Technology, Timing, Training: They’re the Three T’s and the Triple Threat of Growth

By Townes Parsley

Like any modern business, the software and technologies we use are important components. When they’re working correctly, they’re the difference between success and failure for multiple brands, products and teams. On top of that, we’ve learned it’s not just about the technology; it’s also about timing and training.

In today’s world, it’s imperative for growing companies to invest in and prioritize effective technologies. But what makes something effective for your company? Some important components to consider include enterprise resource planning (ERP), order management, human capital management (HCM), customer relationship management (CRM), digital asset management (DAM), learning management systems (LMS) and more. These are more than just acronyms.

Get Your Digital Ducks in Order

The first step toward deploying such systems should include a thorough evaluation of your current state, the size of your company, existing knowledge base, business needs, budget and where your data lives. Clean data is everything and the most sophisticated systems in the world can’t compensate for bad information.

Also remember that unless you’re developing the technology yourself, it’s rare that you will find a perfect out-of-the-box solution. Do plenty of due diligence and, if necessary, incorporate bolt-on features and enhancements beyond the initial launch across a phased approach. A third-party expert may be the key to determining a system that best fits your specific needs.

Also, remember that good timing is a balance between ambition and reason. Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, consider the steps that must be taken to get from point A to point B. What’s achievable and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound)? Take care not to set a timeline for your project that’s too comfortable. If something feels easy, then chances are it isn’t aggressive enough to encourage growth.

To establish an overall timing goal, plan a series of check-ins along the way to encourage accountability, ensure alignment and validate tech behavior and performance.

Finally, if the right time to evaluate, train and implement new technology doesn’t coincide with a business change (such as an acquisition or product launch) then ensure you communicate about the intended timeline, share why you’re deploying and, most importantly, follow through when the time comes.

You’ll also need to ensure your employees are well-versed. Even the best tech will fail if a company doesn’t take time to explain the ‘why’ and ‘how’ to employees. For this reason, an effective training program must be included in a budget and timeline.

Especially when you’re doing something new, there will always be bumps in the road that you haven’t accounted for. That’s normal. It’s how you hold yourself accountable to your goals, both for your project and for your business, that enables technology to power growth.

Townes Parsley is senior vice president of sales and marketing for ODL Inc. and associate vice chairperson for World Millwork Alliance.
townes.parsley@odl.com

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DWM Magazine

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