One recurring topic in the news is about productivity in the UK being one of the lowest in Europe but this is nothing new and if you Google you will find this topic discussed over many years. How do you increase productivity? You could Google and find some complicated definitions but in simple terms it means ‘doing more using less resource’. In order to do more, you have find better ways of doing things, and those ways have to be more efficient to use less resource.
At Interface, we constantly strive to do more for clients using the most efficient methods and while we run a pretty efficient ship we continually look for improvements. In January, we threw away our PCs and switched to Apple MacBooks. There was a steep learning curve for the first month or so but the increased efficiency and time saving is almost unbelievable and for us the phrase ‘when you get a Mac you never go back’ has become one of our mantras. On a cost assessment, it might first appear that Mac is more expensive than PC but after a detailed cost assessment we now firmly believe that a Mac is a cheaper option than PC. No antivirus software, no disruptive updates, automatic backups, no crashes, no downtime, and no cost of software support, are just some of the advantages. Our calculations were based on the Life Cycle Cost and we are totally convinced that Mac provides better value as well as a lot less frustration.
Some of our business software requires a Windows environment to operate and while you can run Windows on a Mac we had got rid of our PCs and we wanted to be rid of all the issues that Windows brings with it. After several months of researching various alternatives we found our nirvana in Key Computers Ltd. Key’s Cloud Hosted Desktop provides us with a hosted service where we can run all of our Windows programs from any location and with high level security. This service may be offered by many but no one does it better than Key and without espousing their service too much I recommend that you look for yourself.
So, returning to Interface and productivity we are now able to do more with less resource. The change took us some time but the resulting solution is significantly cheaper than the options that we had at the start of the year. The saving a several thousand pounds a year benefits everyone and we are now more efficient with virtually 100% computer up time. No more waiting for computers to be available and we can focus on helping and advising clients. One of the dilemmas that all businesses face in that order to improve you have to allocate time away from clients in the interim which is always a delicate balance – sometimes it’s necessary to go one step backwards to go three steps forward and if you have been affected by reduced response times thank you for your patience.
An essential element of being more productive is to focus on what you are good at and to get others to do the things that are not your key business. In September, I introduced you to Sarah Harvey who is one of the key members of my team. This month it is the turn of Sarah Challenor who is my Data Manager and I asked her to write a few words about herself:
“I started working with Interface in August 2015 under the title of Data Manager. I thrive in this role as it involves various elements of ensuring data is synchronised and accurate which is my passion. My whole career has been within financial services focusing on the data and operational side. Prior to working with Interface, I worked at a national IFA and then a Financial Services software company and this is where I first met Alan back in 2012. Outside of work my partner Steve and I have two fantastic children Teigan 10, and Brayden 5, and we live in Leicester. Most weeks we forget what our home looks like thanks to being a taxi service to the children’s activities, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!I love working with Alan and the team at Interface. Alan has created an environment where the client is always at the forefront and the service provided is the top priority. Alan continues to impress me with his drive to input into technology companies again in order to streamline and improve the services he can offer with clients.”
Sarah is a gem and we are lucky to have her. You can see her photo and other details by clicking the link to Adviser Outsourcing and scrolling down.