Which Hammer Should I Buy?
For the past 30 years, I have helped companies utilize tools for their business. Many wondered how to select and implement tools. Selection and implementation are two different topics, but let’s start with the first. Here are several questions for you to ponder:
1. What are you trying to accomplish?
This is the first question you should ask yourself when considering new business tools. If you had a great business tool, what would you hope to accomplish with it?
- Shorten the buying or building cycle?
- Eliminate duplication or rework?
- Enable delegation to free up resources to do more strategic work?
- Improve quality and hence, customer satisfaction?
- Lower costs and spending?
The answer to this question should guide the following decisions below.
2. What process are you trying to improve?
- Order entry
- Billing and collections
- Scheduling and workload management
- Quality assurance
If you are unable to answer this question, consider why you are looking at implementing new business tools.
3. What is needed to accelerate the process?
To make it more effective? To eliminate inefficiencies, waste, rework or mistakes?
- What part of the process could offer the biggest benefit if improved?
- Where is the process broken or restrained?
- What are the requirements of the tool to make those improvements happen?
If you don’t know what is broken, a tool may not help you fix it. If it does make an improvement, how will you quantify the benefits and how does that compare with the costs to purchase and maintain the tool?
- Again, what are you trying to improve, and will this tool do that?
- How will you measure success?
4. Which tool do you get?
This question is best answered if you can answer the above questions first; otherwise choose two of the options below and hope for the best.
- Highest ranking on a Google search
- Last or nicest sales person
- Best fit for our requirements (your Selection Criteria)
You may be surprised how many people revert to answers 1 or 2 above. Is this the best approach for you?
5. If the tool had just arrived on your desk, what would you do with it?
If this is your challenge, perhaps a group of peer business owners and mentors might help you process which business tools are the best for your application. Through community and discussion, TAB provides leaders like you with the support of like-minded individuals who have experience and authority in such areas. You don’t have to go through it alone. We’d love to chat with you and guide you through making these decisions!
By Bob Dodge