A comprehensive guide to web application development in 2021
- What is a Web Application?
- What is Web Application Development?
- Web Apps vs Mobile Apps
- Types of Web Applications
- Technology Stacks for Web Application Development
- Benefits of Web Application Development
- Web Application Development Process
- Web Application Development Validation & Deployment
- Web Application Development Trends
- The Cost of Developing a Web Application
- FAQs About Web Application Development
- Develop Your Web Application with Fingent
A decade ago, web pages were mostly static, with a few images and videos thrown in here and there. In 2005, however, thanks to Ajax, it made it possible to create better, faster, and more interactive web applications.
In 2021, though web application development has reached its peak of fame, web apps have become so common that they often go unnoticed. With a reputed web application development partner like Fingent, you can develop intuitive and custom web applications that simplify your day-to-day operations.
Web apps help integrate the tailored experience of native apps with easy access on a website browser from any device. LinkedIn, Basecamp, MailChimp, or even Facebook, all have web apps that provide immersive and tailored experiences like the native apps directly from the browser. That is why web application development is gaining a lot of popularity in almost all industries, including banking, eCommerce, education, healthcare, and more.
What is a Web Application?
Also known as a web app, a web application is nothing but a computer program that uses a web browser to perform a specific function. Contact forms, for example, are web apps present on many websites.
As a web application is a client-server program, it has a client-side and a server-side. Here, the client refers to the program the individual uses to run the application. It is a part of the client-server environment where many computers share data. A typical example of a web application is the database. Here, the user enters data through the client-side (front-end), while the server-side (back-end) of the application stores and processes the information.
Both enterprises and individuals develop web applications to fulfill different purposes.
Case Study: How we built Ambit AI, a light-touch AI-powered web application for processing workers’ compensation claims. Download Now!
What is Web Application Development?
Web application development refers to the process of using client-side and server-side programming to develop an application that is made accessible over the web browser.
In the initial phase of the web application development process, the developer tries to find a solution to a specific problem and then designs the web app by choosing the appropriate development framework. Later, the developer tests and deploys the web app.
Read more: The 101 Guide to Web Application Development
Web Apps vs. Mobile Apps
While web apps and mobile apps are similar in many ways, both are different in many ways.
Mobile apps are made exclusively for mobile gadgets and are suitable for Android, iOS, and Cross-platform operating systems. Usually, mobile apps are mobile-first, meaning they work effectively on smartphones, tablets, or other handheld mobile devices. Most mobile apps work offline too. Examples include Google Maps, Amazon Kindle, Uber, etc. On the other hand, web apps function only when you have internet connectivity. A web app functions in real-time in a web browser with CPU resources. As long as you have adequate internal storage, you can download a mobile app from an app store or play store.
Read more: How are Mobile Apps Different from Websites
Types of Web Applications
Typically, web applications are classified into three categories based on the tools and technologies it uses.
1. Client-side web application
You can consider client-side web app building when you don’t need to preserve the user information for more than one session. It is perfect for easy games or image editors. Google Earth is a leading example of a client-side web application.
2. Server-side web application
These are web apps that can be coded in several programming languages such as Python, C+, Ruby, PHP, etc. If you develop an app with just the server-side, then the outcome of any changes in the form submission, sections, and data updates will create a new HTML file and cause the web page to reload.
Server-side programming is beneficial if you want your web application to deliver information tailored for individual users. For instance, e-commerce applications like Amazon use server-side programming to create product search results, offer product suggestions based on past buying habits, enhance user experience, and simplify the purchasing process.
3. Single-page web application
Single-page applications are designed to work in a browser and do not require reloading while in use. Most of our daily apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive, Gmail, etc., are single-page apps. Single-page web applications offer an unmatched user experience as the user doesn’t have to wait for page reloads. Single-page applications are highly responsive to user queries as they do not depend heavily on client-server communication.
Technology Stacks for Web Application Development
The following web development technologies enable you to create a high-performing, fast, and advanced web application.
1. Database technologies
Due to its simplicity and multifunctionality, MySQL is one of the most preferred databases utilized for web application development. Other popular database technologies include Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, MongoDB, and RavenDB.
2. Front-end technologies
- React JS: This is a robust and most widely used JS framework for developing large-scale and complex dynamic web apps.
- Angular JS: A popular front-end framework by Google, Angular JS is suitable for building dynamic web apps, using HTML for static web pages.
- Vue JS: Fairly new, this JS framework does wonders for applications. Vue JS provides an ecosystem of assisting libraries and an accessible primary library for applying huge complex page apps.
- Backbone JS: This lightweight JS library has a RESTful JSON interface that follows the MVC (Model-View-Controller) application design standard. Backbone JS helps develop and structure the client-side applications that run in a web browser.
- Node JS: It is a cross-platform, open-source JS runtime that runs on the V8 engine and is designed to build scalable network applications.
- Ember JS: It is an open-source JS framework ideal for developing single-page applications.
3. Backend Technology
Frameworks such as Go, Ruby, Java, Django & Python are some of the most powerful back-end development technologies.
- Ruby: Ruby is an open-source, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language used to build highly secure and fast web applications.
- Java: A multi-purpose programming language, Java is leveraged for Android app development, desktop apps, and web app development. Java offers excellent security and stability.
- Django & Python – Python is flexible, advanced, and has a low learning curve. This programming language covers back-end web development. Python, along with its framework Django, can meet back-end development tasks efficiently.
- Go: Designed by Google’s developers, Go is an open-source programming language that is fast and statistically compiled. It helps build simple, reliable, and concurrent web applications.
Benefits of Web Application Development
- Speed and cost: Web application development is faster and more economical than building native apps. If your primary goal is to accelerate time-to-market, then web application development is the best choice.
- Cross-platform capabilities: Web applications can be programmed to run on any operating system. Due to their cross-platform capabilities, web applications can adapt well to Android, iOS, Mac OS, and Windows phones. Device responsiveness of web applications helps you get rid of OS dependencies.
- Browser compatibility: A web application runs on the device’s browser using an accessible URL. Modern web applications are compatible with all browsers, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Bing. So, you don’t have to face software compatibility challenges.
- No downloads needed: Web apps don’t need to be downloaded from app stores such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play. This helps save money since having a direct link through a web app is free.
- Easy to update: Updating web applications is easy, as only the server(s) would require upgrades.
- Cut operating costs: Web application development is a great way to cut operating costs. You can eliminate unnecessary expenses such as hardware purchases, frequent device updates, and maintenance of numerous systems.
- Custom web applications: Custom web application development offers several benefits as you can tailor the features for the users. These applications are easily accessible via browsers with a stable internet connection. Custom web apps help cut unnecessary expenses and save time as you only need to develop the required features.
A custom web app can significantly improve your business traction, brand awareness, communicate your brand ideology and help you gain a competitive edge in the chosen target market.
Web Application Development Process
Here is an overview of the steps we follow at Fingent for developing web applications.
The first step is to define the problem you want to solve with a web application and collect all the relevant information needed for app development. A well-defined problem will give an excellent head-start to the project and help you identify the best solution. Next, clarify the purpose as well as the end goals of the application.
Ask these questions during the planning phase:
- What app do you want to build?
- What features and functions should it include?
- What is the audience of your product?
2. Design and build
The designing phase involves creating a wireframe for communicating the solution to target users. Then, the developers can consider designing elements that will provide an enjoyable user experience to the target audience.
Post-design, the next step is to build (develop) the application. The following steps will happen in this phase.
- To create a database for storage, the developers need to determine what data and data types are required for the application to perform well.
- Based on the elements approved by the users during the wireframing process, developers will create the front-end application. For this, the developers need to identify the best frameworks for front-end development.
- Developers will create interaction between the user and the server.
- Developers can either code from scratch or use front-end and back-end frameworks to develop the web app.
- Based on the application type, that is, client-side/ server-side/ single-page, programming is done.
3. Test and implement
Whether it is an automated or manual web application, testing for the web application is an ongoing process throughout the software development lifecycle.
- The Testing (QA) team will have to test the app for usability, compatibility, functionality, security, and performance to eliminate bugs and ensure that the application works without any glitches.
- Testing also helps identify any possible improvements and upgrades to make in the future.
- Once the testing is completed, you can finally implement the application in your company or customers.
- When using it for your company, you will have to train your employees to use the app productively (if the app requires training).
- For customers, you will have to create a communication strategy and decide on the appropriate timing to launch the application in the market.
At Fingent, we help you perform all the mandatory software and usability testing to ensure that your web app functions seamlessly. We also provide training and support to use the apps effectively.
4. Hosting and Maintenance
You must buy a domain and choose a hosting provider to create a server location for the app. We help you choose shared hosting, dedicated hosting, or cloud hosting based on your requirements.
We also help you maintain the web application. Some of our application maintenance services include:
- Ongoing QA testing
- Bug fixes and improvements
- Addressing changes and adding features based on user feedback
- Providing regular updates and technical support
Web Application Development Validation & Deployment
Once your web app is developed and ready to be launched, remember it must be tested to ensure that the app functions correctly before its deployment. Bug fixing alone is not sufficient. Testing is vital to web application development.
