Efficiency Through Technology
The Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre (SMUBDC) proposes to create and deliver workshops throughout Nova Scotia to create awareness of and promote the development and usage of digital technology and social media for small businesses. The goal of this project is to provide participants with practical tips, best practices and applications they can utilize to grow their business social media presence and enable them to remain competitive in a digital environment. In addition, a train-the-trainer component would allow C@P Coordinators to co-facilitate the business training programs and deliver further training and mentorship with participants.
The project will partner with the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Community Access Program (C@P) for promoting the workshops in their local areas through their business clients and use of C@P sites with available computers and space for hosting workshops on site. We will work with the main liaisons for the provincial C@P program to identify the most suitable locations for the delivery of this program in rural Nova Scotia communities.
- Create and develop workshop material and framework for the development of efficiency platforms for technology usage in small businesses
- Create new relationships and strengthen existing relationships with our partners across Nova Scotia as we promote the program to their clients
- Deliver workshops in 10 communities across Nova Scotia with a target of training 100 businesses (average of 10 attendees per workshop)
- Train C@P Coordinators in 10 communities across Nova Scotia to be able to deliver Efficiency Through Technology training program in their own communities
February – March 2013 – Efficiency Through Technology Training program throughout 10 rural communities in Nova Scotia
March – April 2013: Follow-up mentoring with businesses from training program
The 1-day interactive training workshop on Efficiency Through Technology will introduce participants to the world of business efficiency through technology. Using successful local and global case studies, theory, practical experience and knowledge of best practices, we will take participants step-by-step through the process of enhancing efficiencies in their business through the use of mobile and web technologies. All relevant information, handouts and further teaching tools will be made available in digital format for easy access following the program.
SMUBDC staff will continue to work with the C@P Coordinators by providing 5 hours of coaching to ensure dissemination of training program happens in the most effective way. In addition, SMUBDC staff will offer all businesses participating in the Efficiency Through Technology training 2-hours of mentoring per business.
Technology efficiencies allow for faster processing of data and easier retrieval of information. Technology can improve the efficiency of repetitive operations, reduce and eliminate mistakes, and reduce the time it takes to complete tasks as well as improve accessibility of services for customers. In addition to making processes quicker, technology also makes it easy to keep information up to date and allows for greater storage of data. What used to take several minutes to an hour can now be done instantly.
Topics to be covered in the Efficiency Through Technology training program include:
Cloud Computing – allows businesses to work with greater ease and flexibility by storing business data on servers at a remote location. There is no need to update software, data can be stored in greater quantities, often realizes a cost savings for businesses and allows employees to access information wherever they are.
Mobile Business Intelligence – the distribution of business data to mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. A large number of companies are rapidly undertaking mobile BI owing to a large number of market pressures such as the need for higher efficiency in business processes, improvement in employee productivity (e.g., time spent looking for information), better and faster decision making, better customer service, and delivery of real-time bi-directional data access to make decisions anytime and anywhere.
Social Media – employing web- and mobile-based technologies to support interactive dialogue between businesses and customers/clients. Participants will learn the Importance of social media in business marketing, how to launch a social media campaign, how to build a business social media presence and manage it effectively, the rules of social media engagement and how to connect with customers and clients.
Google Applications – a selection of critical security features created by Google, specifically designed to keep business data safe. Google Apps can help streamline everyday tasks like invoicing, budgeting, scheduling and more. Google Apps can help reduce both a company’s overall expenses and its environmental impact. We will use real examples of applications which can help increase business efficiency, including email; calendar; Google Drive for document management, file access, slide presentations, tables and reports; shared workspace; analytic tabulation and analysis; list share and data archiving.
Saint Mary’s University
Saint Mary’s University (SMU) is an academic leader in Atlantic Canada. SMU offers undergraduate education in arts, sciences and commerce, professional programs in commerce, criminology and engineering, and graduate programs in Business, Psychology, Asian Studies, Women’s Studies and International Development Studies to approximately 8,000 students a year. The University has a strong mission and mandate. The mission of Saint Mary’s University is to offer undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs; to engage in research and disseminate its results; and to serve the community from the local to the international level. The University has a series of core values that help the organization achieve this mission. These core values are:
- In achieving its mission, the Saint Mary’s community is guided by core values of academic integrity, the pursuit of knowledge, responsiveness to community needs, openness to change, concerns for a just and civil society, and fiscal responsibility.
