There’s no denying it. Business, especially when it’s your business, involves a lot of long days, late nights and hard work. It helps to find ways to do more with less. Fortunately, with the technology tools available today, you can put processes and systems into place that will actually help you do more work with less labor and financial input.
Considering the business overall, business owners know they need to create efficiencies, but what does that look like? One important step is getting everyone involved in a job (which, in the case of smaller businesses, could very likely be everyone in the company) on the same page and pulling together with you. As hard as it is to admit sometimes, you can’t do it all yourself.
Data silos are a sign of teams working harder than they need to be. This results in duplicate work. One hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. It’s easier to do your job and not think about what other teams are doing. But this results in miscommunications that can end up costing everyone more time to straighten things out and get the job back on track.
Technology isn’t a no-brainer for everyone in the workforce. For some workers, you’ve got to overcome the “trust” factor. Is this technology going to end up taking away their job? For other workers, you’ve got to help them understand and respect the fact that some co-workers were not raised with a cell phone in their hand. If you have an older worker segment with decades of project knowledge and a younger worker segment with technology knowledge, the best scenario is getting them to communicate and work together.
To do that, technology adoption needs to be easy enough at the beginning that everyone can understand and participate. For some people, it may take more time at first, but the ultimate result can be saving time on tasks and workflows. Labor is one component of a project that fluctuates – it’s not super predictable – and it can affect the cost of a project dramatically.
Another point to keep in mind: Do not adopt technology just for technology’s sake. Have a goal in mind for the way this is going to improve your business and your bottom line.
There are building blocks for adopting technology to achieve your vision and strengthen your company:
Develop a plan with your teams. Share the vision management has.
Get buy-in from everyone the plan affects.
Be flexible, because things don’t always go the way you planned.
Find an experienced partner to support you when you need it.
Follow your plan, but fine tune it along the way.
Collect information to help on future jobs, and make sure it’s good information: garbage in = garbage out. Then use your reports; don’t just stuff them into a file drawer.
Properly implemented, technology tools provide ways for you to do more with less. You may still choose to work hard on your business. But when you implement technology, the long days and late nights can become optional.
Check out episode 75 of Bridging the Gap podcast, where I had a chance to talk with Jason Saunders of eSUB Construction Software about putting systems and processes in place that can help companies run more efficiently.