We perform standard web application testing, such as:
- Usability Testing
- Performance Testing
- Application Security Testing
- Quality Assurance Testing and Bug Fixing
- Browser Compatibility Testing
- Responsiveness Testing (Responsive Web Design)
After completing the quality assurance process, your web app is ready for launch. You can use GitHub, Beanstalk App, and Bitbucket App to deploy the web app to your servers. Any new features, changes, and improvements to the deployed application are implemented according to the user’s feedback.
With over a decade of experience in web application development, Fingent helps you cover all these processes.
Web Application Development Trends
Here are a few trends you should know before starting your web application development project:
Of late, chatbots are gaining popularity, as many companies are incorporating these virtual assistants on their web application tools. A prime example, Google Assistant, is a popular chatbot that we all know. Chatbots are enabling companies to deliver more personalized content to the users and engage them better. Virtual assistants like chatbots help businesses convert a regular user to a potential customer.
Multi Utility Assistant or MUSA is an AI-powered virtual assistant (a chatbot) integrated with Fingent Hub – Fingent’s internal employee management system. MUSA enables employees to get answers to common queries related to HR and IT DevOps processes at Fingent.
Internet of Things (IoT) is another exciting web app trend you can’t afford to ignore. Digital transformation has increased the number of connected devices all over the world. The need to connect between business applications and sensor technologies will affect the web application development process. Hence IoT is a must-watch development trend today.
Alexa, Uber, and Google Home are a few examples of IoT-based connected applications. Experts estimate that by 2025, over 75 billion devices will be connected to the internet. So, if you want to be on the popularity wave, make sure to use this digital trend in your web app development.
Read more: IoT: Why and Where Should You Invest
3. Mobile and web app development optimization
To get a high SERP ranking and get to the top of your industry inquiries, you will have to optimize your web application for mobile and web platforms. Search engine optimization is crucial to bring potential leads to your application and boost your brand awareness. So, optimize your web application’s content, layout, and design for both web and mobile. Google prioritizes the responsiveness of websites when it comes to search. So, the adaptive web layout plays a vital role in the Google search process. Use techniques such as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to enable your web app pages to be served more quickly.
The Cost of Web Application Development
Numerous factors influence the cost of web application development. As no two apps are the same, the price will vary, based on:
- Features and functionality of the web application
- Complexity of the application
- Phase-wise development plan
- Various modules included
- Platforms selected to develop the app
- technology stacks selected
- Estimated project timelines
The cost of a complicated and custom web application development process would again differ from pre-defined, packaged, and general-purpose applications. For example, if the app requires developing APIs and plugins or if it uses complex technical stacks, separate UX/UI elements, brand identity development, etc., the pricing will go up as the advantages are humongous.
FAQs About Web Application Development
1. What is better: Multi-page Website or Single-page Website?
While both are good at their place, most people prefer the single-page website. This is because a single-page website offers ease of interaction and access compared to a Multi-page website.
2. Is it necessary to include chatbots on the website?
If your business has a lot to do with queries and solutions or customer interactions, it is recommended you get a chat window.
3. Should a website be built using frameworks or pure codes?
For quality web application development, you should include both as it will help you avail more benefits.
A combination of frameworks and pure codes will work as it will take lesser time and also ensure quality development.
4. What are the common technologies used in web app development?
Some of the renowned web app development technologies are:
- Models: HTML, XSL, XML
- Databases: MS SQL, MySQL, Microsoft Access, SQLite, Oracle, PostgreSQL
- CMS: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Kentico, Sitecore, Sitefinity, Sanity
- Programming: C#, PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, ASP.NET+MVC, Python, Ruby, Django, Go
- Payment Systems: PayPal, Assist, MoneyBookers, SMS, OSMP
Develop Your Web Application with Fingent
Web application development is mandatory for your organization to lead the digital space and reach more customers in the future. Through web applications, you can do brand building, increase brand awareness among customers, promote your products and services effectively, and gain a competitive advantage. For more than a decade, we have been helping businesses -small and large- develop custom web applications that were crucial in improving their profits, performance, productivity, and overall operations. Interested to learn more? Contact us right away.
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A comprehensive guide to developing mobile apps in 2021 and beyond!
- What is Mobile Application Development
- Types of Mobile Applications
- Mobile Application Development Platforms
- Mobile Application Development Process
- Mobile Application Front-end and Back-end
- End-to-end Mobile App Testing
- The Cost to Develop a Mobile App
- Five Reasons Why Mobile Apps Fail and How to Prevent The Let-down
- Tips for Building Successful Mobile Apps
- Develop Your Mobile Application with Fingent
Mobile apps – it seems like the world cannot function without them anymore! 2021 has seen a dramatic shift to online shopping. Increased reliance on the digital world pushes businesses to turn to mobile apps to tap a higher customer base. This makes it imperative for businesses to leverage the benefits of mobile application development. Regardless of their size, all businesses can use mobile application development to improve their revenues.
This blog will help you understand all that you must know about mobile application development. We will give you a basic idea of the app development process, different types of mobile apps, and the cost of developing mobile apps.
What is Mobile Application Development?
Mobile application development is the process of creating specific software applications that work on mobile devices. It involves creating installable software bundles, implementing back-end services, and testing the application on target devices. Mobile application development is also about the strategic process of designing, building, and launching a successful mobile app.
Mobile app development is a technique that leverages all the benefits a mobile device has to offer. This process takes into account the limitations of mobile devices and helps businesses to balance cost with functionality.
Types of Mobile Applications
Mobile applications are designed and developed with various frameworks. These include:
1. Native mobile apps
These are developed exclusively for a single platform written on one programming language for a particular operating system, for example, Android mobile apps or iOS mobile apps. As they are built to work on a specific OS or platform, native mobile apps are faster, more reliable, and offer offline capabilities.
2. HTML5 mobile apps
These apps help you enjoy the write-once-run-anywhere approach. Most of the Zoho apps are built using HTML 5. HTML5 mobile apps are compatible with cross-platforms and are cost-effective.
3. Hybrid mobile apps
These apps consist of back-end code and native viewer capabilities. Some of the world’s leading apps, like Gmail, Twitter, Amazon, etc., are hybrid apps. Hybrid apps can take advantage of plugins that allow developers to access the native features of platforms. In addition, they are faster to develop and simple to maintain.
4. Progressive web apps
Progressive web apps operate in a browser but act like native mobile apps. This means that no installation is involved, and PWAs are secure, cheaper, faster, and easier to develop.
Each mobile application development approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. Hence choose a method that matches your strategy. Your choice will help you achieve the desired user experience and build native features needed for your application.
Watch video: How To Choose The Right Mobile App Development Approach
Mobile Application Development Platforms
Two important mobile application platforms are iOS and Android. iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system specifically built for iPhones. Android runs on mobile devices manufactured by Google and various OEMs. Though there are many similarities between the two, each of them uses a different software development kit. For example, some of the top Android programming languages include Java, Kotlin, C++, C#, BASIC, Lua, etc. Examples of leading iOS programming languages include Swift, Objective-C, React Native, Flutter, etc.
Besides Android and iOS mobile application development platforms, there are cross-platform development programs such as Apache Cordova, Xamarin, Ionic, Python, Ruby, etc.
Read more: Top Technologies Used to Develop Mobile Apps
Leading mobile application development companies like Fingent help you choose the right combination of programming languages and SDKs for developing your mobile apps.
Mobile Application Development Process
Even with all the evidence pointing in favor of developing an app, it is important to thoroughly run through the mobile application development process. This will help you understand how your application will fit in with your goals and your market niche. Choose a path that will give shape to your vision.
Here is an overview of the mobile app development lifecycle:
- Research: All apps begin with an idea. However, it can be successful only when that idea benefits the customer. Ensure that your analysis includes the demographics, motivations, and behavior patterns of your buyers.
- Wireframing: Drawing a detailed sketch of the envisioned product will help you uncover usability issues. After sketching, wireframing will help refine your idea and organize all components.
- Assess technical feasibility: Asking questions, brainstorming ideas, and reviewing the status will help your team decide the initial functionality’s feasibility.
- Prototype: This step will help you see if you are moving in the right direction. It will also allow different stakeholders to have a first look at your app and validate the information you have gathered.
- Design: Create multiple variations of the screen. The clear visual direction will help you visualize the final product.
- Develop: This is the core phase of the app development process, where you actually develop the mobile app.
- Testing: The app is delivered to users to test the user experience. Their feedback and opinions will help you add what your app lacks from their point of view.
- Launch: Publish your app to the app store. However, plan regular maintenance to fix bugs and enhance user experience.
Having understood the lifecycle of mobile app development, it is vital to learn how ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end’ fit into mobile application development.
Mobile Application Front-end and Back-end
Mobile application front-end and back-end services are two core components of the mobile application.
The mobile front-end (client-side rendering) is the visual and interactive part of the user’s application. In contrast, the back-end (server-side rendering) delivers high-quality mobile applications that delight and retain users. The mobile app’s back-end stores, secures, and processes the data.
Some of the key front-end jobs include web designing, UI designing, UX designing, and front-end development. Back-end developers create the services to process the business logic and access the database, cloud services, and file servers to render the app on the server-side.
For applications where there is no interaction with a server, the role of the back-end and front-end developers can be performed by one person. For applications that require internet connection and interaction with a server, you will need two separate developers for each component.
End-to-end Mobile App Testing
To stay on top of the competition in the mobile application market, you must test your application before starting the actual sprint. Here are nine steps to ensure the success of your mobile application:
- A developer must outline the list of all the cases and create a test plan.
