|Business Management Information|
Einstein - Definition of Insanity
Insanity in the Sign & Graphics Industry
Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Think about this quote for a second and ask yourself, does this quote apply to the way you run your company?
Have you been doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? If so, then you might want to keep on reading. In a world where technology is becoming a key productivity tool to the success of any business, it simply comes down to, are you accepting and harnessing technology or rejecting it. Are you willing to change or will you do the same thing over and over again? T
Here are two main reasons why I pose this question. First, many shop owners today have trouble understanding how new technology, specifically software, can become a major benefit to their business, and second, owners have trouble measuring the profits they are losing by rejecting this technological change. Have you ever rejected technology?
"If It Ain't Broke Then Don't Fix It!" Mentality
Are you expecting to increase profits by continuing the same business strategy year after year? If so, how long do you think the method will work?
Many shop owners simply do not see the need to update or change their current method. They believe that there is no need to invest in a new method when the old one still seems to work fine. This is the common, "If it ain't broke then don't fix it!" mentality. Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but just because something isn't "broke" doesn't mean you can't make it work better. When new technology such as software, could save you large amounts of time & money, how can you not accept it?
In an industry where there is an increasing level of competitiveness, shop owners must take advantage of every method available to help them cut costs. Would a commercial printer looking to grow their business, limit their shop to just a one color press? Sure they can continue to operate with a one color press, but wouldn't a two or four color press help expand their business into other areas more effectively. In this example the current method works, but a technological change would help increase the company's ability to grow.
Exploring these other areas help companies to sustain and increase profits. Without accepting new technology, shop owners greatly limit their profit potential. By using the power of technology to make their business practices more efficient owners can continue to achieve their goals.
Are You Sacrificing?
A lot of shop owners that we talk with have a hard time visualizing the amount of money they are losing, or in actuality, the amount of money they are giving to their competition, due to inconsistencies in the work flow process. These shops feel they are doing well with the system they currently have in place and do not see the need to change to a new method. This lack of vision can cause owners to limit their future profits.
On the opposite side, the owners that do see a need for change begin to focus more attention on how much money it will cost to make the switch rather than how much they are losing. These owners become unsure and wonder if the investment today will pay off tomorrow. To those owners, how much will it cost you not to switch? Do you even know? Is it one, three, possibly five jobs a day? Do the math. How much money/time is lost due to inefficiencies such as faulty estimates, under/over-priced jobs, or lost invoices.
Ask yourself, how long can a company continue to compete if they are not being as efficient as their competition? If companies choose to stay with the same system they have been using for years and reject change are they, in essence, choosing to sacrifice future profits?
$100,000 a Year
One company in particular that we spoke with was losing 4 orders per week to their competition. Since only one person in the shop was able to estimate, it was taking days to get quotes to customers, therefore forcing their clients to seek, and eventually accept bids from competing companies. When this company finally analyzed their method and applied a dollar amount to the loss, they estimated they were losing around $100,000 in revenue a year. Amazing right? What would 4 orders a week cost you? Or if you could accept 4 more orders a week, what would you do with the extra profits? How does a company like this one miss out on a $100,000 opportunity? Simply put, insanity, the Einstein definition.
It's not Just Estimating
Companies are not just losing profits due to faulty estimates; they're also losing profits due to a lack of follow up, or customer management. When sending estimates out to potential clients, how often do companies remember to follow up with them? With the constant chaos that shop owners experience on a daily basis, this follow up process can become an aspect that is quickly forgotten, especially if the current estimating system doesn't include this integration.
How much can a company increase their "win" rate for estimates by placing follow up calls to all customers with estimates outstanding? By using a powerful integrated estimating and business management software, like Cyrious, company's are able to create reminders that will tell employees who to call, when to call, and why, automatically. It keeps all customer, contact, and order information together in one place and increases the ability to save time and builds customer relationships essential to business growth and expansion.
Adapting to Change
By adapting to change, and accepting and harnessing technology, shop owners who use Cyrious Software have become more efficient and profitable.
Cyrious helps owners solve a variety of different frustrations. Whether you're an owner who is frustrated with estimating because it takes up too much time or one that is annoyed that orders keep getting lost and misplaced, Cyrious has a solution. Cyrious helps put an end to the lack of integration by providing the power of multiple software systems in one (estimating, accounting, job tracking, customer management, etc.). No company is happy about losing customers due to late quotes or losing money because parts are omitted from estimates and orders.
