By Margaret Gimpel, Operations Manager

Technology has overhauled the way we do things. Every business relies on technology in big and small ways. Do you ever wonder what makes technology in business so important? The answer is simple and easy. The role it plays is crucial for operations to run smoothly and efficiently, and to drive growth, along with about a hundred other reasons.

Over the years I have been fortunate to have worked in environments where change was not feared but embraced, and the possibility of leveraging technology for advantage was recognised. I worked in the banking industry for many years where technology and training was first class. I also worked with Wayne & Scott Findlay at their accounting practice for over a decade, and change was the one constant. We always fell into the ‘early adopter’ sector of the innovation adoption bell curve… in fact, our office became “paperless” in 2008 – almost unheard of back then.

My career path has put me in the unique position of being able work with evaluating and implementing solutions to streamline systems and processes. At The Back Room I have had the opportunity to apply my “inner geek” to realise digital solutions that have seen us introduce a stack of leading edge and award-winning software that is best in class, and of course all cloud-based.

Here are four of my favourite technologies:

1. Weekly10

We have been working on rolling Weekly10 out across all clients and teams at The Back Room. This award-winning software was built to empower and engage employees through a culture of feedback. Staff well-being and facilitating a feedback loop is at the core of this initiative.

Encouraging feedback from team members encourages issues to be resolved before they have time to fester, new ideas to be shared with the entire team, and the usual stresses and strains of running a business can be dealt with as, and not after, they arise. A regular check-in allows for discussion of “non-task” oriented feedback rather than just the day-to-day work-related conversation.

Weekly10 will replace the manual system of Performance Reviews and the format of the review can be customised to suit the needs of the client firm.

2. Karbon

Karbon is a workflow software that creates a central place for our Back Room team to collaborate. At the core is its integration with email, allowing us to clear emails, assign tasks and bring them into work items and contacts.

By combining this with comments, Karbon helps us to work together effectively as a distributed team, simplifying communication and reducing our email and Slack traffic. Our team members are well-coordinated and informed about the tasks that they have to perform. Work items are templated and processes are documented within Karbon.

3. Moodle

Moodle is our online learning site.

We have established a competency framework defining knowledge concepts that apply to staff in various roles. Over the Competency Framework will sit a series of courses and quizzes, and in time these will be structured into Learning Plans for each team member.

Our training team is working hard to build a library of courses which will support the team in attaining knowledge and competencies.

Moodle supports an enormous catalogue of activities and means we can build a fun and engaging online learning space.

4. BambooHR

BambooHR is cloud-based human resources software that includes an applicant tracking system and automation tools for onboarding and offboarding staff, along with electronic storage and completion of forms and documents.

Once an applicant has progressed through the application process and a decision is made to offer them a role, an offer letter is sent direct from BambooHR. Upon acceptance of the offer a customised New Hire Pack is sent containing all the files and documents that may be relevant to them, meaning that these can be completed before start date, and the new employee can “hit the ground running”.

In addition to the efficiencies and reporting capabilities that the admin team can access, all staff at The Back Room have role based access to a portal which allows them to keep their contact details up-to-date and maintain details of their emergency contacts.

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