- The University is committed to accessibility, diversity and the provision of a positive and supportive learning environment through the effective integration of teaching and research.
- Through promoting the importance of critical enquiry, leadership, teamwork and global awareness, we aim to prepare students for responsible and rewarding lives and to remain engaged with our alumni worldwide.
- We recognize the importance of the contribution and growth of each individual in the University’s success.
- Saint Mary’s welcomes mutually beneficial partnerships and strategic alliances with all levels of government, with other educational institutions, non-government institutions and the private sector.
One of the driving forces behind the mandate of Saint Mary’s University is response to the needs of the community. SMU recognizes the importance of contributing to an economy that will help businesses succeed.
Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre
The Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre (SMUBDC) is a division of Saint Mary’s University. SMUBDC provides a range of consulting services while offering Saint Mary’s student’s practical learning experience in the private and public sectors. SMUBDC is committed to providing career training for Saint Mary’s students, producing cost-effective business solutions for clients, and promoting entrepreneurship to everyone.
SMUBDC’s mission is:
“Building and supporting community business leaders through consulting and training.”
Two core objectives of the SMUBDC are:
- To provide practical small business entrepreneurship education and training
- To advocate for and promote the understanding and development of entrepreneurship, and to support the successful creation, operation and growth of small business
The SMUBDC has a very experienced and developed core staff that will all contribute to the success of the program. The staff brings a lot of education and training with seven core staff who possess or are pursuing their Masters or PhD in Business. The SMUBDC has extensive experience in implementing training programs devoted to the assistance of current and perspective business owners. Since its inception in 1989, the SMUBDC has become a leader in many areas and has successfully trained over 400 businesses annually. Systems and processes have been put in place to effectively manage financial and narrative reporting, implementation of training, debriefing programs, ongoing participant monitoring, participant assessments, and general logistical project support and administration.
The SMUBDC has gained significant experience in developing and delivering personal and professional development training for businesses.
Recent projects the SMUBDC has worked on include:
- From Mind to Market – workshops delivered under Learnsphere designed to assist small to medium sized businesses that have developed a new product, service or technology. Topics have included test marketing, competitive intelligence, commercialization and productivity.
- Sobey School Solutions – a breakfast workshop series that brings together university faculty with the business community. Faculty members are invited to present areas of their research that has practical implications for the business community. In the 2011/2012 program last year over 400 businesses attended these sessions.
- Small Business Essentials – the SMUBDC has developed and delivered a five day training workshop designed to educated SMEs on the functional areas of business. Topics covered in the training include marketing and promotion, entrepreneurial finance, operations, management, strategy and innovation. Over 100 businesses have engaged in training through out the life of this program.
- Growing Your Business: One Employee at a Time – This workshop was delivered in 13 different communities around Nova Scotia and shows small to medium sized businesses how to ensure that their employees are growing with their company. The first portion of the program is an interactive workshop and the second brings in local successful entrepreneurs in the area to talk to the participants about their experiences. Over 150 businesses attended these sessions.
- Continuing Education – the SMUBDC has partnered with Continuing Education at Saint Mary’s University to deliver a two day training workshop on strategic thinking. The program is delivered twice annually to 15 participants per session.
- Publications – the SMUBDC partnered with the Nova Scotia government and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to publish two books; “How to Grow a Business: Lessons from Leading Entrepreneurs” and “Building Better Business through Your Employees: Human Resource Guide for Small Business in Nova Scotia”. These publications were designed to assist SMEs and their skill development.
For more information on the SMUBDC refer to www.smubdc.ca.
Skills Development & Training
Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre
1546 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3X7
tel: (902) 429-2992 / fax: (902) 429-0330
Michael Sanderson, Manager, Skills Development & Training
Lianne Perry, Senior Project Manager
Interested business or community groups should contact Donna MacDonald, NS C@P Coordinator for Victoria County to discuss booking a seat for the workshops.