The thought of your business actually being on fire, consumed in flames as you watch in helpless disbelief. The loss of equipment, inventory, resources, capital, knowhow can be overwhelming. For some, the loss is impossible to overcome.
The unfortunate truth is that your business is burning. Right now. Competitors are fighting for your marketshare. Outdated, inefficient and non-automated business practices are costing you money. Supply chain obsolescence is rendering your product unsaleable. Technological innovation deployed by your peers is making your business less competitive. Repetitive, routine and rote tasks are resulting in an uninspired workforce.
We fight the same issues in our own business. And as we attempt to address the threats, prioritized in the order they are trying to kill us, we balance three distinct reactions:
- First, that we know it is true. In this case, the issue is well known and we spend every moment we can thinking about how to improve that aspect of our business. Investments in advanced technology solutions are often at the core of our thought processes. Because our team understands the threat, they look forward to change and any opportunity to increase efficiency, as we have explained to them we don’t want the flames to ever start.
- We see the smoldering embers, but either by circumstance, position, allocation of resources or ego, we don’t do anything about it. The job is getting done. Customers are happy. Profits are in good shape. “The status quo is the way to go”.
But that’s a trap. We remind ourselves that the slow decline of complacency is still a decline toward oblivion. And that’s not where we want to be. So we recognize that we need to challenge ourselves, dig deep, and get the job done. Face the issue, address the threat and deal with it, before the embers spark.
- We don’t see a problem and nothing needs to be done. This is the most dangerous reaction. Somewhere there is a gas leak that no one is paying attention to and all it needs is a match, and then it is going to get real messy in a big hurry.
Blockbuster, Blackberry, Borders Books, Kmart, Polaroid, MySpace, JCPenney, Kodak, Sears. Whether it is a foolish deal, the lack of strategic direction, poor execution, the lack of innovation or just plain arrogance, the flames are a great equalizer and will expose your weaknesses at some point, usually when you are least expecting it. Inertia can only get you so far. We need to always be vigilant.
In all cases, the underlying question is, what do you do about it? What action do I need to take today to protect and improve my company’s future? Great questions.
Automated business practices are a reality.
There are a lot of smart people in your industry that are investing in digital solutions to automate non-value add processes. These investments make their businesses more efficient and helps them bring better products and services to the market faster. If you aren’t one of them, you are falling behind because in business, if you stop moving forward, you start moving backward relative to the competition.
Specific to the application of technology solutions, to use a baseball analogy, we aren’t yet in the bottom of the first inning. Automated processes that eliminate errors, end redundant double entry, and allow users to collaborate seamlessly in real time with error-free data – all while maintaining an historical account – that’s a future that is already here.
Even more disruptive and automated technologies that will forever change the way you do business will be available before the end of the decade. Imagine working with your colleagues, customers and suppliers within your native environment but utilizing tools that link together one unified data set. You just need the right digital tools that knit together your current manual processes.
Imagine a world without email. It’s easy if you try.
Your processes cost too much.
People are expensive. Software, relatively speaking, is not. The ROI of digital resource investments is measured in weeks, not years.
“But I don’t capture the savings unless I reduce headcount. My employees are my most valuable resource. I can’t survive without them.”
If you can replace headcount with software, improving efficiency, and can not find another place in your organization for your employees to add value, then either they aren’t as valuable as you think, or your business climate fails to embrace change.
It’s a difficult conversation to have, but business is brutal. The strong win and the weak die. As members of a free market society, our existence depends upon the self-regulating nature of a market favoring better, faster, cheaper ways of doing things. And if you are in the way of progress, well, you are really just in the way.
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”Edwards Deming
Software performs many tasks faster, more accurately and more reliably than a human. It has near infinite capacity, doesn’t take vacation, and works day and night.
Your skepticism about technology is understandable. Power outages, software upgrades, poor connectivity, limited wifi signals. When technology doesn’t work, it is very frustrating. But to ignore that software is becoming more reliable, more adaptable, more powerful and more specific to your exact requirements is to ignore progress and opportunity.
Henry Ford’s Model T only had a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 40 miles an hour when first introduced, but you don’t still drive a horse and buggy to work.
Your resources aren’t being deployed correctly.
The valuable employees that may be displaced can be put to better use – untapped sources of marketing creativity, relationship builders, industry liaisons, and champions of career mobility made possible by technology in ways that may surprise you once a conversation is started.
And that employee that has been around for a long time that you just can’t let go – they know as much about your business as you do. They can probably handle a lot more responsibility and probably have a lot of ideas about new products, services and how to do things more efficiently.
But you aren’t getting any of those other benefits because you are mired down in legacy resources that are slow, repetitive, becoming unstable and don’t support change.
You aren’t making the revenue and profit targets you should be.
Make processes faster while spending less – and you will make more money for your organization. Which means you have capital to invest in more efficient processes.
Do you have an eCommerce site? Does it integrate to your inventory management system, shipping, price book and POS? Are you factoring current real-time marketing feedback into your pricing calculations? Are you getting your quotes to your customers in less than 30 minutes? Are you using internet EDI and ditching the VAN? Is your data touchless and are your business processes automated? Is your supply chain automatically and seamlessly integrated to your business system? Does your business run on one integrated data set?
If no to any question, you are falling behind and your business is burning.
Let your mind wonder. Think of a digital solution you wish you had or a manual process you wish you could replace. If you can express it in words, there is a digital solution.
We challenge our processes routinely as part of our business culture – and we see opportunities for improvement everyday – internally and with our clients.
Orbweaver is also fortunate to be working with some of the most forward thinking companies in the Electronics Industry. They recognize improvements to their businesses are possible everyday, and while they may not have all the answers, they are asking the questions.
How can Orbweaver help you?
Orbweaver has Sales Automation solutions for the Electronics Industry. Sell more parts by improving the efficiency and accuracy of data exchanged with your suppliers and customers.
Request a consultation with Orbweaver today and find out how much time & money your business can save by automating the sales process with Orbweaver.