Investing in new technology is vital for long-term success. Firms that do not do so find it hard to keep up with their competitors. Eventually, they lose customers and reach the point where they are no longer viable.
But introducing new technology into a business needs to be done in the right way. It is easy to get things wrong and end up losing a lot of money.
Choose the right tech
Making sure that the technology is right for your particular business is an essential first step. Using this checklist will help you to do so:
· Be clear about why you are introducing the technology – What is the problem it will solve and how will it enhance your ability to serve your customer or make more profit?
· Identify the cost – make sure you include the cost of training and allow for the introduction of the tech slowing things down a bit at first. Don´t forget to factor in consumables, maintenance, and wear and tear.
· Work out the ROI – this comprehensive article explains how to do that for IT. The guidance you will find there will work for most types of technology.
Do your research
Research the technology you are planning to buy carefully. Find out how your competitors are using it. Read as many reviews as possible.
Make sure there is a good level of support available
The best firms like the Australian-based Mandoe Media company offer 24/7 support to their customers. This is what you need to be looking for, even if you are not open around the clock. That way if you have an issue that cannot be resolved during your opening hours, someone can stay behind and continue talking to the support team to solve the issue.
Be open with your staff
The people who are going to make the technology work is your staff, so it is important to involve them as much as possible. This can be difficult if what you are introducing may lead to job losses. But it is still important to speak to them. The advice in this article contains some strategies you can use to help you to do this effectively.
Allow plenty of time for training
Make sure that you give everyone enough time to train. Ensuring that each member of staff can use the technology effectively is essential. It is always a good idea to include a few tests as a part of the training process. Never assume that simply showing someone how to do something once, is enough. If at all possible set up a mock-up so that the training can take place in as realistic an environment as possible.
During this time your staff will be able to provide you with invaluable feedback. It makes sense to make provision to collect this information properly, review it, and use it to tweak the way you introduce and use the tech in your business.
Make out a rollout plan
An awful lot of firms rush through the rollout of change. Sometimes they get away with it, sometimes they don´t. With technology, it is usually better to roll things out at a carefully planned and regulated pace.
Be prepared for snagging
Even when you plan carefully and train your staff well things are likely not to go smoothly right from the start. You need to be ready for this. Including having an effective way to record and monitor any issues that occur. Doing things this way will make it easier to identify what the underlying problems are so that you can solve them.
Monitor how effective the new tech is
It is also important to monitor the impact that the new tech has on your business once things have settled down. You need to make sure that it is performing as expected. If it is not you may need to adjust some of your forecasts or change the way that you use it.
Tap into the data
Most technology helps you to gather data. Using this you can gain a far better understanding of how your business works. Be sure to tap into this source of new information and use it to the max.
Build on success
If the technology has been beneficial, it is well worth seeing if you can get more out of it. Often, you will be able to use it in different ways. For example, Point of Sales equipment can often be linked up to your stock control system, which will enable you to automate the re-ordering process.
For most businesses, the introduction of new technology turns out to be highly beneficial.