- Decide whether the test will be manual or automated.
- Define test cases for different functionalities.
- Begin with exploratory manual testing as it does not require the initial investment.
- After detecting the patterns of outcomes and the frequency, consider automating the predictable ones.
- Start the sprint with usability and beta testing.
- Access the performance of the entire system.
- Conduct security and compliance tests to deal with exceptions and unpredictable situations.
- Launch the application to the app store and fix any issues.
These steps of mobile application testing ensure the efficient and enjoyable performance of the entire system.
Read more: Mobile app development: 4 tips to consider
The Cost to Develop a Mobile App
Ballparking the cost of mobile app development is anything but straightforward. Partly, it depends on your choice to develop it in-house or to hire an app development agency. Building an in-house team will incur additional costs such as office space, hardware, and software requirements.
On the other hand, if you choose to hire a mobile app development agency, you can enjoy a cost-efficacy and competitive advantage. These include the agency’s location, experience, and size. It also consists of the complexity of your app and back-end scalability.
Read more: Are you planning to develop a mobile application for your business? Then explore our template and share your requirements with us. We will get back to you with a ballpark estimate.
Five Reasons Why Mobile Apps Fail and How to Prevent The Let-down
Though mobile application development technologies advance year over year, the failure of mobile applications has been a concern for entrepreneurs. However, only ill-planned and ill-executed apps are set to fail.
It is critical to identify the pitfall areas and turn them into positives. Here are a few reasons that can lead to poor mobile applications. You will also find a few tips that help you to avoid mobile application failure.
1. Lack of market research
A tiny mistake in mobile app adoption can quickly turn into a major disaster. If your app does not address your target market needs, then it will not get downloaded. Even if it is downloaded, it may not be used after the first try. A great dream can thus quickly turn into a nightmare that leads to disappointment.
What can you do?
First, do not rush into creating a mobile app. Instead, begin your mobile app development by conducting detailed user study /market research. For your research to be effective, ask yourself, ‘which solution will my app provide that my target audience needs?’
To answer that question, you must define your target audience and investigate further about them. Understanding your market and your specific users will help you create an app tailored to what they actually need.
Second, know your competition. Do a competitor analysis to improve your mobile strategy. Doing so will help connect your idea with your target audience.
2. Lack of robust mobile app strategy
Without a well-designed strategy, your app will fail. This is especially true if you are new to the industry. A poor move at the strategy level is one of the key reasons for mobile app failure.
What can you do?
Every successful mobile app development is a result of a great strategy. It is a creative effort to incorporate consumers’ needs into an app that can accomplish a specific task quickly and effectively. Goal setting is an essential step. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What will be my mobile app’s selling point?
- What features should I incorporate?
- What benefits will my app offer the user?
Such clearly defined goals will help you quickly map out your strategy.
3. Lack of good design
Poor app design and development can lead to bad business because users will ditch your app in the first crucial 8 seconds if the design isn’t great. Substandard coding and improperly implemented technology will lead to epic failures.
What can you do?
Remember, great design can bring in happy customers. Unfortunately, skipping the testing process is often the reason why some apps fail. Smart mobile app developers take time to conduct several QA tests throughout the creation of your app. This will help you deliver an app that is bug-free and user-friendly.
4. Failure to execute the plan precisely
You may encounter some serious competition in your industry. Or your team may experience some conflicting priorities from some key members. Another possibility is that you may run out of cash.
What can you do?
- Your mobile app can succeed if you have an original idea to offer something appealing to your target audience
- Ensure to work with people whom you can trust. And cooperate with your mobile app development partner
- Have a conservative budget that is well planned and generously funded
Following these steps will ensure that you have the money to build and launch your app successfully.
5. Failure to market your app
After all the hard work, it might still fail if you do not market your app rigorously.
What can you do?
- Have a crystal-clear marketing message aimed at your target customers
- Focus on the solution
- Explain how your target user can benefit from it
- If possible, plan to offer discounts and other perks to attract users
Marketing your app clearly and effectively will ensure that your customers do not move on to your competition.
Tips for Building Successful Mobile Apps
Did you know that, on average, a user spends 20 minutes on a mobile app each day? Another incredible fact is, the app installs increased by 31% in 2021. Furthermore, it is expected to surge in the coming years. This means there is hope for your app. Read on to find out how to approach building a successful mobile app that achieves your business goals.
- Be Agile but know your limits: Being agile and quickly reacting to the ever-changing needs of our customers leads to success, but it comes with a price. It is important to know when to be agile.
- Be alert to risks: Be enthusiastic and optimistic about your product but be realistic about the risks and problems. Identifying the risks early will help you react faster and more accurately.
- Build trust: Make your users feel unique and appreciated. Transparency and trust are the foundation for genuine interactions between the application and its users. To achieve this, you can create a trustworthy rating or review system and a functional service system.
Develop Your Mobile Application with Fingent
The increasing adoption of remote work culture, online shopping, telemedicine, and e-learning has surged the demand for portable devices, particularly smartphones and tablets. This again has increased the need for mobile apps across all lines of business. According to App Annie’s forecast, the number of mobile app installs will reach 258 billion by 2022, an incredible 45% rise from 2019.
Fingent specializes in mobile app development, and our experts can help position your app for success right from idea to launch. In addition, leading B2B review firms like Clutch and Business of Apps have recognized our mobile app development expertise. Contact us to know more.
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Custom patient engagement platforms improve caregiver-patient interactions today. Here’s how.
With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting face-to-face engagement, patients have started using telehealth (telemedicine) technology and other digital channels to receive healthcare services. The growth of digital healthcare will increase the demand for healthcare technologies in the future. 81% of people (patients) want healthcare providers to know them individually and deliver more personalized and meaningful experiences.
While support programs like teleconsulting do not replace the physical presence of healthcare providers, they offer valued information, which is the need of the hour. With stay-at-home mandates, social distancing, and lockdowns, telemedicine is the vital care model that boosts patient engagement today. Personalized patient engagement fosters trust among patients and ensures continuity of care. So, in times of pandemic and beyond, patient engagement platforms will play a crucial role.
Patient engagement and its growing significance
In simple terms, patient engagement is a concept where patients are actively involved and considered important decision-makers in their care.
Engaged patients are:
- Informed- as they understand their health status and the treatment.
- Empowered- as they believe they can change their health outcomes.
- Heard- as they can communicate with their providers better and participate in shared decision-making.
What is a patient engagement platform (PEP)?
A patient engagement platform is an application that enables patients to interact with healthcare providers via their mobile device, tablet, or computer. The patient engagement platform keeps the patients involved beyond the four walls of the hospital.
When implemented effectively, patient engagement platforms can help streamline access to medical records, provide appointment reminders, enable self-scheduling for patients, and deliver patient education or awareness.
How do patient engagement platforms help?
Patient engagement platforms (PEPs) can help automate the following processes.
- Send reminders to patients regarding their postoperative treatment protocols
- Allow patients to update mobility reports and pain score
- Deliver educational content
- Manage images of wounds
- Record and monitor health vitals like BP, FBS, BMI, etc.
Read more: 7 major impacts of technology in healthcare
What are the benefits of a patient engagement platform?
1. Ease the patient engagement process
A customized patient engagement platform helps improve your patient experience by assisting them in scheduling medical appointments. It can also help notify patients about their next visit to the clinic, or when they need to check their health vitals, or when their current medication course will be over. In addition, caregivers can use the patient engagement platform to track a patient’s medical history and use the data to channelize treatment plans when the patient pays a second visit.
2. Enable caregivers to focus on core competencies
With a patient engagement platform in place, patients can fill in medical forms, electronically scan their insurance cards, and consent from their mobiles, laptops, or computers. It will allow healthcare providers to focus on their core competencies and saves patients from standing in queues or long wait times. In addition, it can expedite the care delivery process during an emergency.
Case Study: Fingent partnered with Casenet’s Advanced Solutions Group to develop TruCare Insights as a reliable population health management platform. Download Now!
3. Empower care providers to make informed decisions
Healthcare organizations can use information like satisfaction scores, online appointments, wait times, and ROI to make informed decisions related to staffing and identify opportunities for improvement. Custom patient engagement platforms allow clinicians to track all this information effectively. It goes a long way in supporting clinical decision-making.
4. Optimize healthcare throughput
Patient engagement platforms allow online registration that ensures patients have less waiting time in the clinic. It enables healthcare providers to attend to more patients in a given time and improve data accuracy and demographics. In addition, patient engagement platforms spare medical professionals from time-consuming and manual data management processes so that they get time to receive advanced medical training. Nurses, physicians, administrators, and other hospital staff members can streamline their communication, increase staff satisfaction, and utilize data analytics to make strategic decisions.
Benefits to the patients:
- Patients are aware of the next steps, such as diet plans, exercises, medication plans, or next clinical visit
- Consistent and transparent care will be available 24/7
- Augmented patient engagement and experience
- Improved communication lowers preoperative stress and anxiety
Case Study: How did a data analytics solution help NHS gain financial, clinical, and geographical insights to improve visibility over their KPIs? Read Now!
What to look for in a custom patient engagement platform?
Given the changes in patient behavior, expectations, and changing healthcare landscape, healthcare providers will have to ramp up patient engagement strategies and implement the latest engagement technologies. Patient engagement platforms must enable providers to determine the best ways to deploy their expertise and services to their patients.
