For the want of a nail…
By Peter Baily • 24 Sep 2012
With an incessant squeeze on UK efforts for growth, we are leaning increasingly on grand gestures for reassurance in a fragile operating Economy. Government austerity measures continue to be met with mixed responses but the Olympic and Paralympic games have ignited some optimism in our ability to forge ahead and complete significant challenges, and our success so far is a reminder that we as a nation have a solid role to play globally in driving forward achievement and commerce.
Yet it will take a concerted effort to seed grass roots for us to occupy a more comfortable Business space once again. That progress will come from empowering enthusiastic people, with great tools for the job. You could argue that all a business needs to meet its objectives, is the cogs to do the work, and the oil to keep them moving.
I have always been a firm believer that we should be empowered by the things which we engage with on a daily basis. Every system that is slightly out of kilter distracts us from our focus, and steers us slightly off course, every tool that isn’t quite right causes our output to be that little bit less crisp. We have a duty as employers and employees to strive for the right tool in our daily work, otherwise we can never really say that we paid opportunities justice.
My role at On Direct is to select the ‘best of breed’ technologies to offer to UK SME’s. If you are one of the many businesses who are seeking to drive down overheads and increase profitability at the moment, I would be interested to know how have you gone about trying to do it? I would put it to you that few things are more important than the spanners and bolts that you give people every day, and at a management level, the systems you put in front of the people working for you betray more than you think. Employees take inspiration, or consternation from the things they have no choice but to engage with. Well designed and appropriately chosen systems for your email, file sharing, or data comms will allow you and yours to bask in efficiency and a job well done. Poorly chosen or implemented alternatives are the quickest way to turn your team away from even the most basic of tasks, and as anyone who is of a motoring persuasion will know, the oil light is not something to ignore.
But of course, nobody replaces their entire toolbox on one day. It’s an exciting time to go shopping for new Business IT systems right now, and easy to end up in some lengthy contractual commitments. But real operational gains stem from shaving off inefficiency, and sharpening some existing tools as well as buying some bright and shiny new ones. So perhaps stop and take stock of the tools you lay on the desk of your employees or co-workers every day, and wonder if they really are the best ones for the job. If not then experiment by changing or honing small components and see if you can get your business engine running a little more smoothly, it will yield dividends in cost saving and employee satisfaction and should make a less bumpy ride for everyone aboard.
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