When the iPhone entered the marketplace, it brought with it a place called the “App store”. For the first time, thousands of basic tools we already use were now available with a single search and click. The slogan became “whatever you need, there’s an app for that”. It didn’t take long for browsers to see that that same kind of functionality could also be brought to the online desktop experience. Chrome, Firefox, and even Edge each have their own “browser extension store”. They each call their extensions something different, but they all follow the same idea of Apple’s “app store”. Just as Apple modified the way we use our phone via apps, browser extensions modify the way we interact with the web via extensions.
How your employees go about their everyday tasks online is typically a workflow point that can be overlooked because it seems so insignificant. Yet, the truth is it can be costing so much more than you would think.
How Much Impact Can a Single Extension Really Make?
If you were to identify a process that could be automated, simplified, and become less frustrating via a browser extension, you can save enough time to hire more employees - thus growing the company, resulting in greater profit.
For example, if you see there is a poor layout design or convoluted search process that takes every employee 5 minutes worth of time each day, see if you can address it with a browser extension. The savings are worth investigating.
Doing quick math - 5 minutes worth of saving brought by a browser extension that is used by 100 employees saves the company 500 minutes a day, 2,166 hours a year - which is over 52 full time work weeks a year, or 1 employee.
That means for every 100 employees that save just 5 minutes a day from a browser extension you save enough time for a new employee!
Of course, you should be aiming for higher than a mere 5 minutes of extra productivity. But I use this example because every employee can identify the same areas that are costing them at least 5 minutes of manual time because of bad UI (or manual procedures with the net) on any given day.
But There’s Nothing that Could Fix Our Issue Available!
When you go to the chrome web store you see all sorts of different extensions. What you don’t see is all the PRIVATE COMPANY extensions. That is because they are created and used internally by the company - NOT PUBLICALLY.
Why Would a Company Waste Time Building Their Own Extension?
There is no shortage of free extensions already available online, so why make your own for internal use? The specific needs for your company are never going to be addressed with something built by someone else. Businesses have a lot of similar issues but they each have their own unique problems. Companies build internal tools to address these unique situations. And that is how you should view the extensions - as internal tools.
What Would My Company Make One For?
Thousands of companies have internally used chrome extensions to do something very specific for their job. It can do literally anything - from being used for internal AB Testing on employee layouts to security as a login interface. It can integrate third party sites with specific information you want to provide. You can automate repetitive tasks for your employees with a click of a button. The possibilities are endless and specific to the needs of the company and its employees.
Attack The Bottlenecks.
Your company can only grow as fast as your slowest parts. Identifying bottlenecks within your employee work flows are paramount to constant scaling. By using an extension off the shelf or developing your own, you can directly address those bottlenecks and save your company valuable time. Time is money and no one knows better than you how much you could accomplish with more time.