The business process of your client

On May 19, 2005, in Rants, by

I’ll probably insult every SBS consultant around…but here goes…. I don’t think you are doing enough for your client. 

Hear me out….. every day I walk into businesses…. I walk into my OWN business and the processes we use for our daily business processes are so inefficient it’s not funny.  And yet, if you want to take your client to the SBS “and” stage of the business relationship….. SBS and CRM… or SBS and Great Plains or SBS and Small Business Accounting…., you don’t need to understand technology and tcp/ip stuff…. you need to understand how their business processes ‘stuff’. 

How does the document flow work?  Why do you handle documents like that?  Why are you typically using some Excel spreadsheet to kludge information from your existing programs?  And why is it that the people hired to handle the paperwork tend to do things “just because we’ve done it this way’ and no one stops to ask….’gee is there a way to make it better?’

You come in …you sell SBS to a customer and neither they, nor you, honestly take the time to fully inform the client of all that they can do with their SBS box.  Since the box works so well, it’s just back there chugging away and for most bosses… SBS isn’t the server in the other room… it’s the Internet …or it’s Outlook. 

But start to look at SBS “and” and the piicture changes….. you have to do lots more investigation and analysis of business flow… and efficiencies.  It’s about ‘where is the best place to capture data’ to get it into the pipeline efficiently, effectively, and does the data you’ve collected… is it of relevance?  If you aren’t going to use data…why capture it?

I was listening to a Gartner Group audio and they made the point to not jump on technology just for technologies sake… it needed to solve a business need.  Take RFID… it fits the best they said when the items tracked were scattered and random.  If the items you needed to tracked was more organized… bar codes actually were a better solution. 

The moral of this story is…don’t just throw technology at a problem if you haven’t taken the time to understand what the problem is in the first place?  Are you listening to your client’s pain?  Are you identifiying definicies in business processes that need fixing.  If you are just throwing technology at your client, it may not be the right thing for them.


Typed on a bus  on my way to LA for the Star Wars movie with friends on my tablet pc using the Cingular air card so if there are typos……


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