Specialised call centre solutions provider, Teleforge Communications, has signed a business partnership deal with Task Flow that will enable it to diversify its service offerings beyond voice solutions for call centres.
TaskFlow develops task-based process and knowledge management software solutions for the sales industry but also for the  management of collaborative operations such as manufacturing, product development, laboratory and research activity, process-based industry, and job shop business environments.
Andrew van Niekerk, MD of Teleforge, says: “Task Flow then optimises this workflow and designs a new system that is much more efficient and requires less people to do the same task. Processes (including sales) that usually took two days can now be done rapidly – often in less than five minutes. This is allowing businesses to free up people to open up new horizons, conduct more sales, and completely change a business.
“A company, for instance, on the threshold of opening an additional branch – but always finding it impossible due to staff being stretched too thin- would now be able to open that branch. This is because tasks have been optimised, thereby freeing up additional time and needing less people to do the same amount of work.”
Van Niekerk says South Africa is essentially a third-world country that has taken a long time to evolve and become competitive in the international market space.
“It seems that only the largest corporates have the financial means to progress and prosper. There is a severe lack of skills in South Africa to develop and design new systems that can streamline, optimise and automate business processes. This means that being globally competitive – and even profitable – in the South African space, is extremely hard. Most businesses are suffering, and South Africa is facing a fiscal cliff that sees business confidence at a 22 year old low,” says Van Niekerk.
South Africa’s business confidence index fell to its lowest level in 22 years in September, according to recent statistics, reflecting concerns about sub-par domestic and global economic growth. The Business Confidence Index slid to 81.6 in August, attaining its weakest rating since July 1993, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said recently.
The bottom-line is that, these days, a company needs a customised enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship managment (CRM) system with automated workflows of all tasks and procedures to ensure that their business remains competitive. All leading businesses in South Africa, and globally, have these systems in place, Van Niekerk says.
The strong US dollar (and weak rand) is placing major pressure on businesses in South Africa who import hardware and systems from overseas.  “Which means access to these systems – that almost guarantee success to a business – is becoming harder and harder.”
This means smart systems, that give companies a major competitive edge, are basically inaccessible to the average business – which means they will never be able to become major players.
“The major advantage of using this type of company, like Task Flow – which provides ERP and CRM solutions – is that it is local. This is an advantage at the end of the day – especially since the weak rand against the dollar is making these integral systems more affordable. These solutions are now truly affordable, with very little start-up costs and a marginal monthly cost.
“This enables small to medium business to also take advantage of the technological change that is sweeping the first world. Business can no longer afford to have people that manage systems. They need systems that manage people,” Van Niekerk quips.
Having an intelligent system allows a business to reduce fraud and other staff-related issues massively by only showing customer information that is relevant to the staff member.
The rest is inaccessible to them. The new laws in South Africa, including POPI, have this as a strict requirement – and compliance will be important to ensure business continuity.
Another major advantage of these new systems are that they are completely integrated with all aspects of a business, including SMS, email, telephony, debit orders, credit checks, stock management and accounting,. This means that  business processes are now exponentially faster and cost less  – which means a business can become, and remain, profitable much fast and longer.