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(Clockwise from top left) Janine Taylor of The Next Trend Designs, Jason Atkins of 360insights, Lak Chahal of Binary Stream Software, Shantal Feltham of Stiris Research, and Bijan Shames of Cogent Industrial Technologies

Integrating a unified communcations strategy into your business can save tons of time, but getting it up and running in the first place can be difficult. Choosing the right tool (or set of tools) is hard enough; but the hardest work is often changing your staff’s long-standing communcations habits.

We asked five entrepreneurs who run PROFIT 500-ranked companies how they introduced time-saving information-sharing technology to their businesses—and made it stick.

Cast a wide net

Having comprehensive, company-wide data- and account-management software is a necessity. It allows us to effectively meet the needs of our clients while keeping all internal departments involved and informed. We use it for client contact management and prospecting, as well as internal production, shipping and accounting data, which everyone has access to as needed. As a management tool, it is invaluable.
—Janine Taylor, CEO, The Next Trend DesignsNo. 434

Real-time matters

We use the Trello project management platform to help manage many complex jobs across work groups and departments. It gives all stakeholders a real-time view into the progress of each task related to a project and helps us move more fluidly as an organization. And it also reduces our meeting load.
—Jason Atkins, Founder & CEO, 360insights, No. 13

BYO-Wikipedia

Our company has benefited from the implementation of an internal wiki to document our processes and practices. Through this platform, our entire organization is able to capture and share knowledge, and better collaborate with one another.
—Bijan Shams, President & CEO, Cogent Industrial Technologies, No. 493

Backups come standard

We use Box for file sharing among team members and with clients, and we use Carbonite to back up our systems each day. We’ve had someone’s laptop catch fire, someone’s hard drive fail and someone’s system just plain die. In every incident, the individual was back working at full capacity after a very short period, because we had a full copy their work in the cloud.
—Shantal Feltham, President & CEO, Stiris Research, No. 454

Think globally

It is a common tool, but using WebEx for online demonstrations has enabled our sales force to cost-effectively sell anywhere. That’s helpful, because we have clients on five continents. Without this tool, we’d have a completely different model and be far less effective.
—Lak Chahal, President & CEO, Binary Stream Software, No. 372

This article is from the Summer 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!

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