Too many tools too little time en

The overabundance of technology and tools is paralyzing teams, costing them precious time and money. But how do you start eliminating the tools you don't need?

Gone are the days when we had no means to help us get the job done. Today, an overabundance of technology, gadgets and tools is paralyzing teams, costing them precious time that could otherwise be spent way more productively.

The paradox of choice

In The paradox of Choice - why more is less, American psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. “Autonomy and freedom of choice are critical to our wellbeing, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.”

Tools applePerhaps this also rings true for business applications. The overabundance of tools is making it harder and harder for companies to find the perfect fit, or in the end, find the perfect use for them. And yet, as their name suggests, efficiency tools actually need to help in the pursuit of efficiency, rather than hinder it.

Besides, all the technology in the world couldn’t solve inefficiency when those tools are being used for matters they weren’t intended to solve. Applications (like Excel) are often misused for everything ranging from customer management, invoicing and accounting to sometimes even the entire sales process, all the while eating away at the company’s efficiency or productivity.

Most SMEs tend to use specialized accounting and invoicing software. Even though this software offers the advantage of being designed for one specific task, it suffers from the fact that it can only run side-by-side and can barely exchange data. Add that to the endless lists of tools a company uses to manage contacts, invoicing and projects, and it doesn’t take long to realize where the problems lie.

Tool overabundance syndrome

If your company finds itself embracing new tools at every turn only to abandon them a few weeks later, or worse, keeps forcing them on its staff regardless of how they negatively affect their workflow, you might be suffering from tool overabundance syndrome.

And soon enough, this will make it impossible to see the wood for the trees. Constantly alt-tabbing between several windows, cutting and pasting until your fingers feel numb, and just looking for data alone could take up half your time. Moreover, this will severely complicate providing co-workers with the correct or most recent information.


Choosing the right tools

Is your company using too many tools? Time to start casting off dead weight. Eliminate tools that aren’t working or aren’t being used in the correct manner - and go from there. Don’t always try to implement the newest tools on the market just because they’re new, either. The fewer tools you use, the easier it becomes to learn about advanced features, to stay on top of updates, or to see if you can integrate the tools you use with one another.

Next, try to list your company’s needs in terms of tools. If one of your tools does not fit into your company’s current needs, try writing down ways you would use the tool in your everyday business. How would it integrate in your current workflow and with the other tools you are using? How would it make your work easier? What goals would it help you accomplish?

A universal solution

There are so many tools out there that address a variety of problems, and the tools you choose should obviously help you meet your needs. Your decision process in choosing those tools should, however, follow certain criteria: does this tool help improve our business? Does it lead to data redundancy, and eventually, to more hassle? Or does it actually help us save time and money?

These are the basic questions we try to address with our all-in-one solution, covering the most fundamental problems small and medium sized businesses face on a day to day basis. From managing leads and customers up to tracking your sales activity, providing customer support and following up on projects, Teamleader provides you with all the data you need to manage the most essential aspects of your business - all in one place, while its numerous integrations provide enough flexibility to accommodate your workflow.

Dying to see more? Try out a free 14-day demo and see for yourself what Teamleader can do for you!