New generation office administrators of today probably would not even imagine the plight of the office administrators a decade back. When the entire day would be spent just organizing long distance travels finding out the best rates of an air ticket and the best hotel rates in the city of travel. Of course the bigger companies would have a travel agent doing it for them but not companies having very infrequent travels. Today no office administrator spends more than an hour doing the exact same thing.
Technology and Productivity
Technology has affected all of us in ways more than we had imagined in the past and it continues to do so. With all that it is changing, one thing is absolute constant that it is making us more and more productive each day. Being more productive not only has advantages for the organization we work in but also for our careers. Imagine putting yourself in your MD’s or CEO’s shoes and try to answer, what should I pay someone who in his entire month helped us arrange travels at the cheapest costs. Now imagine if you could, not only arrange the most cost effective travel and buy office supplies at the cost effective prices but also help the company arrange the monthly office events effectively, oversee that office facilities are at their best and still have time to create a beautiful looking MIS to showcase your department’s last month achievements, what advantage would it bring to the prospects of your own career.
Technology in office administration
Technology has already made it possible for you to manage your travels effectively. The next big but not so appreciated task in your daily routine is making sure the office facilities run at their best. This task is a combination of such subtle nuances that many of us do not even realize the toll it takes on our work hours. Let us break it down for ease of understanding what all it entails
- Keeping track of office supplies inventory. In most cases this inventory is not tracked electronically and seldom has any historical data available. Hence the only way to do it is by manual checking and counting. This many times results in shortage of one or other commodity thus causing a slight unrest in the employees.
- Ordering the appropriate replenishment. In most of the cases it would involve coordinating with 4-5 vendors and hence is done on separates dates. This only means extra time spent due to unpredictability of the situation.
- Processing vendor payments usually 15-20 invoices a month. The problem gets aggravated if the vendors have different payment terms.
- Sometime a not so regular and very specific requirement is also sent to admin by someone whom you cannot say not to (I am sure you know who I mean) and none of your regular vendor stock that item. It becomes a real task to source that item and it may even take a full day just for this procurement. Even worse is that it will never be counted as an achievement even though it took a lot of your precious working hours which you could have utilized to achieve tasks that could have looked good on your resume or review sheets.
Above list is only indicative but it is not at all something that one would be appreciated for coz this is the smallest part of R&R and KRA’s. The above is taken for granted and even a slight slip on the above (e.g. shortage of a Hand wash or Printing Paper) becomes the key talking point for critics.
Shoppeboard in your Workday
We feel it is high time the above tasks got written off your day’s routine and that’s what Shoppeboard is trying to do. It is trying to free you from all Non Value Added tasks of your day and let you focus on what is important for your organization at large. It is trying to give you more time to do tasks that will look good on your resume. It is bringing all the numerous vendors, that you have been dealing with, to you through one single window. It is trying to help you delegate your not so important tasks to someone who is glad to help. Above all it will help you analyse your spend and consumption to identify those big ticket items that will help cut down your spending and hence really help save money for the company without sweating it out.
Give Shoppeboard a try and realize how you will suddenly have more hours in your day to do tasks that you would love bragging about in your next review.