So, make sure the patient engagement platform has the following capabilities.
1. EMR integration
The patient engagement platform should integrate with Electronic Medical Records (EMR). For example, the platform should receive data from the EMR, such as a referral or recall, and revert to the EMR.
2. Sentiment analysis
The main aim of patient engagement is to understand patients on a deeper, emotional level. So, it is crucial to leverage sentiment analysis technology. This will enable providers to recognize when a patient is happy or frustrated and respond accordingly.
3. Real-time and interactive patient communication
The platform must encourage bidirectional communication, specifically text-based messaging. In short, patients must be able to communicate with their health system easily.
4. Chatbot functionality and keyword actions
The use of chatbots and keywords in patient engagement platforms is trending. It helps reduce human intervention. So, the patient engagement platform should allow for automated responses to common questions such as “where are you located?” The platform must also enable keywords to trigger automation, such as scheduling a ride for patients who need a lift.
5. Patient on-boarding
The platform should drive patients to the patient portal and help them register quickly and conveniently to get medical support on time.
6. Integration with other vendors
A single app can’t solve it all. It is just not feasible and is also not in your patient’s best interests. Make sure that your patient engagement platform integrates seamlessly with your other vendors. For example, the platform can offer billing features or even integrate with medical billing software, medical invoice management software, etc.
7. Boost employee adoption
Your staff must like and accept the patient engagement platform. If they don’t appreciate the new technology, it won’t fulfill its potential. In addition, you must ensure that the patient engagement platform enjoys enterprise-wide adoption and has a user-friendly UX and UI.
8. Offer multilingual support
As not all patients speak English, you will have to ensure that the platform supports different languages used or spoken widely by your patients.
Why should you adopt a custom patient engagement platform?
A custom patient engagement platform is specifically developed for your organization to cover your unique healthcare requirements and cater to your internal processes.
As such a platform is built from scratch, it gives you the freedom of choice for technology. Additionally, you can easily integrate this platform with third-party systems because you get to control the code entirely. Also, you will have full ownership of the final product and customize the software according to any relevant changes in your organization.
Benefits of a custom patient engagement platform
- High scalability
- Seamless integration to your existing infrastructure
- Enables integration with any new services you are willing to include in your medical practice
- Freedom to choose the technology
- Gain full ownership of the resulting solution
Custom patient engagement platform is best suited for medical practices that:
- Offer a wide range of services
- Plan to expand in size and services
- Have rigid workflows that are difficult to adapt
- Want to integrate the new solution with the existing system
Develop your custom patient engagement platform with Fingent
At Fingent, we have the expertise and work closely with you to build a custom patient engagement platform to suit your business needs. Our experts help you select the best web development frameworks, database and backend technologies, data visualization formats, and leading front-end technologies to develop your patient engagement platform or any medical software that you would require.
Fingent helps you develop healthcare application platforms tailored to your needs, with top features like appointment scheduling, medical billing, patient feedback management, payment processing, chatbot, and fundamental to in-depth analytics. To know more, please get in touch with us.
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How CEOs Can Gain Value from Software Development Outsourcing
In-house creation of a complete and sophisticated software application requires large amounts of resources and time. Maintaining an in-house team amid the coronavirus lockdowns has added to this and become increasingly complex. Frankly, in these turbulent economic times, software development outsourcing can prove more profitable to your business than ever before.
Software development outsourcing offers limitless possibilities to CEOs. As the world is connected by the power of the internet, you can access the talent you would normally be hard-pressed to find. Additionally, finding an expert offshore software development company that meets your fast-approaching deadlines is another benefit.
As CEO of your company, before you take full advantage of software development outsourcing, you need to know how you can leverage outsourcing effectively. Here is a comprehensive guide that will help you understand various aspects of the offshore software development process and prepare you to face the challenges it can bring your way.
Does Your Business Need Offshore Software Development?
For most businesses, hiring an offshore development partner’s services has helped them breathe easy and take the load off their shoulder. Here are a few scenarios where the offshore software development model will prove to be the best solution for your company.
1. Do you require talent with narrow expertise?
Software development outsourcing improves the quality of your team as it gives you access to a vast talent pool with narrow specialization. Such resources allow you to leverage both international perspectives and onboard the best talent.
2. Do you need to scale your team?
If you lack an excellent in-house team that can undertake multiple projects simultaneously, it is time to consider offshore software development. This allows you to scale up your team of experts without spending a fortune or risking output quality.
3. Do you want to concentrate on your product?
Software development outsourcing can help you automate most mundane operations such as payroll and accounting. This will help you concentrate on the growth of your company and innovation.
Advantages of Software Development Outsourcing
Software development outsourcing can help your company experience higher production levels without spending too much money or energy. Partnering with the offshore software development team will help you carry out temporary tasks, improve the pace of your growth, and reduce your labor costs. In other words, it gives your company a much-coveted competitive advantage by improving customer service while ensuring limited-budget product quality. Here are some specific benefits of offshore software development.
1. Saves costs
Cost-saving is one of the most significant benefits of software development outsourcing. Whether you want to scale up your employees or scale down, outsourcing a whole project is much cheaper than hiring each developer separately. The difference in salaries across the globe can save you millions of dollars. Offshore development allows you to get the same amount of work done, with the same quality, in the same amount of time at a much lesser cost as different countries have different living costs. For example, the average offshore software development rate in India per hour is $30, whereas, in the USA, the hourly developer rate will cost around $100.
Once you offshore your development requirements, you do not have to spend time recruiting, training, and housing new employees. Besides, it is impossible and impractical to hire a full-time in-house contractor for your short-term projects. Software development outsourcing gives you the option of choosing developers for a single project. You can find talent that fits perfectly without investing in a permanent position. This will give your core team some relief as they can concentrate on mission-critical activities essential to run the company and focus on the development process.
3. Saves time
Offshore software development relieves you from searching for new developers and preparing them to suit your needs. It can also improve speed to market as it helps your management and key employees to focus on the core business. Since it can eliminate secondary tasks, you can redistribute your services for more essential aspects of the organization.
4. Centered approach
One of the most competitive advantages is the ability to have a focused strategy. If the in-house team needs to deal with several projects simultaneously, they may be forced to compromise on quality. However, Software development outsourcing can streamline your business process. This will allow your employees to take a centered approach and produce high-quality output within the set timelines.
5. Technological advantages
Businesses seeking to gain a competitive advantage will develop cutting-edge innovations using the latest technologies without expending an additional amount of time and resources in learning them themselves. This is possible when they team up with strategic offshore development partners with a proven track record.
6. Compensate for the lack of in-house experience
Software development outsourcing can bring in additional knowledge and power to reach your business goals. Outsourcing offers the flexibility to use your resources where there is a need as it allows you to scale up or scale down as required. It means that you can either let go of certain talent in one field while allowing you to quickly add specialists to your pool of experts in another field. You can employ a team of varying size, complexity, and cost. Such a team will be able to find optimal solutions contributing to the growth of your company.
Best practices to follow while offshoring software development
Here are a few points to consider when you decide to outsource your software development project:
- Get introduced to all the developers who are supposed to work on your project.
- Ensure to have a full-time on-shore lead and an offshore lead to help establish necessary coding standards, solve technical issues, and mentor the offshore team.
- Use video conferencing to arrange regular meetings to handle any problems and resolve the same in a timely and efficient manner.
- Use appropriate tracking tools (project management tools) to plan tasks efficiently and prioritize work accordingly.
Offshore Software Development with Fingent
Since 2003, Fingent has been a reliable and capable offshore partner for leading global brands, including many Fortune 500 companies. With an impeccable track record as an offshore software development team, Fingent has helped improve cash flow and increase business efficiency for many clients. We help your organization scale up as required without the need to hire or fire any of your team members.
Our diverse offshore talent pool includes experienced developers and tech professionals who leverage the latest software development trends, such as automation, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), 3D Web Configurator, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Mobile application development (native, hybrid), Microsoft solutions, SAP solutions, and so on.
Our experts are available to provide you with inputs on your project. Let’s get talking and find out which process fits your project.
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How Organizations Can Embrace Transformation and Expedite Their Growth in 2021
From remote working and e-learning to sales and customer service to more critical cloud infrastructure and security, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology adoption across several key domains. The pandemic has made digital transformation crucial for business growth across various industries. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, puts it that “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
That said, companies will have to change their mindsets and adopt new strategies to stay relevant and competitive in 2021 and beyond. Here are six ways you can adapt to the new normal and taste business success.
1. Adapt to change
Change is the only constant and more so today than ever before. Change is happening at a faster pace and is very crucial for small businesses. Today, old and traditional methods of winning clients and serving them do not seem to fit. The list of things you need to change may be long and only growing. Instead of reacting to these changes, the best approach is to embrace them and treat them.
So, when you treat the problem, you employ change to work with you and not against you. People are more likely to accept strategic changes now, especially if the initiatives are focused on improving their lives.
Bring agility and innovation to your business by implementing a quarterly strategic planning and review process. It will allow you to remain focused, actionable, and agile by adopting new learnings.
While you are in the process of adapting to changes, consider a few questions that you need to ask yourself.
- What can disrupt my business and change everything?
- How can I lead that change?
- How can I ensure that my business stays relevant and profitable in the next five years?
2. Customer always comes first
As consumer needs keep evolving, you have to think of ways to meet the new supply and demand to stay relevant and competitive.
