I will start with the thought that in my experience, there is a turning point in the business growth of a company, which has a decisive impact on the future of the company. That’s when the entrepreneur has to make a wise decision. If he realizes which direction is best to step in, he is five steps closer to success in an instant. I will explain more soon …
Recently, we at easy.bi worked with a client who has a 30-year tradition in the iron processing industry, and in that time they have grown to a concrete number of 100 employees and have a large production. But as with many other companies, this growth has been very organic, so they have learned on the way and often from mistakes. Up to a certain point, they had a company structure that functioned as long as it was a smaller volume of both work and staff and they could have everything under control. But once a company reaches a certain critical size, it is imperative to start optimizing processes or information, as mistakes become extremely costly.
When the unpredictability factor becomes a challenge
As long as the company is smaller, it can afford to operate more ‘blindly’, which means that it issues invoices and monitors whether it is in the black. Very often it also happens that the red numbers set in and the company starts to rush towards bankruptcy. But it is necessary to be aware that whether a company is successful or bankrupt is not due to structured and controlled operations, but mainly due to the factor of unpredictability. It is a big challenge when a company does not have comprehensive information. Roughly speaking, they, for example, produce a product for X money and sell it for the Y amount, but in this way of doing business, there are no structures and analytics to answer how much to buy, how much to produce, how much to sell and how to optimize all costs based on information to make the whole process sustainable and profitable.
Don’t let the factor of happiness run your business
Business without real feedback can somehow work for small business, because it is still possible to maintain an overview. But at some point, when the volume of business is larger, suddenly certain managerial decisions become significantly more important. Thus, analytical decisions, procedural decisions, processes, structures come to the fore, and suddenly the previous system no longer works because it is impossible to have everything in mind. Suddenly the processes become too extensive and at the end of the month numbers are speaking for themselves, but no one is monitoring the business causally. Some large companies also work this way, but in this case, they are lucky to have quite large margins or, for example, extremely capable people, but in this case, the factor of happiness plays a role, not a conscientious business decision made based on meaningful information.
Usually, companies start to be aware of problems when they start to accumulate. We can imagine this process as a gearbox – in the beginning, it is a small gearbox and everything runs smoothly. Then it starts to be upgraded and becomes more and more complex. The bigger the gearbox, the more wheels there are, everything is more demanding and this complexity is potentiated. If any wheel starts to run wrong, we can’t even know exactly which one, we just notice a malfunction. All of a sudden, filings appear in the gearbox that we don’t even know where they came from, and we start dealing with those filings, and in the meantime, all the cards of our business start collapsing.
How can the disintegration of the system be turned to one’s advantage?
The key is to notice at the right time what is going wrong and ask ourselves as an entrepreneur: does anyone have to deal with this? Very often the answer is that it is not necessary, as a computer could also perform a certain task. In this case, we found the optimal solution, as the computer is independent of all human-related factors. It is necessary to identify which tasks in the company should be performed by people and which tasks would potentially be solvable also with automation, ie with computers.
When the system starts to fall apart …
At this point, I will return to the manufacturing company mentioned at the beginning and explain the critical point and change. Their way of working was such that in the morning they wrote work assignments and handed them over to people working behind different machines. But from morning until the next morning, no one knew and could not monitor what the actual situation was. They gave an order in the office, and the worker behind the machine took up that task and started working. But if a customer called them in the meantime and asked how far they have come with production, the answer was: we don’t know. If the purchasing department asked if any more material was needed, the answer was the same: we don’t know.
How we instantly turned a problem into a solution with automation
At easy.bi, we tackle exactly such challenges, and even in a given case, we first asked ourselves: why not allow the client to have constant insight into the process itself and what workers are doing at a given moment, so they would know what the actual situation is. Thus, we started setting up electronic work orders and automated the process of sending them from the office to the employee and back. The new approach has added additional dimensions, as it has now become quite easy for them to offer insight not only to employees, customers and other stakeholders, but even to their customers, who were able to get feedback on the status of their order in an instant and without a call.
How we can help you?
We believe that for every problem there is some form of a digital solution that can “overnight” change your business from a chaotic to a clear, structured and controlled process, where you optimize business based on actual information and make effective and informed decisions that lead you to success.