When it comes to technology in business or lack of its use; you name it, we’ve seen it.
“Instead of working on their business, the owners were running around fifteen hours a day, seven days a week putting out fires. They were overworked, exhausted and moving backwards at an alarming rate”
The multi-million dollar construction company being run with a notepad and pen. The Warehouse ordering, storing and shipping tens of thousands of units of product weekly; and operating directly out of the owner’s head.
With technology either absent altogether or available but not used, these businesses all have one common problem: Avoidance or under utilisation of systems stemming from a lack of knowledge.
This leads to a dangerous fear that introducing any technology or management ‘system’ into their business means a loss of control.
Technology for these businesses is a dirty word that’s never uttered.
Analogue in a Digital Age
Recently we met with a busy medium-sized business that blew us away. The business was held together by a giant piece of paper pinned to the office wall, covered with post-it notes (some on the floor), keeping track of everything from enquiries and active jobs down to rostering and invoicing.
It was no surprise that this business was in a constant state of chaos.
Instead of working on their business, the owners were running around fifteen hours a day, seven days a week putting out fires. They were overworked, exhausted and moving backwards at an alarming rate.
Booked jobs were lost or only partially communicated. Expenses, staff and vehicles weren’t tracked. And worse still, no one in the business knew their numbers.
They were operating on pure hope that at the end of the week there would be enough money in the bank to pay the bills.
With juggling, it worked, sort of. Until one day it didn’t. An unanticipated fuel bill meant selling off vital equipment, leading to a further decrease in productivity and business opportunity.
Introducing a New Culture
With the right technology and systems, they were able to take care of organising the business. The system provided reports, accounts information, benchmarks and dashboards, and automated administrative tasks. It even went so far as alerting them to issues before they were even aware of a problem.
While the System was doing all of this, the owners and staff were free to go about the business of making money.
The illusion of control can be one of the single biggest dangers to any business. And an unhealthy attitude towards technology can have devastating consequences.
Correct utilisation of technology and systems, will evaporate the illusion and expose the true state of the business. Often this can be hard for people to face, they would rather be the Captain of a sinking ship than face reality. But this is a culture and attitude that needs to change.
A system behaves and interacts with your business data using the rules and settings that you formulate. It does what you want and can do many tasks at the same time.
To put it simply you control the system. And setup correctly, it’s more efficient than you will ever be manually.
Technology isn’t a dirty word. In fact, the right technology and management systems can transform you from being a slave in your business to being the Owner who works on your business.