Social distancing due to the pandemic has left many businesses struggling—for instance, physical retail stores, manufacturers, automotive, banks, etc. Many product-based companies face significant issues related to manufacturing and distribution. Service-based companies are also suffering due to poor customer demands. In short, business models should be revamped so that they are immune to new challenges.
The pandemic has even changed customers’ needs and preferences.
One of the best ways is to engage in a conversation with your clients to identify opportunities. You could probably start by asking a probing question at the end of the conversation with your client. You may also conduct surveys or quarterly client advisory groups to follow a more formal process.
To stay relevant, you will have to prioritize customers’ needs and problems. It is imperative for future growth and innovation.
View Infographic: Business technologies to boost customer experience and satisfaction
3. Implement automation wherever possible
Working smarter means hiring and collaborating with the right talent. Encourage teamwork for removing the bottlenecks and hurdles. It will translate to more revenue with the available resources. Effective workplace collaboration will also boost your team’s morale and reduce lay-offs.
Leverage technology and systems to streamline your business and allow it to run smoothly. According to Gartner, by 2024, businesses will see a 30% reduction in their operational costs by combining hyper-automation technologies with redesigned operational processes.
Identify processes that can be automated and evaluate how automation will enhance your customer service and experience.
Automation of repetitive, routine, and mundane tasks saves your workforce’s productive hours and spares them for more crucial tasks. Automation enhances your organizational efficiency and offsets growth investment.
4. Speed is the key to sustain in 2021
The pandemic has made companies rethink their conventional organizational models and pushed them to adopt new ways of working at speed. Flat structures empowering decision-making are replacing the traditional management-led hierarchies. It enables companies to perform with improved speed and precision. For instance, PepsiCo adopted newer working models to enable fast and easy access to their products during the pandemic. Within 30 days (from concept to execution), the company launched two direct-to-consumer (D2C) websites.
5. Adopt digital commerce
The pandemic has spurred digital commerce like never before. Deloitte’s 2020 holiday retail survey reports that contactless shopping experiences enjoyed a huge spike in demand during the holiday season last year. Over 73% of shoppers planned to have orders delivered to their doorsteps as against 62% in 2019.
Read More: Contactless Retail Delivery Software – How Retailers Can Revive Sales While Adhering To Social Distancing Norms
Companies should accelerate and optimize both B2B and B2C digital commerce channels by developing custom retail software solutions to enjoy the benefits of e-commerce sales and ROI.
As customers demand efficiency and speed, organizations must give precedence to customer experience to overcome competition.
In 2020, Adidas established itself as a top digital commerce player targeting $4.9 billion in online sales, almost 12% of their overall business. In the future, the company expects it to rise to 25%. Also, they were quick to recover from the pandemic impact with an increase in online sales during the lockdown.
Fingent leverages innovative and emerging technologies to help digital retailers and e-commerce businesses
Fingent helps retailers build custom retail software solutions, e-commerce, and mobile commerce apps that help you deliver exceptional customer service and experience, just like your physical retail store. Fingent helps retailers and e-commerce brands develop Augmented Reality-based solutions that allow their customers to preview objects in 3D. Using AR technology, both online shoppers and in-store buyers can choose their preferred products without the hassle of buying the wrong ones. We enable companies with an e-commerce presence to build AR applications through web platforms (WEB AR), avoiding the need for separate mobile apps.
6. Ensure customer data privacy and protection
Data transparency is imperative. With the rise in going digital, the total amount of data created, captured, and consumed will more than double by 2024 globally. A 2019 Factual survey reveals that more than 50% of the US smartphone users will be ready to share their geolocation details with a service provider only if they are aware of how the information will be used. When customers realize the benefits of sharing personal data, such as online behavior, shopping history, mobile app usage, or geolocation tracking and trust that their data will be protected, they will be more willing to share it.
Consumer data privacy acts such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) aim at ensuring consumer privacy rights and data protection under the respective regional, state, and federal laws. These acts allow consumers in the respective regions to see all the information companies have saved on them and how the data will be protected and used.
We help ensure smooth business transformation in 2021
As we try to recover from the crisis, it is essential to consider what the future looks like for your business. Your organization must adopt new technologies, innovation, and new practices to ensure a smooth business transition. It also helps you meet the growing customer demands.
Reach out to us and let us help you accomplish a seamless business transition through modern technology adoption.
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Being an Official Partner of Odoo, Fingent has always catered to the needs of various customers and streamlined their operations, thus saving their costs, time, and resources. In this post, you will see how Odoo ERP implementation helps retail management.
Odoo ERP: A Highly Customizable Cloud-based Platform for Retailers!
The retail industry is one of the primary beneficiaries of digital transformation. In 2010, eCommerce accounted for only 5-6% of the aggregate retail sales in the US. The industry has witnessed phenomenal growth over the past decade with the development and adoption of retail technology, ERPs, eCommerce applications, custom retail solutions, and stiff market competition. At present, online retail sales in the US account for 21% of the total retail purchases. Isn’t that mind-blowing?
The paradigm shift from the traditional operating landscape to a digital world presents both opportunities and challenges. Many people look for products online, make buying decisions based on social media reviews, and order products to be delivered home. They even use the internet to search local shops, order online and collect from nearby stores (click & collect) or find retailers that offer discounts in their area. The message is clear: physical/ in-store retailing also needs to pace up with the change.
To overcome the challenges in managing physical and digital selling, retailers need to adopt a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Today, ERP is extensively used to simplify and automate customer relationship management, project management, accounting, compliance, inventory, and supply chain operations. ERP is a reliable investment for business owners as they can control and monitor their operations, get reports, and gain insights on consumer behavior and market situations.
Odoo ERP for Retail Management
ERP software allows integrating the core processes to run a company in one place, such as finance, manufacturing, HR, supply chain, inventory, procurement, tracking, transactions, etc. It also integrates all the data and related business processes of an organization.
Odoo ERP is a popular, open-source, cloud-based business management software that helps manage various business needs such as manufacturing, finance, inventory, point of sale (POS), eCommerce, purchase, logistics, etc. Odoo is an intelligent ERP system that allows retailers to integrate their whole data and all the processes associated with the retail industry. For retailers, Odoo is a perfect choice that increases profit and enhances productivity as it provides comprehensive solutions that can seamlessly integrate with eCommerce.
How Odoo ERP Benefits Retail Management
Following are the significant benefits of using Odoo ERP in retail:
1. One-step checkout
In online shopping apps, the checkout stage tends to have several processes spread across different web pages. This can put off some customers who don’t want to spend their time navigating through each. Odoo eliminates these multiple processes by offering a one-step checkout that is fast, convenient, and intuitive. It has the potential to reduce checkout abandonment and thereby increase sales.
2. Craft stunning product pages
For eCommerce websites, high-quality product pages are crucial to gain maximum traction. Long descriptions with dull-looking pages are outdated. Odoo ERP lets you build beautiful and stunning product pages with a simple drag and drop feature. You can also customize your online store’s look, layout, color, and theme with Odoo and make last-minute changes to meet the demands and expectations of your clients. You can also make changes and enhancements at regular intervals to add more features to your store. Make sure that your digital store is mobile responsive to be compatible with the changes and new features.
3. Payment module integration
Having different payment options can enhance the customer experience. With Odoo’s plugins and extensions, retailers can integrate and customize various modules like wallets, cryptocurrencies, credit and debit cards, and UPI. It also supports PayPal, PayUMoney, Buckaroo, Sips, Stripe, Ingenico, Adyen, and Authorize.net.
4. Sales, purchase, and finance management
Odoo offers non-retail and retail companies different sales management processes. Odoo has a Point of Sale (POS) module, which is integrated with the sales and inventory module. This module helps retailers track stock and commodities in real-time. The module also allows for the use of biometric devices to log in and out. It’s compatible with any hardware and doesn’t require installation. What’s more, the POS remains operational even when offline.
5. Inventory management
It’s a known fact that inventory management in a volatile and dynamic consumer goods market is an arduous task for many retailers. With several issues such as excess inventory or out-of-stock scenarios, inefficient inventory management processes result in financial loss and lead many retailers to bankruptcy.
Odoo ERP offers inventory management as its integral feature, where it stores details of an organization’s entire inventory, including the individual product details. Odoo enables retail managers to keep track of crucial information such as:
- The present status of the inventory
- Items that will run out of stock
- Shelf life details of each product
- Notifications related to product expiry
- Ability to make demand forecasts based on past trends and customers’ online behavior and buying habits
Odoo ERP enables retailers to gain a competitive edge by modifying inventory to meet the fluctuating customer demands.
6. Manufacturing and production
Retailers who are also engaged in manufacturing and production can use Odoo’s module to help run functions. The Manufacturing module can assist in creating bills of materials (BoMs), managing semi-finished products, subcontracting manufacturing, etc. It can also help in configuring work centers and managing and configuring kits.
7. The Cloud Advantage
- Odoo solutions are cloud-based, allowing retailers to access their e-commerce stores from anywhere in the world.
- Odoo is flexible, customizable, and scalable, making it especially ideal for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
- Odoo is an affordable ERP solution with the maintenance fees included in the license fee.
In a nutshell, Odoo ERP serves as a high-performance retail management system where retailers can manage everything on a single system. It can bring tremendous benefits to the retailing industry. They can integrate Odoo’s various business apps such as Sales, Accounting, Customer relationship management (CRM), Inventory, etc., with Odoo e-commerce.
