by Scott M. Lewis
As Business Manager 365 continued to grow and expand throughout our business, it really drove our continued business process improvement practices. It also showed us why these processes are increasingly important to the long-term success of our business.
It wasn’t about how we thought the business was going to be run; it became about how our business was actually running and making us profitable or not. We wanted to know from the team in the field, accounting, project management and others how the business was running.
It soon became a challenge to solve real business issues with automation and software to streamline and manage every aspect of the business. It was critically important to know and understand the challenges that we all face when running a growing service-based business — from the biggest corporate-wide issues down to the smallest individual inefficient things that cost us time and money and impact our ability to serve our customers.
It has been interesting to work with business owners all over the country. It is sometimes surprising how little some owners know about how their business actually operates. This is not a negative. It is simply the evolutionary process of business mixed with individuals and the processes they go through to become successful or complete a job.
Business Manager 365 has over 18 years of development and practical application, with ongoing development focused on continuously observing how people work in a service-based business. Through our development processes, we have tried to break down these work processes to the lowest common point and dissect every task or process that employees go through in every operational department. Once we have broken down the tasks and processes, we can try to focus on how to improve them. This includes streamlining workflow, increasing information sharing, and using automation and business intelligence to reduce mistakes and eliminate duplication.
Service-based businesses are difficult to run and manage because they are primarily human-based businesses, both internally and externally. Add to that lots of logistical moving parts that can increase the complexity business operations tremendously. Now mix the human aspect of running the business with solid data collection and transition that information into making good business decisions. It will come down to how to quantify the data and analytics of how your business is operating. Managing data and instituting a process improvement methodology are critical to the long-term success and growth of the company.
In a service-based business, where does this data come from? In most cases, the answer is nowhere. Or it is an accumulation of four or five separate software packages that do not work together to solve real business problems, such as having a data-driven work process that manages escalations, scheduling, project management, human resources, time and attendance, and other areas of the business that may be affected by a simple change in the active data.
When you look at data and what it does for your business, something as simple as someone calling in sick can have a huge impact on the activities of the day. What job duties were they supposed to have done that day? What’s the impact on special projects? What can be rescheduled? What has to be reassigned because it can’t wait for the next day? Then there are all the back-end accounting processes of managing a simple sick day. This is one very simple example of the complexities of running a service-based business.
When you think of software, what is it really supposed to do for your business? We all hope it creates an opportunity to improve work processes. Streamline operations. Reduce costs through process improvement. And so on.
But how do you measure that result? When measuring return on investment, the basic formula is (Gain on Investment Minus Cost of Investment) Divided by Cost of Investment. However, in service-based businesses, which are heavily driven by the human cost, this can be a little more difficult to calculate. It involves the soft dollars of increased productivity, improved time management and learning about behavioral issues faster, which allows you to correct sooner. It also involves capturing intellectual customer knowledge and employee knowledge to reduce future time lost and discovering what you should have already known about your customers.
Business Manager 365 has grown out of solving these and many other real business issues over the last 18 years of development. Now it is being made available to other service-based businesses with the hopes that it will empower others to grow and manage their businesses to a higher level.
Scott Lewis is the president and CEO of Winning Technologies Group of Companies, which includes Liberty One Software. Scott has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry and is a nationally recognized speaker and author. He has worked with businesses to empower them to use technology to improve work processes, increase productivity and reduce costs. Winning Technologies’ goal is to work with companies on the selection, implementation, management and support of technology resources. Learn more about Winning Technologies at www.winningtech.com or by calling 877-379-8279.
Submitted 4 years 341 days ago