4 Uses of Technology That Drive Company Success

By Bryan B Mason
Principal
The Apollo Consulting Group LLC

 

Small companies typically look at technology as a necessary but unwanted expense. Often, systems were acquired one at a time to fulfill a need or solve a problem and don’t talk to each other. The objective has been to minimize costs rather than drive sales or provide information for decision making.

I suggest the following uses of technology that I believe are critical to company success:

Drive Sales – You want to use technology to provide the right information at the right time to prospective customers and be able to identify which potential customers need your time depending on where they are in the Customer Journey (see last’s months article on this topic).

Deliver Best in Class Service – In this day in age, you need great customer service if you want to have lots of repeat business and just as importantly – great customer reviews and recommendations. So you need technology to be able to provide a 360 degree view of the customer – purchase history, contact history, open issues for resolution, next steps, etc.

Enable Operational Efficiency – You want to minimize duplicate data entry (e.g. having to enter customer name and address in more than one system). You want to have your technology support optimized work flows. You need consistent information between systems so everyone knows what needs to be done. You want information to be the same between your operational systems (items and inventory) and your online retail store.

Support Management Decision Making – You need information on what is going on so you can spot trends. You need easy access to what is selling and not selling. You need to know which sales people are performing and which are not. Most importantly, you need to track the key metrics that drive your company’s success (understanding that these are different for each company).

So you ask yourself, how do I get from where I am to where I want to be with technology? The answer, of course, is that you need to develop and execute a technology plan. A technology plan identifies the target end state and lays out the steps to get there. Having one minimizes the transition costs as work proceeds in a logical and deliberate process. It also minimizes
misdirection as the end state is already defined.

Some of the key components of a successfully technology plan include:
 A map of data flows throughout the company
 An evaluation of current systems
 An identification of gaps in functionality and inefficiencies
 The identification of potential solutions
 A target technology end state
 The sequence of steps and costs to transition from the current state to the future state

If you don’t think you can do this on your own, get some help. After all, it is critical to your company’s success.

 

 

 

Mr. Mason founded the Apollo Consulting Group in 2008 to help small and mid-sized companies
in solving their challenges. Mr. Mason brings over thirty years of corporate, consulting and
entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries. He possesses skills in general business
management, analysis, strategy development, marketing, finance/budgeting, operations, pricing
optimization, workflow optimization, process reengineering, project management, and
information technology. Mr. Mason has two degrees in Economics and was a Volunteer Mentor
for the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE). He writes a weekly
blog on his company website at www.apollogr.com/blog.

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