The Odoo App Store features nearly 10,000 apps that connect to the same database on Odoo’s own servers. A testament to Odoo’s popularity is in the numbers: it has more than 5 million users worldwide, from start-ups to large enterprises.
With a simple checkout process, robust customer portal (order tracking, advanced shipping rules, and return management), order review, and wish lists, Odoo ERP provides real-time information to users.
Read more: Why Choose Fingent as Your Odoo ERP Partner
Fingent has an ace team of Odoo developers that offers consulting, development, and implementation services. Whether you want to integrate Odoo ERP with your existing e-commerce store or build an online store from scratch powered by Odoo integration, give us a call right away.
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How Logistics Management Software and Technology Will Transform Businesses in 2021
Without logistics software management, Pfizer cannot become one of the world’s largest sterile injectables suppliers in 2021. Neither can they store, transport, and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to multiple countries, maintaining ultra-low temperatures. Monitoring temperatures, optimizing delivery routes, managing cold storage, tracking vaccines in transit, overseeing distribution – all these prove that the logistics and supply chain sector has been at the forefront of tech disruption in 2021. Various governments are taking measures to expedite vaccine distribution to the masses; shoppers have increasingly moved to online shopping – 2021 is set to witness the increasing adoption of logistics management software.
The Impact of Technology in Logistics
Technology continues to disrupt logistics and supply chain processes by changing it altogether from its core. Research and Markets reports that the increasing use of IoT and emerging technologies across industries will accelerate Connected Logistics’s adoption. The Global Connected Logistics market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% during 2021 – 2026.
Consequently, logistics will become more refined and fast, changing the way materials, goods, freight, sales orders, inventory, and production are managed.
As efficiency and speed become the determining factors, logistics need to adopt a new approach to deal with the rising demand and complexity of processes. The industry needs a viable solution that manages the flow of things so that the right product reaches the customer within the specified time.
Logistics software adoption streamlines operations and removes process hassles. Organizations that invested in logistics management software have produced good outcomes with noticeable improvements in process, operations, and delivery.
This article attempts to explain all that you need to know about logistics management software, including:
- What is Logistics Management Software?
- Challenges in logistics management
- Pros of a having a logistics software
- 2021 trends that reshape logistics management
- Choosing the right Logistics Management Software
- Checklist of essentials in a Logistics Management Software
- How logistics software improves efficiency
- The future of supply chain
What is Logistics Management?
Logistics involves the flow of things from their point of origin to the point of consumption, usually general customers or businesses. The selection of vendors, transportation means, routes, and delivery methods constitute an essential part of logistical operations.
Logistics management is a part of the supply chain that uses planning and implementation to store and deliver goods and services to the customer. It coordinates several critical activities of the supply chain that range from product development to commercialization.
Typically a logistics management system includes the following:
- Inbound and outbound transportation management
- Warehouse management
- Fleet management
- Processing orders
- Inventory control
- Managing third-party logistics service providers
- Planning supply and demand
Watch Video: Top Challenges Faced by Logistic Management
Logistics management constitutes several functions such as production planning, sourcing, procurement, packaging, and dispatching. It also involves finding the suitable means to deliver goods and services to the end-user. Inbound and outbound traffic is vital in logistics management.
- Inbound logistics is a linear flow of raw materials from suppliers into a warehouse and then a production unit.
- Shifting the products from the warehouse inventory into the hands of the customers falls under outbound logistics.
An example of inbound and outbound logistics at play is that of a manufacturer of electronic goods, which requires several raw materials in the form of components, nuts, bolts, cables, casting, packaging cartons, etc., to build products.
Challenges in Logistics Management
Logistics is prone to several issues that occur primarily due to simple human errors or other factors. Weak decisions usually result in delays in the transport or delivery of goods, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Besides, another challenge that logistics face generally is in the safe transportation of goods. The goods can become damaged or faulty if not handled accordingly while in transit.
Customer demand has also become higher as they want more transparency in the delivery process. Moreover, logistics and supply chains are facing the still unsolved issue of cost control. The rise of fuel charges combined with a steep increase in energy, freight, and labor rates put further pressure on logistics providers.
Effective risk management and managing the relationship between the suppliers and partners are also vital. A reliable solution that covers all these individual challenges in logistics is thus becoming a necessity. The use of logistics management software (LMS) can streamline logistical operations and guide a logistics provider or business to deal with them appropriately.
What is Logistics Management Software?
Logistics Management Software (LMS) simplifies logistics operations by refining the production cycle and making it easier to access important information quickly. A logistics management software helps businesses manage the various processes that go into the production cycle from the delivery of raw materials to shipping the finished products to the consumers.
Logistics software has become broader in its scope and functionality to deal with a vast array of operations and processes. It shares similarities with supply chain management software (SCMS), which contains tools that help deal with transactions, processes, and suppliers. The functionality of a logistics management software extends to areas such as:
- Processing customer requests
- Processing purchase orders
- Inventory Management
- Suppliers Management
- Sales and Distribution
A logistics management software gets rid of all the conventional approaches like paperwork and spreadsheets to simplify management. It comes in three variations: warehouse management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, and integrated supply chain management suites.
Companies with an in-house logistics or supply chain division and third-party logistics providers utilize any of these different versions according to their requirements to efficiently manage their logistical and supply chain operations.
The Pros of having a Logistics Software
In logistics, handing over the process to a logistics management software has several advantages. With logistics management software, a company or 3PL (third-party logistics) provider could avail of the following benefits.
- Refine Transportation: Transportation is a crucial area of logistics. It incurs the most charges in the form of fuel, energy, labor, motorway tolls, and shipping fees. Relying on logistics software can help manage the various transportation means and leverage the operational data for process automation. Logistics management software makes it easy to analyze data and make relevant decisions for reducing costs maximizing efficiency.
- Faster Delivery: The logistics and supply chain industry faces several issues that affect delivery and lead to delays. By incorporating logistics software, businesses can rapidly deliver their products to customers. A logistics management software can improve delivery speed by making meaningful interventions in the production cycle and choosing the suitable carrier. It ultimately reduces shipping delays to a great extent.
- Minimize Human Errors: Another notable advantage of having logistics management software is in reducing human error. Manual analysis of vast quantities of transportation data is difficult, time-consuming, and prone to errors. A logistics software can process these data without any mistakes in less time, seamlessly pushing forward the operations with minimal/nil delays.
- Automates Functions: Process Automation is a tremendous boon of logistics software integration. Certain functions like creating shipment routes, load planning, and tendering of load to carriers are easily automated and managed by using logistics software. Moreover, it eliminates paperwork, which helps deal with the processes efficiently and timely.
- Reduce Costs: Logistics software can automatically compare different shipping services, delivery agents, and transportation methods to find the least pricing ones. The other way logistics software reduces costs is by lowering the expedited shipments through improved shipment planning.
2021 Trends that Reshape Logistics Management
The demand for logistics software management has peaked with the widespread popularity of e-commerce in 2021. The onset of COVID-19 is also a reason behind the peak in demand for logistics technology. As a result, logistics is constantly evolving to accommodate each industry’s rising requests that depend on it. One area where logistics has transformed is the digitization of its processes and resources. In 2021, the industry is expected to embrace the cloud, mobile, and emerging tech to transform logistics operations. Here are some of the top tech trends that will influence logistics and supply chain in 2021.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Logistics companies will use AI to identify patterns in data and churn insights. It will help advance operations such as intelligent transportation, route optimization, demand forecasting, budget planning, etc. McKinsey reports that AI-driven logistics optimization can reduce costs through real-time forecasts and behavioral coaching. The potential incremental value of AI in the logistics and transportation industry (89%) will be more than other analytics techniques.
2. Warehouse Robotics
Over the last few decades, innovative logistic robotic companies have worked hard to mesh AI and machine learning, better sensors and response capabilities, warehouse management software, or logistics management software. Recently, warehouse robotics in the supply chain has picked up pace exponentially. There has been colossal funding and investment in the industry. For example, Alibaba invested $15 billion into robotic logistics infrastructure, and Google invested $500 million into automated logistics for JD. It is also estimated that the global market for warehouse robotics in the supply chain will reach a market value of $22.4 billion by the end of 2021.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud integrated logistics management software allows having real-time price updates, inventory, and tracking. Cloud-based logistics software enables real-time accuracy and 360-degree management of processes and systems. You can track a product through its lifecycle, right from ordering to distribution. It allows to significantly cut down the costs of lost products, missing deliveries, locate a shipment at any stage of transport, and reroute a misdirected shipment. Cloud-based logistics software allows everyone in a trade network to communicate and share data in real-time, make decisions quickly, and scale on-demand.
4. Contactless last-mile delivery
In a pandemic-troubled world, contactless delivery is more critical than ever. eCommerce companies and carriers face increasing pressure due to the surge in online shopping. It’s crucial to stay agile by ensuring business continuity. At the same time, it is also vital to remain safe and meet delivery needs. Electronic parcel lockers, contactless parcel delivery and collection, and self-service pick-up automate delivery processes to reduce physical interactions between customers and delivery agents.
Watch video: Custom Web Application Developed to Enable Smarter Locker Management
Custom logistics software applications can help fulfill the increasing demand for last-mile delivery. Fingent helps build healthy tech partnership ecosystems to ensure uninterrupted supply and distribution of your products and services.
