Success in your business is a balance between people and tools. Smart, hard-working staff make a huge difference. And if you have technology in place that supports them, it will amplify their efforts.
Sometimes, though, that’s a big “if”.
The people who make software and hardware don’t always pay as much attention as possible to the needs of people who use it. And they rarely know your company’s specific processes, let alone base their development decisions on them. So unless you’ve got a citizen developer on your team, it can be hit-or-miss as to whether a given upgrade is actually an improvement.
In fact, some new and/or improved technology tools may actually make it harder for your team to get work done. It might be as small as a redesign that moves important features to new places on the GUI. Or it could be as large as an expensive purchase that included all the bells and whistles, but doesn’t have functionality vital for your staff.
Martha Bird, writing for Entrepreneur.com, discusses this dilemma. She identifies three vantage points you can use to help evaluate technology options. Use them to make sure your team and your company get the best benefit from each purchase.
1. Does the technology blend in with the way your people work?
Some tools complicate processes in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. But an interface that stands out isn’t necessarily a selling point. Instead, the people who use the tools get the most advantage when the tools fade into the background. When software makes things so easy that you don’t even notice it’s happening, that’s a well-made system. Whether the underlying code is simple or complex doesn’t matter. The key point is whether it helps your team get things done.
2. Does the tech help your team focus on human-work?
One of the primary purposes of technology is to make things easier, not for the sake of easiness, but in order to address more valuable needs. Automation can handle some tasks better than people, freeing those people to do work that computer tools cannot accomplish. Look for software that can be customized to work the logic-based, repetitive aspects of your company. As a business grows, smart entrepreneurs always notice better and better ways to do things. The technology should support this kind of growth. And this lets you redirect your team’s attention onto strategic, creative, and relationship-centered assignments.
3. Does it help your staff collaborate in their work?
Part of that human-centered work your team can do will be working together. Not only does this lead to better results, but it brings the fringe benefit of strengthening the team. Powerful technology will enable these kinds of interaction, promoting awareness, cooperation, and cross-pollination between different groups in the company. This synergy can be enhanced when you find tools that make it natural for people to combine efforts.
Insightful business people will recognize the exchange here — time invested in evaluating tools will pay dividends when you actually purchase. Like the old fable, a deliberate pace will help you progress better than quickly jumping at every new technology release.
Among business operations software, aACE 5 stands out as one of the few systems designed based on the end users. Our development was driven by feedback from initial users, and now you have the opportunity to benefit from their recommendations. Our ongoing effort to meet each client’s needs is one reason why simple and effective customizations are mentioned so frequently in testimonials about our product. Contact us today to learn how aACE 5 can integrate, automate, and accelerate your business processes.
“Michael and his team have customized their aACE FileMaker system to fit the needs of our business model. Because we work in the alcohol industry, government regulations are very strict and mandate how we must track and record data; they also require us to file numerous operation-related reports on a monthly or semi-monthly basis. Because of the peculiarities of our business, no stock program would have done the work that we needed it to do, nor helped us to reach our goal of reducing manual recording/reporting on a repetitive basis.” ~ Jasmine Crandall, Midwest Custom Bottling LLC