Where has all the money gone? – you wouldn’t believe it

Part one – why?

Previous instalments:
IT investment for the small businessman and novice
Why the SMB/SME holds all the aces when it comes to IT

In our last instalment we talked about the advantage an SME/SMB has over it’s bigger rivals when it comes to implementing technology, especially around the aspects of communication, business change and lack of red tape.
Don’t let this reference to red tape fool you. It is mission critical to understand the difference between vital  process and red tape and it’s not always immediately obvious.
The key to cost cutting in any area is knowing what to cut. The word we are after is waste, but even that can be misleading.  In the world of Lean everything outside of the critical value adding moment is deemed to be waste, but nobody imagines that you can eliminate most of it let alone all.
The best approach is to look at where the money goes in a typical systems implementation.

Let’s take ACME  cash registers.
They have a turnover of 200 million and they have countless systems handling different aspects of their relationship with customers.  Nobody in the organisation has the full picture at any time about any customer.
Sales people call with an Upsell proposition within an hour of the customer complaining bitterly to support.

  • Customer enquiries get written on cards and handed to salespeople who then lose a percentage or forget to mark them up so 14% of leads are never followed through. (any of this sound familiar)
  • The last time they tried a mass emailing they only had email addresses for 34% and two thirds of those were returned undelivered. This resulted in their IP address being registered as a spam house and for three months their emails were being destroyed by a robot and never arriving.

Ok this is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the picture. The new VP of sales has read the riot act and reluctantly he has been promised that they will try and find some budget to help out. Where do we go now?
In our next contribution we will provide an insight into how not to approach it and the we will move on to  look at a simple model for getting this job done.
Requirement gathering the first big mistake

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