When owners understand the amount of time and money a different method can save them, the switch to powerful software like Cyrious is simple. Is it time for you to explore different methods to increase sales & profits, and make your business more manageable?
For More Information on Cyrious Software go to http://www.cyrious.net, call 1-800-552-1418 , or email email@example.com
About The Author
Danny Tangredi, Cyrious Software " Your Estimating, Business Management & Job Tracking Software Solution "
Reducing the High Cost of Absenteeism
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Two Critical Success Factors in an ITIL Implementation
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The Compliance Officers Killer Application
It used to be that only the largest multi-nationals needed a Compliance Officer. Today most practices, regardless of size, would be wise to charge someone within their organisation with the responsibility of keeping abreast and managing the compliance process.Take as an example European employment law that has been introduced over the last few years that has changed the face of European businesses. Small businesses in particular are finding that a casual and informal approach to employment issues can now result in statutory fines that have no bearing on the financial health of the individual company and could, without as much as a by your leave, directly result in the demise of a company.Small to medium businesses do not often have the luxury of employing a full time Compliance Officer and although larger organisations can afford a dedicated person they are finding that with compliance issues mushrooming the Compliance Officer now has a team, a department and if not already, how long before compliance becomes a division? Regardless of size, the first step in compliance for any organisation requires them to identify the areas of compliance that are applicable to them. Rules and regulations are being introduced monthly on a local, regional, national and international level, covering everything from data protection and freedom of information, anti-money laundering to environmental waste control, race relations to health and safety; with ignorance being no defence there is a requirement on the individual businesses to know their responsibilities, and fines for those that wait to be told. Having identified the areas of compliance the company then needs to understand what they need to do to ensure they comply. 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This won't happen by itself, a sales team that has a long history of success though a relaxed attitude to selling is not going to willingly adopt new, and what they will see as restrictive, practices without a fight. 'I didn't get the memo', 'I didn't understand it', 'I thought it meant something else', 'I thought these were only guidelines' are likely to be stock replies, along with the one or two old timers that didn't think compliance issues applied to them. It used to be a safe bet to blame IT, blame Compliance is rapidly taking its place.One valuable tool in the Compliance Officer's tool box is the online survey and questionnaire.The online survey can deliver a message internally to the individual; it can be informative like a memo and educational by referencing detailed policy. Importantly it can become a valuable self registering record that confirms that the information has been properly disseminated and understood.A single survey question can achieve all these objectives at the same time.Take an example:-Are you aware that section 45 of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003 imposes an obligation on directors of certain companies to prepare statements on their company's compliance with its relevant obligations? (Click here for a summary of Company's Policy on Compliance Reporting Obligations)YesNoFor those Directors that have not read the policy the survey will give an opportunity to view the company's policy online (using an embedded live HTML link). Should Directors answer 'No' the Compliance Officer knows who to target.The survey also records the manager's response and shifts the responsibility away from the Compliance Officer to the individual manager where the responsibility needs rest for a company to meet its compliance obligations.Using an online website such http://www.surveygalaxy.com where multiple surveys can be managed, easily modified, updated and re-issued on a periodic basis across an organisation online surveys can be the Compliance Officer's killer application.Through the regular use of online surveys the Compliance Officer will be in the driving seat, leading and not chasing compliance issues, not only circulating the information on a one to one basis but also monitoring and recording the level of awareness throughout the organisation.The Compliance Officer's role is a difficult one, like a parent keeping a wayward child on the straight and narrow, most employers, let alone their employees, often do not fully understand the true consequence of their, often innocent, minor discretions. Assigning a Compliance Officer is a start but enabling them to fulfil their remit will be the difference between a company being fully compliant and one that risks suffering the consequences for having let compliance take a back seat.
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Leadership in Troubled Times
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"Without the chance to meaningfully participate in steering one's own destiny, without the opportunity to gain the sincere respect of one's own peers, without an honest stake in making the community more successful through one's own work and ideas, employability can quickly decay into generic training programs or bogus choices..." --"Beyond Empowerment: Building a Company of Citizens" by Brook Manville, Josiah Ober, page 52, Harvard Business Review January 2003.
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