Software and systems can be magical in the way they can transform a company into a performance machine.
If you look at any successful business, what are the 2 lever’s they have right?
Have a think for a moment about companies you aspire to run like? What is always present?
If the answer is Systems, and Automation then we are on the same page :).
I’ve spent countless years working with large and small companies and businesses, and performance always comes from systems.
This is a complex topic and a simple one (at the same time) – the answer is simple but the reason’s aren’t really that simple at all.
I can say the answer is Systems and Automation, but that’s not really going to help you understand what I’m trying to serve up here. Because unless we go through the reasons why they are, you won’t be motivated to do anything about them, and that will hold you back.
Why are system’s so bloomin’ important; well I believe it comes down to a primary principal and that is – You can’t Improve if you Can’t do it Consistently.
This is a lesson I’ve painfully learned over many many years, I was born in 1971 so I’ve a few years under my belt. And all the way back to that gutter I never finished painting on my moms house, to that checklist that didn’t get completed… that resulted in a lost customer. If you can’t execute the same way each time you can’t improve, it is just chaos.
The blame game starts between people saying (listed a few things below that often bite you if you can’t be consistent).
- Can’t delegate to someone else.
- Measure progress
- Re-learning things if there’s a long gap before you do it again
- Mistakes happen more often than you would like
- People don’t know what to do and waste time
- You can’t see the gaps
- Stacking on too much or too little work
- You can’t hire the RIGHT people easily
- You lose someone key and you are snookered
So these things are the result of no consistency in your business. And it can be worse if you have a business that is running profitably as you can be losing a lot with little whirlwinds of chaos swirling around that you just don’t pick up.
Ever had that situation, I’ve told them a 1000 times to do it this way, what’s wrong with them.
What’s the Fix :). Well first to keep going with my theme for this little essay. Answers these two questions from 1 to 10 where are you on:
- How much of the work your team do is captured in a Systems? Answer From 1 – 10.
- How much software Automation do you have? Answer 1 – 10 (one being paper, or spreadsheets as these little babies suffer from the same problem?)
Then Map it to this grid here.
Bottom Left – Chaos
Chaos Town is the worst place to be and we all have most likely worked in a place like this. Or inevitably in our early days or even currently have some or all of our business in Chaos town.
How can you tell if you are in Chaos town?
- No consistency
- Repeated mistakes
- No holidays
Now this isn’t a fun place to hang out, this is where 90% of businesses that go bankrupt do so from here. They can’t control costs, they can’t see what’s happening in their businesses, the stress is always at a 10, and things just don’t go well.
Now let’s flesh this model out a little further.
Top Left – Slow
So lets say thing’s are a little better than this we have some Systems documented so we are a good solid 7/10 on our Systems captured for our staff and ourselves. So we are feeling pretty good about this, because we are out of Chaos town.
Slow town isn’t actually that bad, slow town can be a very profitable business, it can function well. It is a little vulnerable to competitors going faster than you, and if things get tight, the lack of efficiency can bite, but a well systemised business that is not yet automated has done all the really hard work, and moving to automation and improving the speed and ease of getting the world one is a relatively smaller step.
Bottom Right – Crazy
Now let’s say you are not a system’s person, you haven’t thought about it, or as a one man band you haven’t needed it just yet, though I think it is more important for a one man band than a 3 man band, as you need checks in place when you work for yourself.
This is a strange place, but frankly I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time here. It is an especially dangerous place for Geeks and I am a big fat Geek. I love tech, but through painful and I mean painful experience, i have learned the wrong tech at the wrong time can be a major pain in the rump. Typically the thing that gets you in trouble is implementing 30% or 60% but not pushing to the 90% of the problem you hired the software to solve.
So it absolutely doesn’t mean use 100% of the product, it means find out the problem you want to solve, and get that 100% solved.
So lets have a look at what happens when we are Low on Systems but High on Automation. Oh boy…
Bang, there we have it, full on.. Crazy Town, and it really is, it’s lots of action, very little productivity, people doing stuff, it is probably a very dangerous place, as you can have the Illusion of automation, but really it is just a faster Chaos Town, and that leads us to the promised land. This is where we want to get to.
Top Right – Smart
So what happens when you are in the upper right quadrant, you have good level of systems documented, you have a good level of automation?
Now this is a happy place to be, in this world you could go away for a couple of weeks and come back to a working business. The magic happens when a sale is done and you aren’t there, then that is a truly awesome business.
Nirvana – Performance
Okay lastly but not least what could be better than Smart Town, where you get holidays and the business is running efficiently?
This is where you have systems in place and Key Results to track the systems are being executed, and your important business numbers are tracking.
This allows you to
- look ahead,
- reward great performance,
- follow up on problems in the business.
Fundamentally this is the place to be to grow your business.
Here at FieldInsight we have a proven model that helps Field Service Businesses (any industry) to get from Slow, Crazy or Chaos in to Smart town in a controlled way at a pace that makes sense. The key is systemising key job management workflows using our software (automation).
We would love to show you how you can achieve this, just book a 30 min FieldInsight consult.