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Technology Talk Alister Maple Brown



Technology Talk Alister Maple Brown

It is fair to say that we can do a lot more today in a lot less time than we could even 5 years ago. With the rampaging rate of change in the world of technology, we can sometimes forget the true reason why all these new inventions and ways of doing things exist.

We can now read something or get access to certain information within a few seconds that would have taken hours or even days to achieve only a few years ago. This is the promise of technology - helping us save time in achieving an outcome. The second part of this promise is improving what it is that you provide and sell to your customers. In a business sense, this is particularly important as it relates to growing a business and growing revenue.

All technology should do one of two things, or even two of two things at times. It should first of all save time. This can be by improving a process, decreasing the chance of error, allowing a user to do more in the same period of time or similar. In other words, technology should improve productivity. For example, if it takes a user 2 minutes to enter an invoice into a database, that person will be able to process 30 invoices an hour or 240 a day. If new technology were introduced that allowed the same goal to be achieved in 30 minutes, rather than 240 minutes, then technology would have played its part by saving 210 minutes or 3.5 hours. This equates to a dollar saving equal to the labour rate for 3.5 hours.

While there may not be a tangible saving, the situation now creates an opportunity for that resource to do something else for those 3.5 hours. Alternatively the resource could process more than 16 times the original volume in the same time. Whichever way you slice and dice the situation, as long as the cost of the technology is less than the cost of the labour that is saved, then you are ahead.

The second goal of technology in business is to help you improve your product and/ or service. By offering more or differentiating yourself from your competitors, you are putting your business in a strong position to not only retain your current clients but to also attract new clients. The trickle down from this is that more revenue will come from your current clients over time and additional revenue will come from new clients. In this example, technology is helping you make more money.

New technology is around us every day and at times it can be overwhelming. Whatever new tool or software you may be looking at, I encourage you to ask yourself whether or not it will save money (time) or make money (grow your business). If you can clearly point to at least one of those factors then it’s likely worth pursuing and implementing into your business.

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