I don't need a customer service app!

You’re a small business. You have a handle on all your messaging – You don’t need a customer service app! Think again. Have you ever sent a “please help me” message to a business and got frustrated when you never received a response?
Your business are your customers. Whether you’re a tech giant, an accountancy practice or small distributor, keeping track of messages from your customers, and more importantly, responding to those messages is crucial to keeping your customers happy. You need to quickly see messages whether they are emails, facebook messenger or Twitter messages and get someone on your team to respond.

Think of all the email addresses you see on websites - Hello@, Contact@, Sales@, Booking@, Events@, Support@, Operations@, accounts@, Careers@, Orders@, bugs@ , Feedback@, press@ , partners@ , marketing@.

Do you know where messages to these email addresses end up in your business and who, if anyone , is responding to them?
What is a customer service app?
At it’s simplest it’s j…

From customer pain point to solution in 30 minutes

Building connections to your customers or suppliers is getting easier - Many new tools are available for the SME to connect and share data, tasks and everything else that crops up during your business day.
At Apptimi, we’re always in conversations with business, listening to their issues , their pain points as we call them.

The Pain Point
One such customer had a major pain point - Sharing and managing forms with contractors and agency staff - This was a construction management business that managed many outside contractors and needed to record and track their training certifications before permitting them access to sites - Health and Safety training, Climbing at height, specialist training and more. Their current system used paper, lots of paper, the worlds favorite app Excel and you guessed it, a fax.
Managing this process took time. Time from everyone involved including the contractors, admin staff, health and safety and more. When they approached Apptimi looking for a solution we jumpe…

Seeing the wood from the trees!

In my business I get to meet many business owners, from all industries and services. Whether they are IT focused, plumbers, builders, accountants or even schools - Each one has their own needs, their own pain points and their own requirements for their business.

The Conversation
Last week I met with a new contact. He was the business owner and was interested in how Apptimi could help him work better. To help him in the discussion he brought along an IT contractor who "spoke my language". The conversation that followed was interesting:
The IT pro started first:
Q1: Doe's it have an API? Q2: Doe's it export in XML? Q3: If so what standard?
Next was the Business owner
Q1: Will I need to train my staff Q2: Will I need to spend more on IT integration? Q3: Will it export to Excel and Sage?

The Lesson Learned
What struck me (once again) was the completely different perspectives on what was required. For the developer it was all about this standard and that standard, or about extending …

Getting A Grip on Your Data

Too much data If you’re a business owner, then you know about data overload. As business owners, we produce way too much data in too many formats yet most of us lack the right  tools to manage all this this data. Whether it’s data generated from invoices, deliveries , time sheets,  expenses , site visits, development tools, customer support and lots of other sources most small businesses need more help to manage this avalanche of critical data.

There’s more to data management than Excel Let’s face when, when most business owners are asked what they use to manage some of their most valuable data, the answer is often just Excel. Excel has been the go-to data collection and management tool for so many businesses for so many years. And while Excel is an easy option for the unskilled, it’s no longer of much real value to businesses that want to maximize the value of their data 

Sharing is  caring While spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel  are very useful and reliable tools, they are essentially f…

Managing health and safety shouldn't be difficult

We hear time and again from business owners that managing health and safety is difficult and takes too much time. The fact is, managing this basic business requirement isn't that difficult and when properly organised will take only a little of you or your staffs time. 

There are some basics to get right first. These are your obligations under law and are the minimum you must do:

Health & Safety Checklist:Take out employers liability insurance. Make sure you display the certificate where your employees and contract staff can see it.Assign a competent person to manage your health and safety requirements. A competent person need not be an outside consultant. Any member of your staff who understands the workplace and the health and safety requirements can be viewed as a competent person.Create your health and safety policy. This is a plan on how you are going to manage your health and safety.Create your risk assessment. This is a list of anything (a hazard) that can harm an employee…

Keeping it simple - If it needs a training course it's already failed.

We hear a lot about cloud computing and how it will empower every business, large and small. About how it will change how these businesses work and grow in the future. 

While I agree with some of the messages that cloud computing brings, I also see problems with the reality. A lot of cloud applications come to the SME market from the larger enterprise companies and bring with it a complexity that is not needed by the SME.

Cloud computing or web servers (or whatever name you give to it) at their most basic level need to just work for the business. The SME typically doesn't have an IT department and can't invest time and resources into getting applications up and running. It usually uses contract staff that come in and out of the business and full time staff fill in for those that are absent for any length of time.

For the small or medium size business, web applications bring a promise of increased productivity, flexibility and a cost reduction that they could never enjoy previousl…

Build any application in 5 minutes with no coding needed

Business applications, web or mobile tend to take a long time to design, code and test. They can also cost a lot. Even simple web applications take time and resources which means a lot of businesses either do without or fall back to the age old staple - the mighty spreadsheet.

One such example was a local company that built a travel request application - This took them almost 2 months from specification, to design and then implementation. They then had to wait for the software developers to schedule the development. Add in the ongoing support for the application and the costs mount up. And all this for only one app.

We set about to change this by building an application builder to give any business the ability to build a form, add in whatever fields required, create business rules around those forms all in something that can have their application up and running in under 5 minutes. But we went a little further by making the forms builder integrate with other applications such as the con…