Hello, this is Hayashi from the Marketing Department
The other day, I was shopping at a convenience store near my home. A foreign clerk was serving me in some kind of hurry. Apparently, the person in front of me at the cash register had bought several kinds of fried foods from the hot display case (you know, the one next to the cash register?), but then realized,
“I think there’s a ham cutlet missing?”
and handed the plastic bag and the receipt to the clerk for confirmation.
The customer is buying five or six different kinds of fried foods, one at a time, and they are already placed in paper bags by type. The customer had to open the bag and look inside in order for the clerk to check the items. However, the clerk seemed to think that she was not allowed to open the bag, and touched the product on top of the paper bag to check the contents. The customer who purchased the deep-fried food probably thought to himself,
“No, if you do that, the fried food will be crushed…”
The clerk was not the only one who was thinking this.
In the end, the clerk gave up on checking the contents and decided to check the number of items against the receipt. After confirming that there were not enough items, he safely took the ham cutlet out of the display case and handed it to the customer. The customer looked annoyed, but did not complain, just took the item and left.
So, what I wanted to say was,
convenience stores nowadays have so many kinds of operations that it must be hard for the clerks
and I wondered if such troubles are shared among the employees.
Especially in the service industry, such problems can lead to immediate complaints, so it is important to share information and consider improvement measures to prevent recurrence. In the above example, it would be like sharing how to respond to such a situation, such as by checking the receipt first.
Of course, if information is not shared appropriately, even outside of the service industry it is highly likely to lead to various problems and defects. In this article we will explain the necessity of information sharing in a company and how to share information smoothly.
What Does It Mean to Share Information?
Information that should be shared within a company includes know-how about operations and progress.
Information about cases and customers should also be shared promptly to prevent problems and facilitate business operations. Troubles such as the one mentioned at the beginning of this section should be shared smoothly to avoid repeating the same case and causing double complaints.
On the other hand, if information about operations and projects is not shared appropriately and is monopolized by a specific person, there is a high likelihood that operations will become individualized. This is common in sales and marketing positions, where only the person in charge knows about a client, which can lead to stagnation in the absence of the person in charge.
Information sharing also affects workplace relationships.
If a mistake or trouble is caused by a lack of communication, and the employee says, “I didn’t hear about it”
This will affect the relationship of trust.
if someone says, “No, I told you”
it can lead to a quagmire of accusations and denials.
In order to avoid such a situation, it is important to share information necessary for business in an appropriate manner. If the information had been shared properly, the mistake or trouble might not have occurred in the first place.
What Information Should Be Shared?
On the one hand, the main point of information sharing is
- to share the necessary information
- Do not share unnecessary information
In order to ensure that the necessary information is conveyed to the necessary people, we must not only select and choose the information to be shared, but also consider the people with whom the information will be shared.
What kind of information should be shared depends on the type of business. However, information about problems, changes in operations, and business precautions should be shared regardless of the industry. In addition, if the work is production-related, the schedule should be shared thoroughly, and if the work is in the service industry or sales, it is essential to share information about customers.
However, no matter how important the information is, it is important to avoid duplicating the same information or sending it to people who do not need it. Such unnecessary information is simply noise and may interfere with business operations.
Another key point in information sharing is how to convey information in detail. This also depends on the industry. For example, in the service industry, such as hotels, and in the nursing and medical fields, even minor remarks or changes by customers or patients can be important information to be sent. However, if unimportant information that is not directly related to the person in question is sent via email every step of the way, it could be considered a hindrance to business operations.
So, how can we select and convey the right information to the right person?
What Tools are Useful for Information Sharing?
Today, there are a variety of tools on the market to help share information.
Chat tools are the most common of these. Chat tools allow information to be shared more openly and quickly than paper documents or email. Another feature of chat tools is that it is easy to share files and refer to past correspondence. Using functions such as groups and mentions, information can be conveyed to the right person at the right time.
Workflow systems, which manage the progress of work, are another tool that supports information sharing from a different perspective.
For example, we have published free templates that can be used with Questetra BPM Suite, and one of them is Information sharing between departments and under the division of labor. This is a template for managing cleaning and customer service in a hotel.
This template includes 2 features:
- Real-time confirmation of guest check-out by the cleaning staff
- The night shift supervisor can leave an internal memo to the front desk supervisor
As you can see in the figure above, this flow allows the front desk staff to input the completion of guest check-out, and the cleaning staff can confirm it in real time and start cleaning.
In addition, when there is a complaint to be addressed, an internal memo can be sent from the night shift supervisor to the front desk supervisor. The front desk staff is automatically notified by email so that they do not miss the internal memo.
Incorporating information sharing into the workflow is one way to ensure appropriate information sharing. The theme of information sharing between departments and under the division of labor is based on information sharing in hotel operations, but the real-time sharing of progress status and important information that can be achieved through this workflow can be applied to a wide range of industries.
※ Please refer to this blog for more information on how to improve information sharing from workflow.
Chat and Workflow with Questetra BPM Suite
In the above section, we mentioned tools that support information sharing, but Questetra BPM Suite is a BPM tool that includes a chat tool (internal SNS function “Open Chat”) and workflow.
In addition, Questetra BPM Suite is a cloud-based service, which means that you can access the same system as in the office and process your business wherever you are, as long as you have an Internet connection. This is very useful when you want to share information in real time, as mentioned in the “Sharing Information between Departments and under the Division of Labor” template.
Another advantage of the cloud-based system is that you can start using it right away after applying. Why don’t you take this opportunity to review information sharing within your team with Questetra BPM Suite? A free trial is also available.