Consider These 7 Factors When Considering New Tech For Your Company
With the volume of data small businesses manage today, having the right tech tools in place can be critical to success.
When I say technology, it could be physical tech such as electronic notebooks or computers to the software your use on those computers and apps you utilize. You may even want to have a certain type of cell phone for calls out on the job.
Some companies prefer phones that have a walkie talkie option where they can just talk to their techs without having to dial a lot of numbers.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
7 key factors to consider when searching for & evaluating a new technology tool:
1. Think long term.
Your business is going to grow. Will this tool scale to accommodate an increase in staff? What about an increase in your customer base? Will it work as well when you have 400 to 500 employees as it does now with 40 or 50?
2. Consider your people.
Is the tool user friendly and intuitive? Will it be easy to train on? Does it lead or follow industry standards for what it is (e.g., ServiceTitan for CRM)?
3. Consider the developer and the platform the tool is built on
Does it come standard with at least 80 percent of what you need? Avoid tools that are basic and whose salespeople offer the ability to customize. It sounds good, but it’s expensive. Plus, every time the program is updated you have to go back and update all that custom code. Stick to the most trusted players in the category.
4. Commit to implementing technology properly and in a timely manner.
There is nothing worse than spending a ton of money on a platform only to have it sit there for months unused because there’s no one in charge of making sure it’s rolled out. Hire an outside technology project manager to shepherd the rollout if necessary.
5. Consider integrations
Make sure whatever system you are considering is capable of hooking into whatever other systems are needed to work, such as your bank, parts vendor, or manufacturer (i.e., a compatible application programming interface, or API).
6. Price STRUCTURES
Investigate pricing structures. Some companies will charge for every minor upgrade.
7. Ask how well the software company is funded.
This is important because the last thing you need is to spend thousands on implementation just to have the company—and its support team—disappear the following year.
There are very few successful companies that do not use technology to improve productivity, communicate more efficiently, and track customers and goods.
Chris MacKechnie explains in his article What Are the Types of Business Technology? That most successful organizations rely on technology for almost every aspect of their business.
Examples of tech for booming companies:
This may be the lifeline and most useful piece of physical tech in any company. Desktop computers are loaded with office and productivity software packages that allow workers to write letters, analyze financial information, design sales presentations, transcribe customer calls, even hold scripts and prompts for the call center to go by.
This is loaded onto a computer to provide specific types of functionality. Productivity tools, such as Microsoft Word, a word processing package, and Microsoft Excel, a financial spreadsheet system, can perform many of the most common tasks a small business requires.
Computers are often linked to form a network. This can allow people within an organization to share documents or information, provide a central location to store documents, or for people to communicate using email within an office.
Today’s business phone systems are quite complex. The most common type of phone system consists of a hardware unit that uses software to split the phone company’s lines among individual handsets. These systems often include an auto attendant that helps callers find the employee they are seeking.
These are technically software, but have their own mission and special use in a company. They keep track of every dollar a company spends along with every dollar of revenue.
Inventory control system:
These systems keep track of every item in your inventory, ensuring you do not run out of stock or order too much.
Customer relationship management systems:
I have mentioned these quite a few times through out the blog posts. They track a customer throughout their experience with your company. From the moment you obtain information about them, this system tracks every interaction with your company.
A1 uses technology such as Uber-like tracking that texts customers when the technician is on the way.
Of course, there are far more specific lists out there for the technology used for companies and throughout organizations, but this is a short list just to give you an idea. Technology plays a very important role in your growth and in upholding all of your company’s information.
When it comes to technology for your company, choose wisely and implement them accordingly. Nothing is a quick fix, and transitions take time.