IndEco Tools: Internet based communication tools
Everyone is talking about the Internet as the new solution to all business problems. This is probably overstating the case, but the importance and capacity of the Internet as a significant business tool cannot be denied.
Are you using the Internet to its fullest potential?
To ensure that you are, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Is my website up to date?
- Is it easy for me to add or change things?
- Can I do a search on the site?
- Do I have a measure of how my site is supporting my business objectives?
- Are my clients getting the information they need from my website?
- Can I get important feedback from my clients and users?
- Can I be sure that their needs are being met?
- Can my clients or customers share experiences, stories and knowledge?
- Do they?
- Are there different areas for the general public, clients and customers, and staff?
- Do I love looking after my website?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no", then you are not making the best use of this remarkable technology. We can help.
What we do
At IndEco Strategic Consulting Inc we design web-based communication tools geared to make your life easier. Our sites are simple to use, maintain and update, and allow you to be self-reliant. Our sites work for you, not against you.
Our approach to helping your business enhance its use of the Internet is based on four integrated aspects of web strategy:
- the connections to your organizational strategy
- the planning process for the site
- the specific design features of the site
- the management system for ensuring the site is supporting your organizational strategy.
The benefits of our approach
Client independence – information on the Internet is only valuable if a site is kept current. We develop websites that enable you to have simple but powerful tools to update, administer and use the web, without relying on technical specialists for every addition or change.
A high level of interactivity – our websites promote real information sharing and collaboration across geography. They can be used for many-to-many communications, not just one way information distribution. Our websites foster communication between your organization and its audience, and among the audience itself.
Global and local search capabilities –our applications enable you to conduct searches easily. Information retrieval is fast and straightforward – an essential feature for users who are looking for specific kinds of information. This capability becomes more important over time, as the site grows.
A professional appearance – we develop aesthetically pleasing sites that are in harmony with both your organization’s institutional culture and the users that you serve. We tend to rely on simple graphics since most users are looking for high quality content that is easy to find and quick to access.
State-of-the-art security – we use tools that enable high levels of security, with minimum visibility or hassle to users. Many of our sites include private areas accessible only to designated individuals.
The benefits of our design process
Sites with high usability – we pay special attention to designing websites so that they will be useful, easy to operate and intuitively logical to users. Our development process includes a usability-testing component. It is important that users can easily find and access the information that they need when they need it.
Training tailored to user needs – we provide cost-effective, proven training and on-going support, as needed once your site is up and running. For example, we can provide full training that is short, simple and ensures client self-reliance, or we can provide full out-sourcing of site revisions, maintenance and support. Alternately, we can provide a combined approach to smooth your transition from out-sourcing to self-reliance.
Easily maintained and updated sites – our approach to website design and maintenance is based on our view that a website must continue to evolve and stay current in order to meet user needs. We assist you in the co-development of strategic plans for site development that take into account user needs over the short and long term, and that address your priorities related to the importance, urgency and resource requirements of proposed website features.
Effective site management process – we work with you to design a site management process that ensures effectiveness. We help to set up appropriate organizational structures and rules, and to identify committed and engaged leaders to manage the growth of the site. This includes developing metrics for measuring the success and usefulness of the site, and its ongoing review to ensure that the site continues to meet organizational and user objectives.
A few of our recent projects
Bennett Environmental Inc.
This website supports BEI's application under Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act to construct a Thermal Oxidizer Facility in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The public area of the site makes available the full-text of the Proposed Terms of Reference (as amended by BEI February 7, 2001) and the notice of submission of the terms of reference. The public area of the site is updated as the EA application moves through the EA process. The site also includes a private area including an on-line discussion forum used by the project's Public Advisory Committee to facilitate communication among its members.
Canadian Gas Association (CGA)
IndEco developed a private web area for discussions amongst members of CGA’s Standing Committee on Operations. Features of the site include: threaded discussions by working group; a members directory; and automatic e-mail notification of recently posted relevant discussions. The site is designed so it can be maintained by CGA staff, including adding and deleting members, discussion areas, and individual documents. (URL is for members only).
KMS Peel, Inc
This webite supported KMS-Peel's application under Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act to expand their Energy-from-Waste facility in Brampton, Ontario. The public area of the site made available the full-text of the environmental assessment (EA), photographs of the facility, and information on public consultation events and the EA review process. During the draft stage of the process, comments were solicited over the web, and were tracked and managed on-line according to the specific section of the document they related to. (Under the EA process in ONtario, comments on the final document are to be sent directly to the Ministry of Environment, not to the proponent.) (Site was taken down on approval of the EA).
National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM)
IndEco and the Resources, Planning and Management Division of Retec (now ENSR, part of AECOM), worked with NAEM staff to upgrade and extend their website. Their new site incorporates a number of innovative features, including:
- provision for members to update their own profiles
- private and member-only/member-initiated discussion areas
- design so that the site can be updated by staff without knowledge of html, or having to rely upon IT specialists.
GEMI Business and Climate Change Web Site
We provided assistance to Retec (now ENSR, part of AECOM) in developing this innovative website that focuses on business opportunities and risks related to the growing concern about global climate change. (http://www.businessandclimate.org)
Moving the Economy - On-line, City of Toronto
Moving the Economy (MTE) is an evolving and expanding partnership dedicated to promoting, attracting investment to, and creating jobs in the sustainable transportation section in the Toronto Region and beyond.
IndEco assisted City staff and stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for creating what is to be the site for sustainable transportation on the web. We also advised professional and IT staff on technology for implementing and updating information on the site. (http://stratus.city.toronto.on.ca/inter/mte/mte.nsf)