The American Dream, the pursuit of happiness and building a legacy; these are the things that drove some of the largest corporations to success in their infancy. Companies like Ford Motor Company and Amazon, for example. These companies were innovators in their industry and took huge risks and suffered many failures. They boldly created new ways of doing business and ventured out into creating their own technology and procedures to give them the edge on their competition. Many doubted their methods and did not take them seriously, but now they are household names. Technology has always been the accelerant fueling business growth and innovation ever since the dawn of the industrial age. You can learn a lot from these two companies, who through business technology actually share quite a bit in common.
They Bet It All On Their Technology
Both Ford and Amazon took a huge risk in order to be leaders in their industry. Henry Ford revolutionized the auto manufacturing industry with his invention of the assembly line method of production. This allowed his vehicles to be assembled and sold to the public much faster than his competitors. His system is now used worldwide for many different manufacturing facilities and is considered the de facto standard of production.
Amazon revolutionized retail with their massive online offering of products and rapid fulfillment that no brick or mortar store could compete with. If either of these technologies didn’t have the payoff they did, both might be looking at different futures now, but they did and it has changed the world, not just their industry.
They Perpetually Improve On It
While Henry Ford initially balked at trying to adapt to new consumer trends in automotive technology, he eventually gave in and gave consumers what they wanted beyond the Model T, technologically advanced features and better engines. Some thirty years later this spawned the muscle car era of the US auto industry.
Amazon upped the ante in the online vs. brick and mortar war with their Prime shipping service. Customers could have thousands of items even a 55 inch TV delivered for free in just 2 business days, or overnight for $3.99 more no matter the size of the item. Prime now has evolved to include streaming entertainment with their subscription and is one of the major streaming media services with millions of subscribers.
How Can The Right Tech Help Your Business Be Successful?
Companies that are successful will testify that one of the most important tools in forging their path is and always will be having the right technology to fuel that growth. Think about it, if you have a great product prototype that people want but you have no way to produce it at a pace to keep up with demand; your company will fail. If you lack the right communication infrastructure, your customers cannot reach you and will grow impatient and contact your competition. The list of examples can go on and on, but there are some major areas of business where having the right technology will make all the difference between success and failure.
Operations and Finance Management
In the days before computers, most businesses simply used paper ledgers and a calculator to manage the finances and operations of a company. Now with the advent of computers and technology, there is software that will not only make your job easier, but help run a business more efficiently and with less waste. These apps can do many things such as:
Anticipate Cash Flow- What is the point of having 30k of receivables if there is a cash flow gap from the time you need to pay your employees and vendors versus the time frame that income will come in to cover those costs. Sufficient cash flow is crucial for day to day operations even if the bottom line looks good, insufficient cash flow can cripple even the most successful business. Having the right IT consultant to provide you with the best software for managing and projecting cash flow can be the game changer in your business that will allow you to manage this with ease.
Manage Financials and Records – Running a business requires you to track income, expenses, losses and other expenditures and revenue in order to analyze the profitability of your business. It’s also the law for tax purposes so you need these records to be accurate should the IRS audit you. A good IT consultant will set you up with the software best suited for your company size. It may consist of something as simple as a digital ledger system like or may also include an invoicing feature that allows you to not only invoice customers but keep track of receivables so you don’t disrupt cash flow.
Manage Your Customer’s Experience
Customers are the life force of any business, without customers there is no need for anything else and your technology can help the relationship experience flourish with your customers. Your IT consultant should at the very least implement a CRM (customer relations management) software solution such as SalesForce or similar. CRM software is a digital version of the outdated day planner of times passed. It however is much more powerful and allows you to track customer contact history, progress of a sale, follow up calls, and so much more. The biggest complaint customers seem to levy on companies these days is customer engagement. If a customer doesn’t feel important or taken care of, they will find someone who will make them feel that way. CRM software is an excellent way to remember details about a client as well as:
- Qualify Leads. Connect with potential leads and see if there is potential for a sale and begin the sales process.
- Close. With CRM software you can take info gathered from previous contact and show insight into the client’s needs and sell them according to those needs in an attempt to meet them and close the deal
- Generate Leads. Many new leads come as referrals from other clients or from advertising, web media and social media. Many CRM solutions can actually help you generate your own leads and get to closing so that you can have a steady stream of potential clients coming through.
- Settle Customer Complaints. Most customers simply want to be treated fairly, want a good product and a good value. That being said, there are times when things get snagged in the system and having a CRM solution can help you greatly with this. Software such as SalesForce has a spot where you can notate customer’s disposition, quirks as well as things that are important to them. Contact history can also keep detailed records of prior interactions so any customer service agent can pick right up where the last agent left off.
Managing And Equipping Your Workforce
IT has become even more of a hot commodity with the movement towards the virtual or home office. Just 15 years ago, telecommuting employees were a rarity and most job posts online for such positions were scams or perceived as such. Fast forward to 2017 and companies such as Hilton, American Airlines, and Chase Bank are hiring more and more remote staff and incorporating digital share infrastructure like digital whiteboards and WebEx teleconferencing to cut overhead and get lean. Your employees whether they are on location or work remotely need access to the best servers that can easily handle the workload and number of connections. With the right IT consultant your business could be booming with less overhead and more productivity. To cut overhead and boost employee interaction you can:
Enable Remote Desktops. When you allow employees to work from home you are doing both you and your employee a service. You are decreasing their expense for getting to and from work and giving them a level of comfort that usually will turn out better productivity. Also if you can reduce the amount of office space you lease which adds to profits. The other benefit of hiring virtually is having a larger pool of candidates so that you can find one that really meets all your needs. Companies such as Hilton, American Airlines and Chase Bank have experience great success in full-fledged work at home positions. The flexibility in scheduling also allows for greater coverage during peak hours of need.
Encourage Collaboration. Interactive team technology such as digital whiteboards or video conferencing helps teams collaborate from across the country and complete projects more efficiently rather than going back and forth through email.
If You Need The Right Tech. You Need The Right People
Whether your company just needs an upgrade of your current technology and IT needs or you need to start from the ground up, Marimon has your IT needs covered. Don’t let lack of necessary technology and business systems be the Achilles heel to your business success. Building something out of nothing is a hard task, let Marimon carry some of the load for you. Consult with one of our IT consultants today to take your business to the next level.