Blockchain, also known as the distributed ledger technology, offers the ability to record transactions between parties securely and permanently. The shared and secured databases enabled by blockchain helps in avoiding intermediaries and third parties that verify, record, and coordinate transactions in a supply chain. Blockchain helps increase the traceability of the material supply chain, improve the credibility and trust of shared data, digitize physical assets like contracts and critical documents, streamline administrative processes, reduce costs, and enable effective auditing of supply chain data.
Example of blockchain application in logistics: The international logistics giant DHL uses blockchain-based serialization of pharmaceutical drugs and products to ensure that:
- the products come only from legitimate manufacturers,
- are not counterfeit, and
- are adequately tracked and traced through their journey from origin to consumption.
6. Predictive Analytics
The emergence of sensor technologies and AI has contributed heavily to the rapid growth of predictive maintenance in the logistics industry. Supply chain leaders want to utilize data effectively to optimize predictive maintenance, forecast demands, adjust inventory levels, improve cold chain transportation, and protect the integrity of the supply chain. Smart and optimized data management through predictive analytics and AI allow logistics providers to refine and transform the supply chain in 2021.
Opting for the right Logistics Management Software
With the trends shifting logistics management in a progressive direction, the need for software solutions in the field has become indispensable. Businesses, whether focussing on e-commerce or delivering services, can benefit from having logistics management software. However, the real question is finding the right kind of logistics software since the requirements vary for each business.
A checklist of essentials in a Logistics Management Software
Before settling on software for logistics management, it is vital to understand the requirements and challenges a business faces daily. Carrying out a detailed analysis can help identify deficiencies in the existing logistical operations of a business. Besides that, it can suggest measures to redeem any discovered shortcomings in the cycle.
When deciding on logistics management software, there are several essential factors to consider. Firstly, it should contain a basic set of functions that can aid in simple logistical management operations.
Besides that, numerous other things should also be present in the software to tackle the wide base of a business’s logistical operations and processes.
Some of the key features to look for in a potential LMS are:
- Compatible Multi-Client Architecture: A logistics software that comes with multi-client architecture support is necessary if a business handles multiple customers. Software with inventory and purchase orders has more emphasis since it deals with several customers simultaneously or in different phases.
- Forecasting: The ability to forecast is a needed trait in logistics and supply chain management software since it can bridge gaps in supply and demand by enhancing the business processes. Demand, supply, and price forecasting can help supply chain management with proper production scheduling, better customer satisfaction, and minimized out-of-stock scenarios.
- Finance Integration: Having tools that integrate the supply chain’s financial side is another critical software requirement. Vital financial aspects like general ledger, account payables, and receivables can help manage the bookkeeping and records of transactions conveniently when included in logistics software.
- Inventory Tracking: Having an inbuilt inventory tracking feature can make logistics management software more dependable. Logistics involves transactions of various kinds. An inventory control feature enables easier processing while ensuring that the customer gets the invoice on time.
- Customizable and Streamlined Interface: A good logistics management software should contain a streamlined interface that allows for effortless navigation across its chief functions. A customizable logistics software can easily accommodate the unique infrastructure and methods implemented by a business.
- CRM: Logistics software should also cover the customer side. A CRM embedded logistics software allows the customers to know the status of their deliveries. For both inbound and outbound logistics, CRM can answer the customers’ queries and supply them with relevant information and adjustments to the delivery.
- Bill of Lading Creation: As a critical document in the shipping and freight chain, looking for a logistics system that can generate the bill of lading is recommended. This can make it easier to create the bill of lading receipts. It facilitates the seamless exchange of goods under the consignee of the shipper and the logistics company.
Refer the chart below to get a grip on the overall profile of any software logistics management:
With logistics pushed to the forefront of business operations, leveraging the right technology can make your business compatible with the changing environment.
Outsourcing to a software development vendor will help deploy scalable software for logistics management into your entire supply chain operations. A global software solutions provider like Fingent can give you the advantage of custom logistics solutions built solely based on your requirements.
How logistics software improves efficiency
Logistics management software guarantees more efficiency and control over the logistical and supply chain operations of a business. It means simply substituting the existing manual methods with a software-centric solution. The array of features in a logistics system can refine the entire logistics cycle right from its center. For owners, vendors, and the end customers, using an LSM (Logistics Software management) model opens up improved collaboration, which is the essence of effective logistics management.
Opt for logistics software requires considering all the criteria mentioned above. For a business, it involves addressing their needs and then choosing one that wraps around their existing processes. By integrating an LMS into their operations, companies could reduce their turnaround times and streamline the overall cycle of planning and delivery while keeping up with the customers’ requirements.
Transitioning into Cloud-Based SaaS: The Future of Supply Chain
With cloud computing gaining momentum in 2021, a whole new way of processing data is unveiled. The tech innovations in 2021 have influenced the supply chain and logistics operations. Increased adoption of supply chain and logistics solutions in 2021 will lead to a shift from the on-premise model to the SaaS model.
Predictions estimate that a subscription-based SaaS model will dominate supply chain management in 2021 and beyond. Adopting a cloud-based supply chain solution offers benefits in the form of flexibility, robustness, and affordability. Free and open-source software adoption has made the Cloud the primary choice for logistics providers and organizations worldwide.
Cloud-based SaaS supply chain solutions offer numerous benefits. It gives a comprehensive outlook on the overall operations in logistics by making processes more transparent and collaborative. Implementing a cloud system reduces the upfront and operating costs. It also offers the ability to scale up with the business needs and enhances supply chain efficiency.
To sum up,
Opting for a logistics solution is one step to simplifying the entire cycle of logistical and supply chain operations. Effective management of each process from procurement to delivery requires a custom logistics management solution that can accommodate each provider’s demands. For instance, an organization lacking an in-house logistics department needs a software management tool that can wrap around their existing methodology and improve it.
By partnering with a vendor specializing in software development, businesses can deploy logistics management software tailored to their requirements. Pioneers in custom software development like Fingent can assist companies from wholesalers to distributors to e-commerce with the advantage of custom logistic solutions. Get in touch with us to spearhead your operations swiftly and efficiently.
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Custom Accounting Software Development: Understand the Steps, Cost, and Benefits!
Small business accounting software is a system that helps maintain a count of business revenues, cash reserves, loan allocation, cash flow, and payment data. There are several pre-packaged commercial accounting software available to meet business requirements. However, custom development of accounting software helps address a business’s specific needs.
Custom accounting software is developed keeping in mind the specific needs and goals of your company. Typically, a custom accounting software system helps businesses streamline business operations such as cash flow tracking, tax calculating, internal auditing, financial transactions, business analysis, and reporting.
Small business accounting software solutions help reduce human resource costs and increase overall productivity. Most start-ups adopt accounting programs to boost competitive advantages to develop into mid-size and large companies.
Benefits of custom accounting software
1. Improves efficiency
There’s no denying that technology works faster than humans. All you need to do is input the data correctly and command it to perform the function. The software will perform all the tasks within the stipulated time frame. Simply put, custom accounting software does all the finance-related work while the business owner can concentrate on your business.
2. Reduces human errors
Regardless of your business’s size, you need an accounting system. Otherwise, managing all the accounts can be a daunting task. In the process, there will be some chances of human errors. A custom accounting software will perform all the functions with technical efficiency and helps in reducing human errors.
3. Saves time
Custom accounting software allows you to perform more tasks in less time and enables business growth. With small business accounting software, your resource hiring and maintenance costs will come down as the software allows you to handle more accounting jobs in less time.
4. Better financial monitoring and reporting
When financial operations are handled manually, the financial reports are usually prepared at the end of the year. Organizations can reduce this mundane task with the help of custom accounting software. It can generate the report at any time and help you identify any problems beforehand.
5. Faster data processing
When it comes to accounting, you must have experienced and efficient people to register and process all the data before using it. Custom accounting software makes this process easier and faster.
Significance of small business accounting software
Business accounting includes a wide range of operations to capture the entire financial situation of an organization. Done manually, it is time-consuming and a daunting task. However, custom accounting software has helped automate all the processes, allowing business owners more time to concentrate on other vital business aspects.
Without accounting, it’s impossible to do business. The accounting team makes it possible to evaluate the progress of the organization. It gathers information, creates arrangements, and evaluates the financial data of the organization. Small business accounting software simplifies financial reporting and management of operations.
Steps involved in custom accounting software development
Step 1. Define an idea
So, you got an excellent idea for your small business accounting software? That’s great! The idea itself is enough to kickstart the project. Next, you need to solidify it into an actionable strategy. Your team should take the initiative, perform analysis, identify the additional functions and features that will be feasible for the system.
Step 2. Design the UX/UI of your system
After assessing the project, the next step is to start on the prototypes and designs. The cost of software development tools is often based on the number of features the solution requires. As a business owner, you can ask the developer to design the app according to your business needs.
You will be able to decide what to add and delete during the initial phase. Once the software’s framework and future design are accepted, you can switch to determining the accounting software’s functionality.
Step 3. Decide the features and functionality
Some of the critical features you need to include in the software are:
- Account management
- Inventory management
- Invoice processing
- Multi-user support
- VAT calculations
- Third-party app integration
- Sales order
- Payroll management
- Credit tracking
- Payment management
- Advanced analytics
- Billing management & record keeping
- Generate reports
Step 4. Develop the software
Designing accounting software is a complex and time-consuming process. However, using a questionnaire development approach can help develop appropriate accounting software.
