"How to eliminate the administrative busy work that wastes your employee's energy, their enthusiasm and your profit dollars."
"What you should know...about Software Integration and Workflow-Automation."
"Why you should care and how it can work for you."
Your Employees are Expensive.
style="color: rgb(51, 51, 255); text-align: center; font-weight: bold;">If people are truly your greatest "asset", when was the last time you sat down and calculated the "total cost of ownership" of your employees?
Think about it, you spend a fortune on:
Deferred Compensation, and
Turnover (starting the process all over again.)
When it's all said and done, exactly how much output do you get for every dollar of wages that you spend?
If you're like most professional services firms, you don't really know. And what's worse, if you did know, it would make you sick to your stomach.
Because, if you were to sit down with each of your people and break down their work into the smallest components of what they "actually" do, most of it is just "busy work."
You know -- spinning their wheels:
Waiting for people to respond -- "Hey, you got a minute?"
The client wants to know the status of their job, so they call and interrupt the Engagement Manager,
who calls and interrupts the Project Manager,
who calls and interrupts the Resource Manager,
who calls and interrupts the Technician,
You get the idea.
Or, they waste time on "Administrivia," for example:
Looking up files, And then verifying that it's the right file,
Or naming and categorizing their files and folders, And then Reorganizing their files and folders,
Or securing back-ups and authorized access to files,
Or sending E-mail,
Or faxing (looking for the right address and sending),
Or transferring files (via diskette, disc cartridge, CD-ROM, tape cartridge, videotape, or across networks),
Or using public online services,
Or any other miscellaneous activities, including use of pagers, chat, etc.
Then there is self-directed problem-solving,
And self-directed software training
And self-directed internet training,
And self-directed hardware and network training,
And other computer-related productivity practices.
Then there is writing business-related reports,
And writing project-related reports,
And writing correspondence (with contractors, vendors, employees, and clients), and other miscellaneous tasks associated with databases, personal information managers, et cetera.
"So What?" You say-- "that's what the job requires."
A lot of the work that is done today, is almost the same work you were doing before you had computers, only you did it manually and because everybody operated the same way, the expectations were different.
Unfortunately, you were seduced into buying computers to make your life "easier", and instead all you did was change the expectations.
You traded a "regular" screw driver for an "electric" screw driver.
You made the work get done faster, but you also raised the expectations.
But, you didn't make your life any easier.
You've got to ask yourself these three (3) questions:
Are you spending less time working now that you have computers?
Is your work week any shorter now that you have computers?
Do you have more leisure time now that you have computers?
If you're like most people who use computers, the answer is a big, fat , NO!
HERE'S A REALITY CHECK:
Unless you actually have robots doing the work, you are not "automated," you're just "computerized" -- trading the regular screw driver for the electric screwdriver.
Speed up the work, increase the expectations.
Remember when you use to create proposals by hand -- paste up boards, exacto knives, finger cuts and band-aids?
Remember when you use to type letters on a typewriter, address the envelopes, mail your letters and then wait for the post office to do its work?
Now you have computers -- faster tools, instant communications, and higher expectations.
But is that really automation?
Automation is when the computer does the work for you -- types the letter, addresses the envelope and sends it -- AUTOMATICALLY with no human intervention at all.
Instead, what you've really got are increased expectations.
Now that everyone has computers, everyone expects you to get things done instantly.
Pagers, email, cell phones, wireless computer networks, the world wide internet -- will it ever end?
Probably not in our lifetime.
"With all of this great technology, why does it still take so long to get things done?"
Speed up the work, increase the expectations.
"The kitchen might be messy, but I can still cook."
If you are like most firms, you spend your time working "in" your business instead of "on" your business.
Sure, things tend to get a little messy and disorganized when you're hot and heavy on project- after project- after project, but you still manage to get the work out the door.
Of course, you keep your fingers crossed that there are no errors and ommissions. You know, those mistakes that could be fatal to your business.
But then it happens, and it always happens, at the worst possible time, something goes terribly wrong -- the kitchen gets so messy that your top "professional" uses the wrong version of (logo, copy, layout, etc.) and it gets printed in a million magazines before anyone catches the problem. OUCH!
Why does this happen? Why do these computers always screw things up?
It seems that we forget, or don't realize that the computers that we have on our desks today are more powerful than the most expensive mainframe computers of 25 years ago.
The computers that required, or rather, demanded a full-time staff of professionals in white coats to keep them organized and running properly.
Where is your full-time staff of professionals? You know, five guys with computer science degrees in white coats keeping your systems running optimally?
If you are like most firms, you probably have one technical support person. Maybe an administrator who is your local "computer whiz," or maybe you have a full-time technician who is so busy reacting to problems that he/she doesn't have time to spend "preventing" problems.
HERE'S YOUR PROBLEM:
Computers are like the mafia, once you get in, you can't get out.
You must either embrace computer technology completely (i.e. invest in "best practices" and automate your company) or they will slowly, but surely degrade your business.
What will happen if you don't fully embrace technology and automate your company?
Computer problems due to disorganization and a lack of "true" automation leads to:
Mistakes (errors and ommissions)
Slower "Cycle" Times for getting work out the door.
Lower Overall Productivity (the amount of money required to generate sales)
More Rework (the killer of profit)
Lower Revenue (due to fewer jobs)
ReInventing the Wheel (because of a lack of standards)
Increased Hidden Overhead (due to more people working longer hours)
Less Profit (see above)
Wasted and overlooked assets
Less Predictable, Less Scalable Business
Lower Market Valuation
All of which makes it harder to sell your company.
However, the most significant fact is you'll fail to realize your true potential.