The recession may be tough, but there has never been a better time to ditch outdated practices and implement modern approaches to management, according to an industry expert.
While many businesses within the transport & distribution sector see the downturn as a threat, bosses should not forget there are opportunities as well, said Phil Brown, Managing Director of Youmanage .
"Many businesses are taking painful decisions to reduce staff and cut costs to keep their bottom line healthy during the recession – and it really hurts," said Mr Brown.
"But, handled in the right way, it could be an ideal time to take the opportunity to introduce changes to which there may previously have been resistance but which will serve to make the business stronger.
"Not only will these help the business weather the current economic storm, they will prepare it to grow and expand in future when the boom times come around again."
One example is taking the plunge and exploiting new technology such as Youmanage’s online HR support system which enables small businesses to act more like large companies when it comes to managing the workforce.
The Youmanage system guides managers through every step of an employee’s working life with the company, from initial interview through to managing somebody out of the business. Up-to-date advice and guidance about employment law and management best practise is included, and the package can be tailored to include a company’s own policies and procedures.
At the click of a mouse, managers can access key details about individual employees, from basic information such as start date and salary, holidays and sickness through to performance reviews, time-keeping and any disciplinary procedures.
For a modest monthly fee, companies can reduce the costly risk of being taken to an employment tribunal, or to court, while at the same time making it easier for managers to keep employees focussed on the key performance targets of the business.
"Many traditional businesses have not yet fully investigated this type of web-based on-line support which could really make a difference to their bottom line," said Mr Brown.
"The Youmanage system is ideally suited to companies in which employees work away from the office or at remote locations, such as care homes, road haulage firms, retailers, couriers and security firms.
"Empowering line managers to take appropriate and timely decisions helps the business to run more smoothly and frees up HR departments to concentrate on more strategic issues."