Across industries, businesses have a universal set of highly-valued, meticulously-documented priorities: their money, their resources, their materials. These are all measured, tracked, managed, and understood as absolutely vital, business-critical facets of any operation—as they should be.
And yet, these same businesses typically fail to recognize that their most valuable asset—one that has a profound effect on their money, resources, materials, and ultimately their bottom line—is the time they have and the way they choose to manage it. A 1,000-person company has about 2 million hours at its disposal each year—but too often such companies don’t know what or where their millions of hours got them.
Since time is a company’s greatest asset, here I’ll discuss ways a business can update the way it maps time spent to outcomes produced.
Time Is Ubiquitous Across Industries
Time is universal in any business—so most businesses should know what they did today to turn time into money, or how much their time cost them today. Sixty percent of a company’s cost is time, and yet generally businesses find themselves struggling to understand how time spent connects to the company’s work, accomplishments, events, and results. That means the company is severely limiting the ways in which it can understand how the company is functioning.
Well-run businesses understand the importance of being able to connect money, materials, and resources spent to outcomes, and optimize their processes accordingly. But they can never be fully-optimized until they start connecting time spent to outcomes produced—because wasting time means wasting money, materials, and resources.
Businesses Already Track Time, but in Ways That Are Clunky and Antiquated
Your company likely already dedicates money and resources to tracking time, indirectly or directly in various different platforms like ERP, HCM, CRM, payroll, PSA, other project management, and so on.
However, by fragmenting time data in these disparate systems, a company is tracking time in non-connected, non-shareable ways. Time goes missing because it’s too hard for employees to track it accurately, wholly, and in real-time.
In the same way that ERP came into existence to unify and automate back office functions, time tracking and management needs an upgrade to offer the same real-time, integrated, single source of data across an organization.
There’s a difference between the time tracking of the past, and “Time Intelligence”–a term that refers to not just tracking time, but managing and understanding it as your company’s greatest asset.
Upgrading The Way Your Business Maps Time
The first steps to upgrading the way your business connects time to productivity and outcomes produced are fairly straightforward. You need to:
- Make Time Intelligence a priority. Getting the entire organization on board costs nothing. It’s a matter of communicating what a priority time is. Think of your business as a simple machine, with time as the “fuel.” For larger companies, this might be a conversation between HR and senior management, who then empower their lieutenants to spread the word. For multi-office enterprises, it might look like a video or half-day training session.
- Use a single unified data model. In doing so, you eliminate data silos, and gain an accurate and complete time data repository. Failing to unify fragmented data means you’ll lack centralized visibility and control, and won’t be able to see the big picture, nor drill down into the nitty gritty detail with accuracy.
- Employ a modern solution with AI and machine learning. There are several reasons to take advantage of new solutions built for this era of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The first is data accuracy. Through automation, you can minimize the potential for human error and address any data quality issues. Even with ample experience and checkpoints, people still make mistakes, which can lead to unnecessary overheads. With AI- and ML-driven algorithms in place, you can improve process efficiencies around time management by 90 percent, and substantially reduce time data errors.
Stay ahead of the curve by committing to Time Intelligence, and revolutionizing the way your company manages time on all levels.
|As Chief Executive Officer, Raj Narayanaswamy is responsible for executing Replicon’s strategic goals and leading corporate initiatives. With more than 25 years of software development and senior management experience, he is widely recognized for his visionary approach in developing innovative software applications that meet the needs of leading enterprise organizations. Raj has a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai-India, and is an active member of the high-tech business community.|