development of apps, software and enterprise…


Customer Service 2.0

In the crowded business world of today, it seems like everyone has to work harder than ever before just to get noticed. And now, anyone with an internet connection has the ability to become an instant expert in just about anything. It’s increasingly important and, at the same time increasingly difficult, to establish a genuine point of difference. Let’s play buzzword bingo for a minute using the most common ‘differentiators’ out there: Operational Excellence – “No-one delivers the service like we do” Product or Service Expertise – “We know the most about the thing we sell” Innovation and Forward Looking Approach – “We are constantly looking for ways to do things differently” Customer Service – “We focus all of our attention on our customer” Let’s get something straight. None of the above count as points of difference. Not these days. Now, they are merely the minimum expectations every potential customer has in their dealings with…


“Customer Intimacy” – ESP’s long-term Value Proposition

Here at ESP Solutions Group (ESP) we’ve been thinking a lot lately about ways we can articulate our value proposition to our customers or potential customers. The idea that companies succeed by selling value is not new. What IS new is how customers define value. Today’s customers have a broad concept of value that includes convenience of purchase, after-sale service, dependability, and so on. This is in contrast to the days of old, where customers judged the value of a product or service using a combination of quality and price. So one might assume then that to compete today, companies have to meet all these different customer expectations? Turns out that this is not necessarily the case. In their best-selling book The Discipline of Market Leaders, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema explain: Adhering to one “Value Discipline” is key “Companies that have taken leadership positions in their industries in the last decade typically have done so by…


5 minutes with…

Mark Milton, our National Account Manager, took five minutes out of his day to tell us a little about himself: How long have you been with ESP and what’s your role? I’ve been with ESP for 3 and a half years now. What does a business-as-usual day look like for you? It starts with a game of darts with one of the Directors, Brett or Darren. We have an ongoing competition with pretty much everyone in the office involved – our spreadsheet scorecard automatically keeps track of who’s on top and detailed stats for everyone that plays. Then I get stuck into preparation for the days’ meetings.  I spend the bulk of my time talking to and meeting with clients. What do you like best about your role? The diversity of the companies and people I am meeting with on a daily basis and learning about their organisation and how ESP can improve their business…


Busy or productive? A 3 step guide to increased productivity

  We can all relate to being busy.  But it raises the question of how all the busy-ness is translating into results? Consider your own job KPIs.  How much time each day are you really spending working toward these?  Often the answer will be, “Not enough.”  As job KPIs are tied to desired business outcomes, if this lack of focus is replicated across the business, there’s no way that goals are going to be reached.  You can’t add hours to the day but technology could help your business be more productive. Choose the right tools Generally speaking, manual processes equals added cost.  Look for areas that can be automated and allow your skilled workforce to focus on the “real” work. Succinctly, as an ALPMA guest blogger posted, “if a process is repeatable (i.e. done more than once), it can be automated.” Choose a technology partner that can offer a solution that suits your requirements A…


An ESP Christmas

  The ESP team will be heading out for lunch on Friday 11th December to celebrate the Christmas season.  The leadership team are grateful for the efforts of the team and to say thank you, the team will be treated to a Pony Dining experience at Eagle Street Pier.  With a spectacular river view and the Pony menu, known for its share plates and wood fired dishes, nobody will go home feeling unappreciated. Thanks team, we’re looking forward to an even bigger 2016!


Your AP – 3 places we know it hurts

  Accounts payable.  It’s a necessary and everyday business practice. For most businesses it follows a series of straight forward steps – receive invoice, enter invoice into payment system, review, approval and finally, payment.  But there are points in this process that at times can be painful.  Here’s three places we know it hurts with a few tips for identifying areas of improvement. Processing Cost Each step in the AP process incurs a cost, but entering an invoice is undoubtedly where the greatest cost lies.A recent survey in the US shows that almost half of invoices still arrive as paper – not great news for the receiving business.  Whilst there is some good news in that this figure is set to drop over the next 2 years to less than 30%, it still represents significant cost.  Processing paper invoices also becomes more complicated for larger business receiving high volumes of invoices and also when there…


Being Digital Every Day

  We’re living in an increasingly technology driven, digital world.  Your workforce is engaging daily with technology to drive productivity in your business and you’re employing new people who have never known a life without the internet and digital technologies. While it is easy to assume that basic technology training is not required for our increasingly technically savvy employees, you can’t assume that everyone has the same level of skill and interest.   At the very minimum, your employees should be confident in using various communication tools such as videoconferencing, instant messaging, webmail, search engines and web browsers.  At the same time, they must have the ability to understand the rules and regulations regarding appropriate use of these communication tools, along with being aware of the legal and social consequences of online behaviours.   Your employees should understand their digital footprint, not just for their own personal safety and reputation but also for that of…