Got the cart before the horse?

Dan Belanger

Technology was meant to be a tool, a tool to help us make a real difference. A tool to make good things great. 

Take the story of the very talented roofer – we’ll call him Roofer-1-.

He uses a hammer and nail to attach the shingles on a house and he’s good at it. Takes him 2-days to do an average size roof with a considerable amount of physical labor. He’s got good backroom procedures and is organized. 

Compressor powered nail guns come along. Now it takes him 1-day to do the same work, however the level of effort is cut by at least three quarters.  He’s able to do twice as many roofs. Income goes up and expense stays the same. So he hires a salesperson. Income goes up again with a nominal increase in expense.

Profit being what it is he quotes projects for less than the competition all the while delivering high quality work. He becomes the largest and most profitable roofing company in his market area. He can take 12 weeks’ vacation and has more time available for family and other interests.

All his marketing expense goes down as word of mouth generates ample business. He sells the business for an attractive profit and retires to Tahiti including drinks with umbrellas in them.

Sound like you?

Along comes Roofer-2.

Same model as Roofer-1 but he has a bit of a mess behind the scenes. His procedures, inventory control, billing, A/R, and warehouse all need a major overall.

He employs the compressor nail gun. Relating to volume everything mirrors Roofer1. However using technology has simply allowed him to make three times the mess he already has. He goes out of business. 

The moral of the story? Just when you think you’ve got it figured out – you don’t. Get your house in order before applying technology. You’ll be much happier and the umbrella drinks will taste even better!

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