Technology, Change And Process Capabilities

Vince Poscente in his book, The Age of Speed (2008), pointed out that “we actually can do more in a given time than we could even five years ago. Therefore, the planetbesttech we face to produce faster are often valid.” The idea presented here is revealing, yet at the same time so well understood by everyone. No one can argue the fact that we can do more, faster, because of technology. In many cases we buy the latest technological tools to increase productivity and increase profits.

We buy the technology and then proudly sit back and wait for the benefits to materialize. Unfortunately, more often than not, production value remains stagnate or increases only marginally. This causes leadership severe disappointment and fosters a mistrust of technology, or at least the salesman!

Is the technology not working? No, more than likely the technology is capable of increasing productivity, while reducing cost, just as the salesman pitched. The salesman is not selling bogus solutions. It is likely to be your internal processes. You buy new technology to produce faster, but you deploy it in the confines of old processes. Any new technology requires a review of existing processes. If you do not harness the capabilities of the technology and transform the process to utilize them, you will essentially negate any efficiency.

Processes should be viewed as dynamic and able to be modified to meet new circumstances. Let’s say the current process is only capable of producing 10 completed units in a day (purchase orders, widgets or whatever). You buy technology that allows a portion of that process to double its productivity to 20 units a day. Outside of that portion you have problems.

Doubling the workload of the other portions of the process may not be possible; it may only create a huge bottleneck because the rest of the process is only geared for 10 products a day. Sure you improved a portion of the process, doubled it in fact. What good does that do if it only creates a bottle neck in portions of the process still geared towards 10 units a day? None; it only adds cost and frustration.

Knowing that the new technologies can double production means the rest of the process has to be studied. You have to determine the production capability of the entire process to know the true benefit and cost of the new technologies. Maybe you find that the rest of the process, with minor tweaks, can sustain a production capability of 15 units a day.

While you will have to curtail the technology and produce only 15 units a day, versus 20 units a day, there will be no bottlenecks. You will increase production by 50%. Not bad for a starter. You had to invest a little more time, but it surely saved you money and produced less stress for everyone involved. The bottom line is technology can bring improvements, but without processes capable of utilizing the gained efficiencies it matters little.

Having a website is very important. Using the online technology available to us can really boost your website statistics. The better your website statistics, the money money you should be making with your website.

Don’t use technology for bad business practices. There is a lot of technology out there to use for your advantage. Don’t over do it. Some companies go as far as; using a computer program to profile guests. If a guest is good or bad. This way the company will know who they are dealing with up front. In my opinion, this is taking technology a bit too far.

As I have said before, use mobile technology. Especially if you don’t have the time to spend in front of your computer all day. Most business people can’t afford to be at the office all day. Their job requires them to always be on the run. Some people work two or more jobs. You need to have a mobile device, whether it be laptop, PDA, cell phone or whatever you are comfortable with using. You will be able to send and receive email, faxes, files, and important messages. There should be no excuse for you telling a customer you need to get back to the office and you get back to them. Although, even I have done this recently. We have to break the bad habit of not being mobile. Today’s technology thrives on our businesses being mobile.

Use web 2.0, it’s very beneficial. Use social media networks to improve your businesses database of customers. Myspace, facebook, delicious, digg, so many more social networks to make you and your business well known. You can post comments, messages, vidoes, and blogs. Web 2.0 is all about making friends. You make friends and your friends trust you more. Then they are more likely to buy your products or service. People tend to buy from who they trust. Then it’s all about word of mouth through the social community. It works great!

Make sure you have an easily navigated website. Don’t use anything on your website that will contradict what you are selling. Make sure all the information; including ad space is something you would use and recommend. Make sure you have good, quality content on your website. You need to have something to draw people in. Try and offer them a reason to visit your website.

A blog about you and your business will really help shape your business. A blog can make your page rank higher. A Blog will also be more likely to raise your rank in search engines. Search engines find new content. So the more you blog, the more likely people will find your website. Create a newsletter you send out by email. Your customer base will be more likely to return if you have a newsletter.

Spend money on technology to upgrade, not waste. You spend money on all kinds of important things to keep your business going. Don’t upgrade with technology only when it is necessary. Upgrade with technology whenever you can. A business just starting out should be overwhelmed with technology. People seem to have the attitude that they don’t need anything new. The truth is, everyday new products come out to make our lives easier.

When you spend money on your business, don’t think of it as losing money. Every bit of money you spend on new technology is money well spent. The more technology your business has, the faster it will grow. The more likely your business will succeed and keep up with the competition. When McDonald’s came out with the Happy Meal; Burger King didn’t sit around twiddling their thumbs, they invented the kids meal.

Be smart about where you spend your money. Some technology is an obvious ripoff. Spend your money on technology that will help you in the future as well as right now. Technology is here to save us money and time. Don’t overwork yourself. Work Smarter, Not Harder. You can get more work accomplished thanks to technology. Most businesses can more than double the workload because of technological gadgets.

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