Alerts that make your life easier

 |  By: Steve Johnson

Smoke alarm

Who isn’t familiar with the concept of alerts nowadays?

Millions of people use Google Alerts to be notified about new web content on topics they’re interested in. And anybody using eBay will be used to receiving alerts about new bids. Facebook users are familiar with receiving notifications. Alerts are ubiquitous today. Even your washing machine beeps when it’s finished its job.

So if you’re a manager within a creative, marketing, design, PR or indeed any type of agency - you'd expect alerts to be part of the system. And you’d be right. But what kinds of notifications might they be?

With the Synergist system, the first thing to note is that you’re in control of alerts. Depending on your role, you set exactly what alerts you want and when you want them. Be these project specific alerts for project mangers. Or overall agency alerts for owners and finance directors.

For example, if a particular task or phase of a job suddenly becomes overdue, you might need to be made aware of it right away. So you set an alert on that.

Or what if the status of a project you’re working on suddenly changes, for example by being put on hold? Wouldn’t you like to know? You can trigger alerts for that too.

Or you might be waiting for a purchase order to be approved. Would you want to have to keep checking the system to see if it’s been cleared yet? Not really. It’s easier to set an alert to automatically let you know.

It’s the same with the approval of an invoice you’re waiting for. Or when a business opportunity has been promoted to a prospect. Or when an estimate has been locked down.

Or when your expenses have been approved. (Phew).

How about this one. You’re responsible for a project and it’s about 40% completed. And you think that about 40% of the budget has been spent so far, so you feel in good shape on it.

But then you receive an alert saying that actually 50% of the budget has just been reached.

Hmmm. That’s a useful alert to receive, the equivalent of a smoke alarm, prompting you to drill down and urgently see what’s happening.

Here’s another angle. What if you need to see a particular report on the 20th of every month, just prior to regular planning meetings. Do you want to have to remember to pull down those numbers every time? What if you’re in a hurry or forget that today’s the day?

Simply set an alert to create your specifications of the report at exactly 9am on the right day each month. It will be automatically assembled, up to date at precisely that time, be converted into the format you want (for example a PDF), and emailed to you right away. Handy.

Some alerts in life are minor, trivial and annoying. But some of them help you stay on top of your busy, complex job or even help you put out the equivalent of a sudden fire that could otherwise take hold. Not trivial at all.