Designers and QA engineers need to compose test cases before the actual development work. This will prevent any bugs in the future. At Fingent, our developers know the trending designs and develop applications using configuration management techniques to ensure proper software development methodology. Before that, we guarantee to address all the steps and innovations.
Step 5. Deploy and maintain
After the development of the software, the project is implemented and ready to use. The application may need tracking and improvements to stay relevant. Therefore, a support and maintenance team is a must for small business accounting software. The team must resolve issues and cope with problems in case of any crashes.
Cost of custom accounting software development
The development cost depends on several factors, such as the software’s features and techniques. The more features and tools you require, the more money you may need to spend from your pocket.
Additionally, you will have to consider the production period- the longer it will take, the more expensive it will be. The cost would also rely on the developers you employ to create your software.
Choosing the right partner for custom software development
Custom accounting software development may seem challenging, but it proves worthy in the long run as it allows your business to stay out of chaos. When businesses go for custom software development, they can build new capabilities on top of existing enterprise applications. Custom software solutions appeal to tech leaders and companies of all sectors globally. In today’s dipping economy, software development companies like Fingent help businesses restart or rebuild what they lagged with custom software solutions.
Being the top custom software development company, Fingent helps you identify the right tech stack and skills required to develop your software. Are you wondering how to boost your company’s growth and operating efficiency? Talk to our expert right away and get your questions answered.
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Clutch Hails Fingent as India’s Top Software Developer for 2021
We are thrilled to announce the news!!!
Fingent is once again recognized by Clutch for its many innovations and robust industry solutions. And this time we are ranked as the Top Software Developer for 2021, in India!
Why is Fingent recognized as India’s Top Custom Software Development Company?
Our focus here at Fingent is to help emerging enterprises make a difference with improved business agility and efficiency that’s powered by cutting-edge web and mobile solutions. Our goal always lies in delivering next-generation enterprise applications that streamline business processes and promises unique user experiences.
We make sure that our clients get what they expect and more. With our expertise in emerging technologies, we deliver custom, pre-packed, and hosted applications that support all operating systems and cloud platforms for improved business reach and growth.
Moreover, we don’t just build software! We collaborate with businesses to understand their struggles in the market, and determine the perfect technologies that can enhance their capabilities and grant them a competitive advantage. We also make sure to bring these solutions promptly and cost-efficiently.
Here’s looking back at the success stories of some of our Indian Clients!
GST Implementation in SAP: With the changing regulations of GST policies in India, our client, HOCL, an enterprise owned by the Government of India to indigenize the manufacturing of vital organic chemicals, wanted to integrate GST into their SAP system and support the GST implementation. The enterprise, consisting of complex and critical workflows, required the implementation to be quick and fast adaptive to the existing environment.
What we did was a 100% compliant GST implementation in the customer’s SAP system, while carefully addressing all taxable scenarios and specific requirements. Our strategized and timely implementation of GST changes into the customer’s SAP system, ensured zero deviation from the regulatory timeline, and zero effects on the business continuity.
An E-commerce Platform to Streamline Medical Procurement: Analyzing the challenges of the healthcare industry in procuring quality medical supplies, Kogland required a streamlined platform to seamlessly connect top vendors and trusted brands with healthcare organizations.
Fingent helped the firm develop an e-commerce platform that delivered a hassle-free shopping experience for healthcare sectors, as well as a trusted selling platform for healthcare vendors. Capabilities around Magento were utilized to serve the front-end of the e-commerce functionalities, whereas advances in Odoo to structure the back-end operations of the company, including sales, purchases, inventory, and accounting.
Based on these successful projects in India, in research conducted by Clutch in 2021, Fingent stood as one of the top software development companies in India!
Clutch is a popular B2B rating and review platform that crucially evaluates tech service and solution companies based on their client reviews and work qualities. We are thrilled and excited to have been awarded this title from Clutch, and we look forward to more successful client stories and achievements in the future.
We are also truly thankful to our clients who constantly support us by posting their honest reviews and thoughtful feedback on the Clutch website.
“We are recognized for our clients, and that’s why we make sure that their dreams and ideas come to life with the advances and expertise we have in technology today! We are truly thankful to Clutch for appreciating our efforts.”
– Varghese Samuel, CEO & Managing Director, Fingent.
If you are looking for a technology partner to innovate your business ideas, then contact us now, and let’s talk about your project and goals.
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How to gain maximum value from technology investments for your business?
The slow economy stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organizations to identify and cut all unnecessary costs. Unfortunately, technology investments also fall prey to these budget cuts. It happens when businesses invest in technology without adequate planning.
According to a survey, 29.2% of respondents holistically examine their technology usage while searching for efficiencies. It may mean canceling or delaying new projects and purchases or reducing or canceling maintenance and support contracts for existing investments.
Research by Accenture reveals that while 47% of the companies are building their future growth strategies on mobility and technology, considering inefficient technology as one of the top hindrances to their growth. It is clear that IT-led innovation is the need of the hour, and 82% of companies are investing specifically in technology for improved growth.
Simply put, now, it is crucial to improve the return on investment of resources, optimize costs, and select the right solution when making sourcing decisions.
Here, we share a few tips to help you gain full value from your technology investments.
Ways to optimize costs
Gartner reveals that optimizing costs is essential for businesses and is one of the best ways to control spending and attain cost reduction while maximizing business value.
Optimizing costs should take into account:
- Automating and digitizing business operations
- Simplifying and standardizing applications, platforms, processes, and services
- Obtaining the best terms and pricing for business purchases
While this means ensuring that technology investments generate the maximum possible value, it also means cutting costs and considering how each technology investment drives business value.
Some technology may be expensive, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t providing value to the organization. Expensive technology may already be optimized because of the value it generates, while inexpensive technology may be unused and wasted. Therefore, it is important to make the right decisions regarding purchasing hardware, software licenses, or cloud services contracts.
Once you have identified and mitigated what you do not need and what you need, there are no more costs to reduce. It is time to look at how to optimize technology assets.
Ways to get the most out of your tech investments
Despite the cutbacks and search for savings, many organizations continue to invest in technology projects and accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. However, even with the economic slowdown coupled with pandemic-related uncertainties, organizations that have performed well during 2020 are looking to increase resilience by reducing risks and demanding shorter ROI periods on investments.
That said, the key to maximize ROI is preparation. It is essential to know that you’ve selected the right solution and are ready for implementation. Several surveys done in the past suggest that the software chosen is rarely the reason for any IT project’s failure. And a few leaders even agree with this, revealing a lack of investment in preparation, project management, and implementation. Even the simplest of IT systems require some amount of work to install and configure. So, the more complex your environment is, the more careful you will have to be.
Key factors to consider while developing a technology strategy to improve corporate performance are:
Investment profile: Your management team must identify your IT investment percentage (allocated to build significant capabilities) versus the foundational investment. Ideally, foundational investments should not be more than 40% of the total annual investments.
Organization focus: You must identify whether a significant portion of your internal resources aims to drive innovation or growth. Also, find out if you have the proper operating processes in place to drive these investments.
Tenure: You will have to figure out if your workforce has the right experience and skills to achieve the target.
Investment economics: Move over traditional measures and instead identify newer ways to evaluate your projects and investments.
A few technologies worth investing
Following are some of the technologies worth investing in the present business scenario:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Internet-of-Things (IoT)
- Self-driving technology
- Streaming media
Tips for getting maximum value from technology investments
To get maximum value from your technology investments, you should:
- Be prepared with clear objectives and outcomes. You must ensure that your vision aligns with that of the new technology vendor.
- Ensure that you have people, processes, and governance for leveraging the technology when deployed, reducing the time to both value and ROI.
- Identify and assess your data sources’ quality to develop appropriate metrics for accuracy and completeness of data and check for any improvements.
- Invest in the implementation and system or process integrations to make sure they are carried out successfully. If you are using any third-party service provider for the implementation, ensure that you hire a reliable and trained team like Fingent.
- Identify users and key stakeholders and invest in their time to maintain the system.
- To reap benefits early in the project and demonstrate the value of initial investments, take a phased approach. Phasing could be by business unit, geography, or environment depending on the organizational structure and business goals. This will ensure that the project is manageable.
- Provide both initial and ongoing training in phases to allow end-users to familiarize themselves with the features and functionalities they have learned about before undergoing further training. That said, make sure the new users are also appropriately trained.
- Ensure that third-party consultants have completed their vendor training or certification programs before allowing them to use your tools. Also, check if you are using the latest version of the tool. If needed, arrange for additional training.
Be smart with your tech investments
With technology and digital transformation becoming more pervasive across all industries, technology investment can make a huge difference in winning or losing a business. By focusing on the tips discussed in this article, companies can maximize value from their technology investments.
Technology wins only if it can appease users. A bad customer experience forces the customer to switch from vendor A to vendor B. Not only should you identify and invest in the right technology, but make an emotional connection to craft human experiences that drive customer satisfaction and differentiate you from your rivals.
Fingent helps you make a fortune out of tech investments by helping you leverage the latest technology trends. Our business technology consulting services focus on helping businesses tackle technology problems, attain business objectives, and derive value from tech and IT investments. Chat with an expert to learn more.