Hello and Welcome!
Through various conversations, meetings etc., I have established January has generally been a good month. It’s a complete mystery as to why, but if we do not understand the why, how will it be repeated this month and the next, and the next? Two opinions were related indirectly to Brexit:
- Companies stockpiling
- Homeowners adding value to their houses
However, Facebook have announced record profits, a 9% uplift in registered members (2.3 Billion to be exact). That’s around 181 million additional users globally, is there a correlation between more data and record profits? It seems everyone I speak to across the fenestration industry has experienced good growth Vs January last year. I ask the question why? How? The answer comes back “I don’t know… it’s good though.” That to me is the million dollar (pound) question, how do we find that out? Data is key - it can be used to repeat successes or NOT repeat failures. I’ll talk a bit more around data analytics and visualisation later on…
We introduced the Christmas competition winners, complained about the weather and welcomed you back after the Christmas break.
The transition from mounds of paperwork can feel like an uphill struggle. There are a whole myriad of solutions out there that claim to help make cost savings, streamline business processes and give better customer service. I am going to try to explain the features and benefits of some of the software solutions available to help you navigate your way through and to help your business thrive in the digital age:
Customer Relationship Management – Or more commonly known as CRM Systems, this is a data management system that enables you to record customer data, attach details to the records which they relate to and track deals / pipeline etc. Telephone conversations and emails create a virtual file of everything related to that customer. This is a data collection tool, what metrics do you need to collect?
Data Visualisation – Harness the power of the data you collect, create reports, charts, visuals and present them in a dashboard. Use this to spot seasonal trends, tailor marketing campaigns and make better informed business decisions. Track KPI’s, identify training needs, use this system to plan and shape the future of your business, create better forecasts and be pro-active rather than reactive to consumer behaviors. Where is your data held, what data do you capture at the moment, how do you capture it and what can you use?
Websites CMS – An aesthetic and user-friendly website is imperative these days, it is your shop window, your introduction and your business card. Mobile friendly is now a pre-requisite as 60 – 70% of individuals/consumers browse the internet using either smart phones or tablets. Integrations with social media are also a necessary evil that has grown in popularity of the last few years. What sits behind a website? Data! Bucket loads of data, which you can use to help direct your business.
Data Sharing – Once you have CRM and CMS provision, you can create a link to share data captured by either system. Forms completed online can feed into the same database and prevent consumers being asked the same question again, and again, and again! You will need to create a mechanism for authorising content so you can make sure only suitable content is published to the website or pushed into the CRM system. Create a more efficient intuitive customer journey and reduce resource burden by creating a virtual front door to your business. You can also push content to social media or your customers, again this will need some kind of authorisation process.
These are the four main areas that, when covered well, will help you make informed business decisions to steer and guide your business to sustainable growth.
Any help you need with these systems - for instance, if you find yourself behind the very steep digital curve or if you are looking to develop and become more data driven - get in touch. We can help even if you just need some advice and guidance.
Last year, as a business we raised money for The Royal British Legion selling poppies and for Save the Children we had a Christmas jumper day. For 2019 we have teamed up with an organisation called Benefacto who give our staff the opportunity to volunteer for local charity projects - we take our Corporate and Social responsibility very seriously here at the GGF.
Simon Charkham (our resident runner) from Borough IT took part in a 10K run last weekend (3rd Feb) to raise money for Cancer Research. He completed it almost 2 minutes faster than England legend Emile Heskey who was taking part in the same run! Great achievement Simon! Simon has taken on a number of these types of events over the years for various charities including supporting Great Ormond Street last year in a similar event. Keep up the good work Simon…
I will be taking on the Yorkshire three peaks challenge on the 18th May for a charity called LoveBrum. They do a lot of great work by helping fund small projects around the city of Birmingham (my old stomping ground). A worthy charity and a worthy challenge will see me take on the largest three mountains in Yorkshire, namely, Pen-y-Gent, Whernside and Ingleborough a combined ascent of over 2,100 metres (plus a 26 mile hike thrown in). Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to it!
I will keep you posted on any future events and initiatives we undertake for charities in the future.
We will talk about how to connect data with people through sharing and insights, out and about update and further charity news.
Hopefully you have found this interesting, thanks for reading…
CAPTURE – DESIGN – CREATE
All the best
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