Our local fruiterer seems to have closed over the summer. He was always so good with in store customers but he was the same guy who failed to remember to deliver our office box of fruit once a week.
We could not give him the business for trying. When he did remember to deliver the fruit there was lots of it and the quality was a little variable. He also took weeks or months to send us a bill.
Today we use The Fruit Box, for the same price they deliver about two-thirds of the fruit but they never miss and the quality is pretty good and very consistent. No doubt they are controlling their profits well.
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So what does this have to do with IT systems?
The Fruit Box does not miss out on the business they have won because they have a good website that captures leads, good processes to ensure they follow through and good systems for tracking clients and getting paid.
The local fruiterer has no computer, keeps a pencil or pen tucked behind his ear and writes notes on brown paper bags and fruit boxes. He does a lot of cash business through an old-fashioned till and blames the, economy, the government and the supermarket up the road for his declining business.
Now your business may not be as unsophisticated as the fruit shop but is it as computerised as it could be?
There is no doubt across the IT industry that IT projects have been on hold for too long due to the downturn in economics caused by the GFC and that there is a lot of opportunity in the marketplace to deliver productivity and growth solutions. This is an opportunity for the IT industry; it is also an opportunity for the companies that implement the right tools to be at the top of their game as growth gets back on the agenda.
There is no question that the global economy has turned a corner but has your business economy turned with it? Are you well placed to handle an influx of new opportunities if it does? Are you out in front of your competitors or lurking in the shadows?
So if you are back to being excited about the prospect of business growth it may be time to review your business plan and its links to your IT strategy. There are many facets of your business that could be more nimble, run with improved process, reduced wastage, better record keeping or better prediction of future sales. What is your area to improve?
Whatever it is, there is a good chance the cost of implementing it is less than you think as innovation in the IT industry has driven the cost of computing down via cheaper hardware, cloud-based solutions, virtualisation and faster development and deployment of new software.
If your plans have been done, it may well be time for decisive action!
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that ensures IT is never an impediment to growth.